Future of university women’s hockey team in hands of arbitrator in New Brunswick

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FREDERICTON — An arbitrator has reserved his decision on a discrimination complaint filed over the University of New Brunswick’s decision to eliminate varsity women’s hockey.

Sylvia Bryson has been fighting to have the women’s hockey team reinstated as a varsity squad since filing her complaint in 2009, a year after the team was stripped of its funding and downgraded to a competitive sports club.

Bryson, who played for the team, alleges that the decision to relegate the women’s team constitutes discrimination on the basis of sex.

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During closing arguments today before the New Brunswick Labour and Employment Board, university lawyer Clarence Bennett said shortening the list of varsity sports was not motivated in any way by the fact the players were women.

He said there is no responsibility for the university to mirror its sports and spend exactly the same on men’s and women’s teams.

Lawyer Matthew Letson of the Human Rights Commission said arbitrator Robert Breen must view the case as a question of equal treatment of gender.

Breen did not set a date for his decision, but said it will take some time.

The Canadian Press

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