Funeral home director claims racism behind suspension

Rick Benisasia
By Gerald V. Paul

Is racism and a corporate takeover is behind the suspension of the license of Benisasia Funeral Homes?
Yes, says owner Rick Benisasia, the Guyana-born owner of the funeral home which is popular in the Caribbean community for conducting ceremonies with religious sensitivity.
In an interview with The Camera, Benisasia said that the funeral home’s credibility “is on the line.”
The Board of Funeral Services suspended the license Monday for Benisasia Funeral Home Inc., which runs operations in Mississauga and Brampton.
Rick Benisasia claims this frontal attack is linked to their application to build a crematorium at their Mississauga location to serve the multicultural community. Many people from the immigrant community whose last rites rituals include cremation and special worship needs had been clamoring for such a facility for years.
Rick Benisasia, however, had been engaged in a long hard battle to get permission to build the crematorium, with residents in the area where it is to be built fighting the move.
Now comes the license suspension, which could bring the entire business to a close.
The highly respected Benisasia alleged the Board of Funeral Services is “coming after our business.”
“How can the Funeral Board conduct a fair investigation into Benisasia when some of its members are our competition?
“What did we do that deserved a license suspension?”
However, the Board of Funeral Services claims its investigation into Benisasia found Prabhjot Kaur Johal, Benisasia’s wife, who was previously stripped of her funeral director license, falsified embalming records and lied to cover up her actions, which led to the Home’s license suspension.
According to the 2010 funeral board investigation into Benisasia, Johal, who was required to do 50 embalmings to become a fully licensed funeral director, inappropriately took credit for the work of another person interning at the funeral parlour.
A message was left for Mr. Miller, spokesperson for the Board of Funeral Services, for a comment on Rick Benisasia’s claims, but he did not return our call up to press time on Wednesday.