An older woman fighting lung cancer was told to leave a bingo hall
because she would not cover the hole in her neck, which helps her
breathe, with a mask. 67-year-old Elaine Arbeau doesn't often venture
outside of her home, spending most days indoors during the COVID-19
pandemic, according to her son. When she learned that Delta Bingo Hall,
located in Pickering, Ontario, Canada had finally opened its doors
following the end of the lockdown, she was very excited to get to
socialize with her friends finally. Unfortunately, events did not work
out as she planned, leaving Elaine with a horrible customer service
experience due to the insensitivity of the bingo hall's management team.
Gilbert also added that the incident had left his mom incredibly embarrassed and so she simply left the building without making a scene. But he mentioned how his mom couldn't hold back her tears as she broke down and cried as soon as she reached the parking lot.
He said the management team at the bingo hall left his mother totally humiliated. At one point, a manager at the casino noticed Arbeau crying and offered to let her come back in, however by that point; she decided to turn the invitation down.
Once she arrived back home, Arbeau conducted a bit of research as she
felt she was wrongly discriminated against. She decided to try going
again on another occasion; however, this time, she was stopped at the
Arbeau recorded the interaction on her phone, but they would not
listen. Instead, they gave her the number to the head office and ordered
her to leave. When she replied that she had a right to be there, the
staff member responded by stating the casino is private property, and
the company can "mandate any rules they want."
She would leave again, strongly believing that the casino was discriminating against her.
And while it's true that non-medical face coverings are mandatory in
that region for guests in commercial businesses, there are actually
exceptions. Local government guidelines state that if a covering
"inhibits a person's ability to breathe in any way," they don't have to
Meanwhile, Bingo CEO Cam Johnston weighed in on the controversy
stating that he'll take a "hard look" at Abreau's case. But then he
noted that folks who could not wear a mask should simply not come to
their establishment during the pandemic.
You can watch the video Arbeau took of her interaction with a Bingo Hall employee Above.