Well, it’s that time again, when I talk about all the people who are talking about Jennifer Lynch and her wondrous multi-colour commission, with gratuitous mention of various of the other commissions and commissioners mucking about in the Dominion.
First off, a settlement with the RCMP. Via the Canadian Press: Former Mountie who alleged sexual harassment reaches settlement with force:
REGINA — A Saskatchewan Mountie who alleges she was sexually harassed by a male supervisor has settled with the force over the way the matter was handled.
Laura Lehne said Tuesday that she’s signed an agreement for an undisclosed sum that will see her drop legal action against the RCMP, including a complaint she filed with the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
Lehne, who has been on unpaid leave for the last two years, said she’s also decided to quit the force.
“I didn’t want to work for that organization anymore,” she said. “I’d rather work for a better employer and move on and get on with my life and put this nightmare behind me.”
Lehne, 32, filed a complaint against Cpl. Tim Korman when the two served at the detachment in Buffalo Narrows, Sask., in 2004.
She alleged that Korman started making offensive and sexually explicit comments about her, then punished her after she filed her complaint by denying her backup in the field, taking her off training courses and changing her shift assignments.
But the case was dismissed in March 2009.
An RCMP review panel said it had no choice but to reject the complaint even though information provided to the panel suggested the allegations had merit. The panel said the case took too long to be heard and the former head of the RCMP in Saskatchewan missed by one month the deadline to file the necessary paperwork needed to deal with the complaint.
The allegations against Korman were not proven.
A spokesperson for the force could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.
Second, Vancouver’s port and port union are denying accusations of discrimination. Via the Vancouver Sun: Vancouver port management, union deny sex discrimination allegations:
VANCOUVER — Management at Port Metro Vancouver and a local union deny allegations of sex discrimination made in complaints a female worker filed earlier this year with the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
Leslie Palm said in the complaints that weekend hours handling bins of pulp went to male workers, even though she was qualified to do the work.
She said in an interview with The Vancouver Sun that she usually drove a forklift handling steel but also could move around pulp and lumber.
The pulp work is sought-after because workers can finish after several hours but get nine hours’ pay.
Palm wanted to handle pulp on weekends. But the male workers, some with lower seniority, “wanted the first crack at the premium shifts — Saturday and Sunday — and I got what was left,” Palm said.
Palm filed separate complaints against the International Longshore and Warehouse Union local 500; The BC Maritime Employers Association, which dispatches and can discipline workers; Western Stevedoring, the shipping company where Palm worked; and two male co-workers
Bolstered by a last week’s 8-0 Supreme Court ruling giving the green light to political advertising on the sides of buses and transit vehicles across the country, the Fredericton Right to Life Association is pressuring Fredericton Transit for advertising space. Fredericton Transit denied the association’s request for advertising space in the fall of 2008, arguing the group was political in nature. The association in turn appealed the city’s decision to New Brunswick’s Human Rights Commission, arguing the city’s refusal to run pro-life banners on local transit vehicles was discriminatory. What is interesting about the case is how often pro-family and pro-faith groups are often refused advertising space, and yet groups opposed to organized faith and family values often face few restrictions when seeking wider public exposure.
Fourth, Scaramouche has yet another song parody for your expectation and delectation:
Pardon me, boy, is this the ‘human rights’ commission?Section 13,You know the one that I mean.You can’t affordTo get aboard this kooky choo choo.It isn’t fair.You never wanna go there.You’ll see that Jennifer the CommissarIs doin’ her job.Wants you to be wary of what ‘scapes from your gob.Allahu Akbar, honey,Blasphemy ain’t funny.Shut yo’ mouth or it’ll cost you money.When you read the Moon report you’ll know it’s absurdTo have a bunch of censors judgin’ your ev’ry word.True north strong and free-ah,‘Cept for the sharia.(Gets thumbs up from the CHRC-ah.)There’s gotta beA lotta outrage from the public.Both left and rightHave got a dog in this fight.We’re gonna cryIf it turns out we can no longer scoff.So ‘human rights’ commissionWhere do you get off?
Fifth, Alan Shanoff talks some about hate speech laws, in the Peterborough Examiner: Don’t you hate a bad hate law?:
Earlier this month the Supreme Court of Canada reaffirmed the importance of freedom of expression by striking down British Columbia Transit rules that prohibited political advertisements on buses.
The Supreme Court has also recently strengthened the fair comment defence and is considering a new responsible journalism defence for defamation actions. So isn’t it time we did something about the odd state of affairs governing hate speech laws in Canada?
First, a disclaimer: I’m in favour of good hate speech laws. I abhor the vile extremist hatred-preaching speech freely available on the Internet, but our hate speech laws are subject to abuse and in need of massive reform.
Every province as well as the federal government has a human rights code. Some deal explicitly with hate speech and others do not. The provisions overlap with Criminal Code hate speech offences. Some cover written publications, while the federal code only covers the Internet and other electronic distribution. Many are restricted to notices, signs and symbols. While hate speech laws are intended to capture the most extreme speech, the statutory language is extraordinarily vague. The federal code covers any speech “likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt by reason of the fact that person or those persons are identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.”
Sixth, Christopher Jones via Fathers4Fairness gives a review of Ezra Levant’s book Shakedown:
Book Review: Shakedown – How our Government is undermining Democracy in the name of Human Rights. by Ezra LEVANT. 216pp McClelland & Stewart 2009 ISBN 978-0-7710-4618-6 Chapters/Indigo Online C$19.13 by Christopher JONES
Reviewed July 20, 2009
Ezra LEVANT appears an unlikely “Agent Provocateur” as one could ever find, yet on January 11, 2008 the Alberta Human Rights Commission (AHRC) gave him an unlikely Ukrainian Xmas gift. That was the day he was summoned to defend himself against charges of “discrimination” for publishing the news. That news was cartoons from a Danish broadsheet published in September 2005 that were deemed offensive to Islamic Fundamentalists. No other country in the world took any legal action against any media like this. No where else in the world was a “crime” perceived to have been committed. Yes, sensibilities were offended in Britain, France and the United States but “Freedom of Expression” is still a tradition in Western democracy’s. Of course riots did break out against Danish “infidels” in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia,
Within days, LEVANT’s “defense” against his “interrogation” by a bland, boring bureaucrat named Shirlene MCGOVERN became a viral sensation on YouTube and within weeks reached 600,000 hits. The painfully obvious point apparently lost on Shirlene was that her questions clearly indicated that Canadians are not free to express their opinions. If we were, Ezra would not have been sitting there responding to her.
Seventh, Kalvin Reid of the St. Catherines Standard pens ( at least, that’s what I assume, because it says ‘posted by Kalvin Reid – if it’s not Kalvin Reid who wrote this, then I truly apologise ) a smack-down of the Ontario Human Rights Commission: People suffer while OHRC veers off course:
The Ontario Human Rights Commission is its own worst enemy.
The intent behind establishing such a body — to defend the human rights of all Ontarians and strive towards a province free of discrimination — is admirable.
But by overstepping its bounds, wading into issues it has no business adjudicating and passing heavy-handed decrees that ignore the realities of a situation, the OHRC has not only made a mockery of itself, it has turned its back on those it was supposed to help in the first place.
It’s no wonder Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak made the abolition of the commission a key plank in his leadership campaign.
Abolition may be extreme, but it is clear some serious reform is needed to ensure those who are truly discriminated against find justice. The last attempt at reform exacerbated a bad situation. During that round a few short years ago, the province diminished the commission’s role as an advocate for individuals — that responsibility was moved to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.
The commission has become a commenting agency on wide-ranging issues.
Nevermind the bureaucratic duplication of this decision — that’s another issue for another day.
Instead, be concerned about the commission’s evolution into an agency that looks to stifle free speech and impose its will beyond the tenets of the Ontario Human Rights Code, which it was created to administer.
If the Liberals ever get into power, I would not be surprised to hear Kathy English got appointed to head the Canadian Human Rights Commission, replacing Tory appointee Jennifer Lynch.
There’s a strange similarity in the earnest, irony-challenged, humorless tone of these two gals and that of others in the leading edge in the “human rights industry” that assumes their perspective is the truthful, objective, fair one, and everyone else who disagrees is [insert your favorite ad hominem here: homophobic, racist, Islamophobic etc.].