A teenager who filmed a woman berating employees in a Chinese grocery store in Scarborough on Friday said he did so to prove Canada has more to do to eliminate racism and xenophobia.
In the video Frank Hong posted to Facebook, a woman at the hot counter of Foody Mart in Scarborough repeatedly tells employees they must “go back to China” because they could not reply to her queries in English.
“Go back to China. This is Canada. English country,” the woman says in the video, pointing to the floor beneath her as she speaks.
When others nearby intervene, some offering to translate for her, the woman then says not knowing English in a workplace is illegal.
“If they’re going to work here, it’s the law to know English.”
She ignores the offers for translation and continues berating the workers.
“Not one of these people speaks English,” she says.
“It’s really my first time ever in Canada really hearing such words so it was shocking,” Hong told CTV News Toronto.
“I put this video out to show the world that racism, xenophobia and bigotry still exist in Canada and we really need to work to stop it.”
Employees of the hot counter at the grocery store told CTV News Toronto on Sunday that the woman in the video yelled at them for 15-20 minutes before leaving the store without buying any items.
Hong’s video has been viewed online several hundred thousand times.
It is actually not against the law for any employee of a private enterprise in Canada to not know English; the Official Languages Act only applies to federal institutions.
Toronto police say there is no investigation into the encounter as a hate-related incident and no complaint has been made to them.