Human Rights Commission | Industrial Alliance showed racial discrimination by refusing car insurance to an Abenaki

(Montreal) The Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission concludes that an Abenaki who had been refused an auto insurance quote by Industrial Alliance because he lived on a reserve was victim of racial discrimination.

Posted at 3:20 p.m.

Alexis Wawanoloath, lawyer and former member of the Parti Québécois, had filed a complaint in October 2018. Industrial Alliance had refused to present him with an auto insurance quote because of his postal code in Odanak, an Abenaki reserve located at the is from Sorel.

In a decision rendered last month, the Commission finds that Industrial Alliance has racially discriminated against Mr. Wawanoloath, a member of the W8banakiak First Nation.

Mr. Wawanoloath described Thursday at a press conference in Montreal his long four-year struggle to finally obtain a decision from the Commission. He pointed out in particular that his complaint had first been closed, in 2020, by an investigator who, according to him, also worked in insurance.

The Commission ultimately ordered the insurance company to pay Mr. Wawanoloath $20,000 in moral and punitive damages.

Industrial Alliance has until November 11 to pay the indemnity, failing which the case will be brought before the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal.

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