White Spot Hospitality has asked franchisee Al Mansfield to step back from day-to-day operations at his Penticton restaurant after he left a load of dog poo on the walkway at a homeless shelter in the Okanagan city
The incident happened Tuesday morning and according to Tony Laing, operator of Compass House Shelter, Mansfield didn’t try to be sneaky about the deposit.
“He was confronted when he did it. He didn’t try to keep it a secret,” said Laing.
Warren Erhart, president of White Spot Hospitality, sent CBC News a written statement on Wednesday acknowledging the incident.
“The actions on Tuesday morning by Al Mansfield, a White Spot franchisee in the Okanagan, were disgraceful and in no way represent the values of White Spot Hospitality,” said Erhart.
“We acknowledge the extreme severity of this situation and will be conducting a thorough investigation into this matter,” he said.
According to Erhart, Mansfield has expressed shame and remorse, and has apologized for the incident.
A statement attributed to Mansfield is posted on the news website, Castanet. In it, the franchisee expresses embarrassment.
“I also apologize to the people of Penticton for showing such callous disregard for the homeless residents in our community who are often the most vulnerable and disadvantaged through no fault of their own,” said Mansfield, adding that he “simply snapped” after finding human feces near his restaurant.
Laing said Mansfield has apologized to him, but he said if he had called the shelter, someone would have come to clean up the mess — even if it may not have had anything to do with shelter guests.
“We’re struggling in Penticton to work with all our neighbours and dealing with the homeless is a controversial issue right now,” said Laing, adding that anti-homeless sentiment in the city and among city council members has been disappointing.
“It’s unfortunate,” he said. “[But] this is another step up from everything that’s been done so far.”