CBC News, Feb 03, 2016
200 people gathered Wednesday in Portage Place Shopping Centre to support Dene elder
About 200 people gathered inside Portage Place Shopping Centre on Wednesday to protest a lack of respect, they say, mall security showed a Dene elder last week.
On Friday Joseph Meconse, 74, said he was kicked out of the Portage Place’s food court for loitering.
Meconse, a veteran with the Canadian Military, said he had just sat down with a plate of food when a security guard tapped him on the shoulder and asked him to leave.
The mall’s policy is to ask patrons to move on if they’ve been sitting for longer than 30 minutes, he said.
“I was shocked. I had a plate of food right in front of me. I was trying to eat,” said Meconse.
It’s impossible to order food, sit down and eat in under 30 minutes, he said.
“I don’t cause any trouble. This time limit of half-an-hour, that’s bull,” Meconse said.
“It’s unspeakable, how can they do that to somebody? He’s done so much for our country,” said Blair Cook, one of Meconse’s supporters.
Members of Wednesday’s flash mob drummed, chanted in support of the elder. At one point, they then joined hands and surrounded the food court with a round dance ceremony.
“This here amazes me,” Meconse said.
“I can’t express how I feel. I feel like I did something. I accomplished something. That’s how I feel in my heart.”
Meconse added he would like an apology from the mall.
Portage Place Shopping Centre declined to comment for this story.