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North Vancouver woman charged after allegation of racist rant against sushi chef

A video of part of the incident was shared widely on social media at the time. The lawyer for the accused says she will plead not guilty.
Edgemont’s Nobu Sushi owner Ed Hur working in his restaurant in the days following a confrontation with a woman who is charged with causing a disturbance. | Paul McGrath, North Shore News files

 A woman accused of going on a racist tirade against a North Vancouver sushi restaurant owner is now facing a criminal charge stemming from the incident.

The owner of the Nobu Sushi in Edgemont shared video of the aftermath of the August 2022 confrontation, which spread widely on social media and resulted in stories from numerous media outlets.

The victim told reporters he asked the woman to not let her dog pee on his storefront. He said she responded to by spitting at him, screaming, and telling him to go back to his own country.

Soon after, North Vancouver RCMP asked for witnesses to come forward and help them identify the woman in the video.

Documents filed in North Vancouver Provincial Court show the Crown has now sworn one charge of causing a disturbance against Sylvia Lynne Taylor, a 70-year-old North Vancouver resident.

Under the Criminal Code of Canada, causing a disturbance can be “fighting, screaming, shouting, swearing, singing or using insulting or obscene language” in a public place.

An agent appearing on behalf of Taylor at an arraignment hearing in court on Aug. 16 told the judge his client is intending to plead not guilty to the charge.

Reached for comment, Taylor’s lawyer David Karp said Taylor denies all of the allegations.

“She’s an elderly woman who has no criminal record. We were quite shocked and surprised to learn that she was facing these types of charges. She’s presumed innocent, and she’s certainly going to be vigorously defending that,” he said. “She takes the position she did absolutely nothing wrong. If anything, she was a victim in this whole situation and we intend to establish that in court.”

The case has now been scheduled for a two-day trial in February 2024.

Following the incident, the sushi restaurant owner received a deluge of support and cards with messages of love and welcoming from Edgemont residents.