The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal hearing into the Guy Earle-Lorna Pardy incident at Zesty's has adjourned until Friday April 9 when closing arguments will be presented.
Just a few notes for now on the last witness, Samantha, whose last name I arrived too late to catch. She was a waitress at Zesty's on the night of the incident, May 22, 2007
Again, I paraphrase what was said and put my personal comments in parentheses (...)
Samantha said she was the senior waitress at Zesty's. At the time of the incident, a new waitress, Brandy, was serving the Pardy table.
Sam Ismail asked Samantha to comment on how, during the evening in question, the bar ran out of cold Corona and she had to get another case, which she said was somewhat unusual. Samantha told the Pardy table they would have to drink warm Coronas. The point of all this was not made clear.
Samantha said Salam Ismail was not too keen on comedy night and frequently wasn't there.
Samantha saw Guy Earle break the sunglasses and she picked them up. She asked Guy what was going on as she had been in and out of the restaurant and was told "they threw water in my face." She told him to "leave it" or stop the dispute. She called last call and tried to get everyone to leave.
She didn't see Earle follow Lorna Pardy. Guy was angry - he looked shaken up, not threatening.
Since she thought the incident was over for the most part when she came in, she did not report to Salam - didn't think it was necessary. On other occasions, she could report to Salam if there were a problem and she needed him.
Samantha said that on the Tuesday comedy nights, three pitchers of beer were usually provided for all the comics - that 's why they came. There were never a lot of people on Tuesday nights - just a core of comics mostly.
When Guy Earle ate or drank more than his free tab (I think this was the same as the three pitchers of beer provided to the comedians, but I didn't hear clearly), he would pay at the end of the night - usually about twenty dollars.
After people left Zesty's, they were arguing in the streets and Samantha was concerned for the people living above the restaurant who were upset with the noise.
Ms. Cousineau cross examines:
Samantha said she was not paying much attention to the Pardy table since it was not her's but Brandy's
Samantha doesn't think she ever approached Pardy and friend to ask what had happened. Samantha said she doesn't often pay much attention to the comedy.
BCHRT member Murray Geiger-Adams then asked a few questions.
Samantha said she started working at Zesty's in October 2006. She first met Earle in Spring 2007 - February or March. At this moment, Earle was talking with Salam Ismail about having an open mic. comedy stage for Saturday nights but Salam told him he couldn't because the Laugh Riot Girls had the stage on Saturdays. Salam told him "we'll see".
Earle was the main MC on Tuesday night's but the comedians took turns. Before Earle showed up at Zesty's there was no open night comedy - just the Laugh Riot Girls and a group from Langara College.
Geiger-Adams then instructed counsel on what was and wasn't allowed in closing arguments and told Sam Ismail that he would have less time than Ismail wanted to prepare his closing arguments. Ismail, as a non-lawyer, said he needed several days to prepare. Since Ms. Cousineau is about to give birth, this was not possible. Geiger-Adams said that it is common at the Tribunal that closing arguments are given as soon as all the evidence has been submitted, so he didn't really have grounds to complain that a few days to prepare (once the final written argument of Ms. Cousineau is submitted to Ismail) was not enough.
Closing oral arguments will be presented April 9.
I will provide my own closing thoughts on the Tribunal process, sometime in the next few days.