Today’s Lynch List, 30-Apr-2010

April 30, 2010

Fresh off of another furball nomination, here’s your next update on the ‘roos.

First, another religion vs homosexuality battle is brewing in BC. An all-girls Catholic School has asked a lesbian teacher to stay home for the rest of the school year after parents complained of the influence she was having on their daughters. Damn parents, being all concerned about their kids and stuff. That can’t be tolerated. We’re waiting for the BCHRT to get involved: 5, 4, 3, 2…

Second, here’s a short summary of an op-ed in defense of the province’s Tribunals by Professor Ken Norman of the University of Saskatchewan: Transferring human rights cases to the courts won’t work because 1) real justice is too expensive, 2) real judges won’t permit railroading of the hapless respondant, 3) real judges aren’t biased enough in favor of the complainant, and 4) real judges in Saskatchewan “don’t reflect the diversity of Saskatchewan like Tribunal members do”. Isn’t that discriminatory?

Also noted by DWE

Third, Scaramouche finds some quotes from Heather McNoughton (BCHRT member) about the “mediation” process:

Because settlement meetings are usually a confidential process, the Tribunal does not publish the results.In many cases, the settlement meeting resolves other aspects of the parties’ relationship and has transformative impacts without the adversarial process of a hearing. Many cases resolve on the basis of an acknowledgement that there has been a breach of the Code and an apology. In others, the mediated solution results in systemic change and awards greater than those that might be obtained after a hearing. (emphasis added)

Scaramouche labels mediation a “Hobson’s Choice” but I think it more of “Morton’s Fork“.

Fourth: The BCHRT actually passed another opportunity to lay the smack down on another strata council that wouldn’t let a sun-sensitive resident install external sunshades. “Get an umbrella,” says the BCHRT. Whatever became of my beloved compassionate Tribunal?

Fifth, on the lighter side, another HRC complaint reported by Inside the Hot Dog Factory. This time, the defendant is God. Or mother nature. Or whatever, but dammit, someone with lots of money must be responsible for the fact that I was born a girl!


The Lynch List, 28-Apr-2010

April 28, 2010

First, the Communist Party of Canada comes to the defense of the CHRC, demanding the federal government rescind its order to close the satellite offices of the CHRC. With friends like these…

Second: from the National Post Editorial Board, concerning the recent case involving the new Human Right to Bad Table Manners: The Human Rights Circus Rolls On

Faced with such thin facts on the ground, courts often have to throw up their hands and admit there is no way they can administer justice. But not so human rights agencies. They are not bound by the normal rules of justice. They may choose to use whatever evidence strikes their fancies, including hearsay and speculation.

Third: After setting a precedent by dictating bus routes to municipalities, Human Rights complaints seem to appear any time a municipal decision is made. Cancel or change a bus route? Human rights complaint.

Fourth: Next, after using the Human Rights system to force her way into the tryouts for boy’s soccer, Courtney Greer will probably launch another complaint if she doesn’t make the team. Or, just like the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations, the coach will let her on the team without a tryout “to avoid being forced to by a Human Rights Tribunal.”

After that, if she is deemed offside during a game, the referee will probably ignore the call to avoid another reprimand by the Tribunal. I sense a Tribunal-mandated MVP award coming soon…


The Lynch List, 26-Apr-2010

April 26, 2010

So what were the HRCs up to over the weekend?

First, the Commissions and the Tribunals are slowly but inexorably replacing democracy with autocracy. We saw it in Ontario with the Tribunals arbitrarily defining public policy with the food supplement program. Another example is in BC with public education. Parents are launching complaints over funding for special educational programs for their kids, insisting that it is their right for specialized treatment on the taxpayer’s dime.

This began in 2005 when Rick Moore won a Tribunal decision that took decision-making over education programs for special needs students out of the hands of elected politicians, and under the power of the Tribunal. Luckily, our court system spotted this for the abuse of power it was. The Supreme Court of BC was quite scathing in overturning the decision:

The Tribunal was not correct in its identification of the service that was customarily available to the public.  The service that is customarily available to the public that is the subject matter of this claim is special education services provided to special needs students.  This error permeated the whole of the discrimination analysis so that the Tribunal was also incorrect in its selection of the appropriate comparator group.

Now that Mr. Moore is pursuing his case to the Supreme Court of Canada, supported by completely impartial groups such as the Teachers Union, parents of learning-disabled children are waiting with bated breath to see if a whole new Human Rights gravy train will be opened to them.

Second, the BC Human Rights Tribunal doesn’t need no stinkin jurisdiction, at least when it doesn’t suit its purposes. The Tribunal had pushed ahead with the hearing without establishing its jurisdiction over the case, but when Guy Earle’s lawyer, James Millar, applied to have the case heard before the Supreme Court on constitutional grounds, tribunal member Geiger-Adams cited jurisdictional issues to deny the request. Convenient.

Third, more girls winning the right to play with boys. Why don’t we just abolish girl/boy segregation in sport? Oh right, that would be unfair to girls. Have cake, and fully intend to eat it too.

Fourth, commentary on the Human Right to Display Bad Table Manners in Public. Tasha Kheiriddin from the National Post:

Indeed, I would say that this latest incident teaches us this lesson:  demands for cultural sensitivity have gone completely overboard when an issue of table manners winds up in front of a publicly-funded administrative body.

Scaramouche opines on the same topic, in which the suddenly rich mother states, “Hopefully it’s all over and now we can move on”. In other words, please, please, don’t appeal to a real court, just ignore the fact that I’ve just gouged the taxpayer for frivolous reasons and move on.

Fifth, the BC Human Rights Tribunal will decide whether you have the right to practice medicine while suffering from mental illnesses that university medical faculties deem to be “debilitating”. Pretty soon you’ll be wheeled into the surgical suite, wondering if your surgeon has an anxiety disorder…


The Lynch List, 23-Apr-2010

April 23, 2010

Happy Friday! Happy Lynch List!

First: It’s $17,000 to a Filipino boy in Quebec who wasn’t allowed in school to eat with a fork and a spoon at the same time. The principal, was found to be at fault for not immediately implementing a policy on intercultural education. I’d like to try that – get my kid to wear a baseball cap to school, and when told to take it off act like he’s been scarred for life. Whammo, $17K.

Second: What’s next in the Marxification of our Human Rights Commissions? A BC government policy that rewards seniors if they make some income – any income- is the subject of a complaint because it’s discriminatory against seniors who don’t work. C’mon, if there’s free government money to be had, then everyone should get it.

Third, who knew? The Ontario Human Rights Commission had set minimum service levels for some of the services that the province’s municipalities supplies. In this case, the city will have to answer to the Commission if they can’t keep the buses running on time. Why does that sound so familiar? “…they made the trains run on time…”

Fourth, Mark Steyn on the culture of snitching developing in Britain. Maybe Jenny Lynch will organize a junket to fly over there and study their best practices.

Finally, maybe Rahim Jaffer can file a complaint, and pit-bulls can hurt your feelings.


The Lynch List, 21-Apr-2010

April 21, 2010

The latest on the ‘roos…

First, it’s brave souls as these who venture the time and money to challenge the Tribunals in real courts. Though it often grants them little reprieve, each Tribunal decision overturned by a smirking judge represents another nail in the coffin of the Human Rights system.

A disabled Osoyoos man installed a solar screen in contravention of his strata bylaws, and was told to take it down. He complied, but then complained of a worsening of his condition and enlisted the BCHRT to help him fight the council and score some dough from his neighbors.

The specifics of the case are somewhat irrelevant; what’s on trial is the Tribunal’s handling of the complaint, and the overstepping of its authority in forcing all of us to conform to their moral standard.

Second, if it’s good for the goose, it’s good for Alberta! The Calgary Herald wants some of what Saskatchewan is having: an HRT-free province.

Alberta’s government should follow suit. We have long argued that human rights tribunals lack due process. Unlike a proper trial, for instance, quasi-judicial human rights tribunals are not obliged to follow normal rules of evidence. For proof of how flawed the tribunal process can be, one need only read the Dec. 3, 2009, decision by Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Earl Wilson that overturned an Alberta human rights tribunal finding against Red Deer youth pastor Stephen Boissoin.

Also noted by BCF.

Third, what to do if a cab driver is rude to your kids? Well, for most of us, we are SOL. Maybe complain to the taxi company, refuse to use them again, or find the taxi and, ahem, decorate it. But if your kid happens to be a member of a victim group, it’s drive-through justice on the taxpayer’s dime…

Fourth, from the National Post, Human Rights Take a Trip to La-La Land. They’re now inventing another human right over in Europe, the right to a vacation. From Tasha Kheiriddin:

Wow.  Talk about a reason to move to Europe if you’re a senior, youth, disabled person, or family in “difficulty”.  And talk about a reason to flee if you are a working stiff whose taxes will be used to fund vacations for all these people.   Aesop’s fable of the exhausted ant, toiling while the grasshopper plays, has perhaps never found greater application.

This announcement makes a complete mockery of the term “human rights”, which is already so abused as to have completely lost its meaning.  The modern concept of “human rights” has become code for “wealth transfer”.  Since 1948 bureaucrats from the UN to the EU have seen fit to accord humanity rights to standards of living, social security, free elementary education, leisure time, and now EasyJet junkets to Spain.

More from Bulletproof.

Fifth, it’s the game that ties you up in knots! Daniel Lublin in the Metro describes the Twister game that employers need to play to avoid the crushing grip of the Human Rights system:

Sweeping changes to human rights legislation and left-leaning adjudicators directed to interpret remedial legislation — such as human rights laws — in a broad and inclusive manner, should leave employers very concerned. Here are some of the reasons why.

Read more here.

Sixth, Visit Binks!

Finally, Yes to Saskatchewan’s Axe Plan, Kitty has more Steyn, and Barbara Hall’s Field of Dreams.


The Lynch List, 19-Apr-2010

April 19, 2010

Barbara Hall is chortling again in this edition of the Lynch List:

First, in yet another installment of Where Two Leftist Principles Collide, we have a trifecta: the Toronto Pride Parade, the Israeli Apartheid movement, and the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Throw in the City of Toronto and we have a serious problem in leftland.

Second, Howard Levitt is at it again in his latest column, pointing out the similarities between human rights “law” and employment “law”.

Just as human rights laws were written largely by advocates who profit from finding racism when none exists, employment legislation has been written by left-wing advocates with an interest in the perpetration of unions and the emasculation of corporate power. The resultant risk is not merely that of Canadians becoming infantilized; it is the risk of employers becoming too complacent or timorous to resist the increasing encroachments of the nanny state. It is also the risk of an environment wherein the best thinkers and innovators depart to more commodious jurisdictions.

Third, NDP bloggers are not happy about Saskatchewan’s plan to axe the Tribunal in favor of a court-based system. No delusion here, nope:

Simply put, tribunal systems (backstopped by judicial review in exceptional cases) are the simplest, fastest, cheapest way for an individual’s concerns about a specific matter to be dealt with by a neutral decision-making body.

And if you thought it was only the NDP who are up in arms about the concept that people might actually have to work for their money, look no further than the always cordial Big City Liberal:

…has the [human rights] system really been delegitimized? Ezra Levant, his momma, and a few whackjobs like Issac think so. I’m not convinced anybody else does.

So not only are we “over-committed freedom of speech freaks” but now we’re “whackjobs” too.

Fourth, a complaint against the town of Arnprior was suddenly, and without reason, dropped. The tribunal chair has refused comment. Transparency indeed.

Parting Shot: Barbara Hall is surprised that the streamlined complaint handling system in Ontario has seen a deluge of complaints. I agree: it’s astounding that people will be so motivated by a free shot at a lot of money, as in five figures, as long as you are a part of a designated victim group. It completely floors me why people would participate in a form of a lottery system, in which the tickets are free but able-bodied white males need not apply. (/sarc)


The Lynch List, 16-Apr-2010

April 16, 2010

You know the drill:

First, Adrian McNair draws attention to the BC NDP’s attempts to have “social condition” recognized as a prohibited ground of discrimination, by adding it to the provincial Human Rights Code. So now the ever-shrinking group of those with no rights include those who happen to be white, non-status, able-bodied, heterosexual, male, and now self-sufficient. From the NDP’s announcement:

In Kwan’s bill, the term “social condition” includes anyone in a socially identifiable group that suffers from social or economic disadvantage on the basis of income, occupation, poverty, lack of adequate housing, or any similar circumstance.

Once this passes, comedians won’t be able to put down poor or unemployed hecklers, either. What to do…

Second, the Saskatchewan Government is going the other way. It may scrap its provincial Human Rights Tribunal in favor of a court-based system, a la Tim Hudak.

“I think there are supporters of the [governing] Saskatchewan Party who aren’t happy with decisions of human rights tribunals over the years and that is part of the motivation here,” Mr. Quennell said, pointing to a particular tribunal decision that found a Regina marriage commissioner had discriminated against a same-sex couple by declining to marry them.

Unfortunately, it looks like the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission is on board with this move – if they’re happy, I’m worried. Also noted by Alberta Aardvark,

Third, Walker Morrow posts on the petition at RightToSpeak.ca, but points out some possibly legitimate reasons not to sign…

Fourth, don’t miss the Mark Steyn vs Haroon Siddiqui cagematch! Yes, I’m dreaming. But here’s the next best thing:

Haroon Siddiqui airily attributes the anti-niqab campaign to “an unholy alliance of leftist feminists, right-wing bigots and Quebec nationalists.” “Bigots,” huh? Even in an unholy alliance, some allies are less legiti­mate than others. Mr. Siddiqui’s friends in public universities, in state media, in government agencies, in taxpayer-funded agitprop groups and the rest of bien pensant Canada have no problem labelling people as beyond the pale. Siddiqui’s mistake was in assuming he and the state would always see eye to eye about whom it was okay to revile.

Have a great weekend!


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.