The man from Winnipeg gets an apology from Unicity after the driver decided to make racist, anti-Semitic comments.
The accident happened about a month ago. Ron East was going to the airport and when the cab drove by the former Kapyong Barracks site on Kenaston Avenue, he and the driver started their talk.
"The driver started to talk to me about the fact that actually, the neighbourhood there — Tuxedo, Whyte Ridge, and Linden Woods — is populated by Jewish people who really don't like Native people coming into the neighbourhood, walking around with empty alcohol bottles, because it will depreciate the value of their properties," East said.
And then the driver added:
"And Jewish people, you know how much they like their property and their money."
The man was shocked by the statement he heard.
"I was taken aback by his comments.… I tried to explain to him a little bit about what an urban reserve would be, but he was insistent."
Coming out of the taxi, East immediately contacted the taxi service and the Jewish advocacy group B'nai B'rith. For several days, there was no response from Unicity.
When the director of the company contacted him, East asked to remove the driver from work and to send him to study with a cultural background. In addition, the man asked Unicity to make a donation to the Holocaust Education Fund and Bear Clan.
This week, East received a letter from Unicity in which he read that all of his requirements were met, including donations.
"Unicity shareholders are a diverse, multi-racial, multi-faith group who reject all forms of discrimination, hatred, prejudice, and racism," said the letter from Unicity. "Be assured that the words spoken by the operator … are not those of Unicity. The impact on you is acknowledged and Unicity apologizes. Unicity thanks you for bringing this incident to its attention and will address cultural sensitivity issues with the owners and their employees."
The driver also sent his personal apology to Ron East.