Edmonton business investigating homophobic slur written on employee's Valentine

EDMONTON -- A company that sells party supplies says it is investigating after an employee at one of its Edmonton stores posted a photo of a Valentine for him that was defaced with a homophobic slur.

See Full Article

Degas Sikorski, 20, posted the photo to Facebook late Saturday night, but it was his mother's sharing of the post along with an explanation that caused a storm online.

Shelley Bramhoff Sikorski stated on Facebook that a supervisor at the Party City store made Valentines for all the staff, but when her son picked his up, it had a hate message on it.

The photo shows a homemade Valentine that has been marked with a homophobic name and as well as the statement, "You are not getting any shifts for a reason."

The company says in an emailed statement that it "is committed to creating a fair and inclusive working environment" and is looking into the matter.

A supervisor at the store who identified herself as Karlina says staff at the store are awaiting guidance from head office about how to proceed with the investigation and any other steps.

"As a company and a store, this kind of behaviour isn't tolerated," the supervisor said.

However Sikorski posted on Facebook on Sunday that he is enthralled with the love an support people have shown, but wanted to be clear that the incident does not reflect Party City.

"This was one person of many. And all the other people I work with are wonderful people," he said in the post.

Reached on Sunday evening, Shelley Bramhoff Sikorski said her son, who told her he was gay at 14, has been a loyal employee at the store while putting himself through university.

She said she and her son tried contacting the store manager Saturday night and even emailed him the photo, but didn't get a reply until Sunday.

"He's always felt safe there. Yes, people knew he was gay. He's not flamboyant, he doesn't throw it in people's faces," Bramhoff Sikorski said.

The company said in its statement that it would provide more information when it becomes available.

Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson reacted strongly to the picture of the defaced Valentine, tweeting that it was offside with the city's Pride spirit.

"Discrimination based on sexual orientation is unacceptable," Iveson said in the tweet.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Iran's supreme leader says 'no talks with U.S. at any level'

    World News CBC News
    Iran's supreme leader announced on Tuesday that "there will be no talks with the U.S. at any level" — remarks apparently meant to end all speculation about a possible U.S.-Iran meeting between the two countries' presidents at the UN later this month. Source
  • Hidden asbestos: Hundreds of homes in Peterborough, Ont., suspected of containing toxic material from GE plant

    Canada News CBC News
    When Ernie Farris walked past his childhood home in Peterborough, Ont., this summer for the first time in years, he had an alarming thought. In the late 1940s, as a young teen, he had helped his father unload a truck full of fluffy, white scrap asbestos from the local General Electric factory, spreading it in the family's attic as cheap insulation. Source
  • Green leader gets stuck in the sands of World War II history

    Canada News CBC News
    Elizabeth May is an expert on climate change and the environment. She has a law degree from Dalhousie University. And for a time, she studied theology at St. Paul's University in Ottawa with an eye to becoming an Anglican priest. Source
  • New giant salamander species now the world's largest amphibian

    World News CBC News
    Scientists have discovered a new species of giant salamander and concluded that the largest amphibian ever recorded was a member of that species. For a long time, scientists thought all Chinese giant salamanders belonged to a single species, Andrias davidianus. Source
  • Is there a way out for Hong Kong? Not likely, as protesters become more inflamed

    World News CBC News
    After more than 100 days of protest, Hong Kong is one bitter place. Anger and resentment hang in the air and explode on the streets almost daily now. And not just outside the legislature and other symbols of a deeply unpopular government. Source
  • Bernier's in — and the federal election debates just got less predictable

    Canada News CBC News
    The stage is set for Maxime Bernier. His challenge now is to perform. The leader of the nascent People's Party of Canada (PPC) yesterday got his coveted invitation to take part in the two televised debates organized by the independent Leaders' Debate Commission. Source
  • Israelis vote in repeat election centred on Netanyahu

    World News CBC News
    Israelis began voting Tuesday in an unprecedented repeat election that will decide whether longtime Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stays in power despite a looming indictment on corruption charges. Netanyahu, the longest serving leader in Israeli history, is seeking a fourth consecutive term in office, and fifth overall. Source
  • Police respond to reports of shooting at Calgary area mall

    Canada News CBC News
    Airdrie RCMP and Calgary police are on scene at CrossIron Mills mall after RCMP received reports of shots fired at the mall at approximately 7:11 p.m. One male has been injured and the suspect is still at large. Source
  • Taiwan says Solomon Islands switches recognition to China

    World News CTV News
    TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Solomon Islands switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China on Monday, becoming the latest country to leave the dwindling Taiwanese camp. Taiwan's Foreign Ministry confirmed the move, saying the Solomon Islands Cabinet approved a resolution to recognize Beijing as the government of China. Source
  • White House orders two former aides to defy House subpoenas

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The White House has instructed two former aides to U.S. President Donald Trump not to appear at a House Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday, saying Rick Dearborn and Rob Porter are "absolutely immune" from testifying at what the panel is calling its first impeachment hearing. Source