Honouring Fred Christie for Black History Month
Honourary Grand Verdunois Fred Christie became known in 1936.
Christie went into the York Tavern in Verdun and the owner refused to serve him. He chose to take the owner to court.
Christie initially won $25, but he lost on appeal. The case took three years to get to the Supreme Court of Canada. There, Christie lost again.
The Supreme Court decision was rendered on December 9th, 1939 and published in 1940. It said:
the general principle of the law of Quebec is that of complete freedom of commerce.” Specifying further, the judgment states that “any merchant is free to deal as he may choose with any individual member of the public […] the only restriction to this general principle would be the existence of a specific law, or, in the carrying out of the principle, the adoption of a rule contrary to good morals or public order.”
Sign up to get Notable Nonfiction updates
After losing his case, Christie left Montreal.
His efforts initiated a series of events that led to the 1975 Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.
Read more about Christie in the memorial page set up in his honour.
About the Author
Tracey Arial helps Canadians grow with notable nonfiction and urban agriculture.