Well, it’s that time again, when I talk about all the people who have been talking about Jennifer Lynch and her wondrous multi-colour commission, with gratuitous mention of the various other commissions and commissioners currently mucking about in the Dominion.
First off, 100 Huntley Street has put together a segment on Canada’s HRCs, which you can read all about over at Ezra Levant’s blog, The International Free Press Society, Ferreras J., and Vlad Tepes blog.
I see no design behind this shift (these people aren’t that clever). But notice that in the last couple of weeks, the public debate (such as it is) has been shifted back from “Canada’s government censors are an affront to our God-given rights and freedoms and must be destroyed” to that oldie-but-goodie:
“Ezra Levant is a meanie man!!!”
Because the average Canadians values “niceness” over great, overarching principles like liberty, we now have to re-fight the “Battle of Two Years Ago”, aka the “You Guys Are Mean So You Got What You Deserved” fight.
Third, a response to a response. The St. Catherine’s Standard: Hall’s organization the speech police:
Re:Discrimination in housing is a real concern(July 27).
I found it quite laughable that Ontario Human Rights Commissioner Barbara Hall had the audacity to critique Kalvin Reid’s excellent editorial of July 22, People suffer while OHRC veers off course.
This is, of course, why Hall and her ilk are so far removed from the reality of planet Earth that she would need a space station to locate us.
The fact of the matter is the OHRC has been overstepping its bounds while encroaching on our fundamental right of freedom of speech for years. I call her Orwellian organization the speech police for good reason, which is all laid out perfectly in Ezra Levant’s recent book entitled Shakedown.
I believe that denying people employment, shelter, opportunity or promotion because of skin colour, religion, orientation, sex or political views is an act of gross misconduct. But instead of focusing on these real, hard issues at hand, the OHRC often chooses to pursue the average John or Jane Doe citizen in the kangaroo courts because of the crime of having an “opinion.”
I often find it ironic that the people who are advocates of more lenient and compassionate sentences for the real criminals are the very same people who believe that certain speech should be outlawed and prosecuted within our pluralistic and democratic society. Go figure.
Paul Keetch Port Robinson
Fourth, Howard Levitt takes Barbara Hall and Toronto Mayor Miller to taske in the Financial Post: Toronto settles for future strife:
In his final act of betrayal, not only has Toronto Mayor David Miller agreed to the city’s inside and outside unionized workers retaining their sick leave benefits, he has prevented any future mayor from removing them. In doing so, Toronto’s mayor has provided the city’s taxpayers with a poisoned chalice.
What he has negotiated cannot be changed until the city’s next round of bargaining, more than a year after any new election. His new collective agreement, unlike the old, provides union members with the right to cash out their sick-leave provisions immediately rather than waiting until they retire.
Another former Toronto mayor, Barbara Hall, subsequently appointed by a compliant provincial government to the political sinecure of chief commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, had occasion to write about my last week’s column. In it, I advised that the Commission’s new family-status policy, although an interesting piece of prosyletization, has little relationship to the actual law.
Although acknowledging that I was “mostly correct,” she stated that my ultimate conclusion, that the commission’s policy “did not actually reflect the law,” was “plain wrong,” stating that their policies are based on “current case law” written only “after consultations with employers, service providers, lawyers, human resource professionals, employees and many others.”
In her mind, this somehow vested it with legal credibility.
Fifth, Carleton U could find itself facing trial before the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal. From the Ottawa Citizen: Students take Carleton to rights tribunal:
OTTAWA-Carleton University was only trying to keep campus political discourse civil. Now, it looks as if it will face Ontario’s human rights tribunal.
In March, a campus group advertised Israeli Apartheid Week with vivid signs of an Israeli fighter jet targeting a Palestinian toddler. Carleton told the group, Students Against Israeli Apartheid, to come up with something less pointed.
It complied, but complained to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario that the school trampled its freedom of expression. A mediation will likely be held in late September or early October, and, if the parties cannot agree, the complaint will proceed to a hearing, said Yavar Hameed, a lawyer representing the Carleton students.
Hameed said criticism of Israel was a sensitive issue on university campuses, and he didn’t know if this case would be resolved during the mediation stage. “The nature of this complaint focuses on the advocacy of Palestinian human rights,” he said. “We’re hopeful the human rights tribunal will take that issue seriously so Palestinian students and their allies will not feel chilled or marginalized when they try to speak about their basic rights.”
Sixth, more information on the Ignite Our Culture convention in Halifax. From the ECP Centre:
The ECP CENTRE’s first Eastern Canada conference – in Halifax – is going to be an exciting event.
Canada’s pre-eminent Freedom Fighter Ezra Levant will be our feature speaker on Saturday.
You will also hear from two other champions of freedom: Connie Fournier of freedom blog, Free Dominion, and Scott Brockie, an entrepreneur who was dragged through Ontario’s human rights system by a homosexual activist, but who has lived to tell the story.
At this conference, you will learn about the ongoing assault against our fundamental liberties in Canada. You will learn about the necessary link between our Judeo-Christian heritage and our tradition of liberty. You will learn about the link between the love of one’s child and a parent’s commitment to pick up his sword in this battle.
If you are a freedom fighter, this conference will encourage and strengthen you in this difficult battle. You will hear from motivating speakers and you will be able to network with other like-minded attendees.
If you aren’t active in the battle for freedom in Canada, but you want to learn more about the need for more people working to advance Judeo-Christian ethics and culture in Canada, you will also want to be a part of this conference.
This two-day conference will include workshops. Christian Heritage Party leader, Nova Scotian Jim Hnatiuk, will be speaking. Al Siebring, a long-time broadcaster and now a municipal politician in B.C. will also provide a workshop, providing some very practical ideas for Christians who want to serve the people in their communities and honour God at the same time as a Canadian politician. We are waiting for responses from other invited speakers. A Conservative MP has also been invited to address the conference.
Seventh, an update on Jim Corcoran’s complaint against several members of the Catholic Church before the OHRC, from the Catholic Register: Cobourg rights complaint tied to parish politics:
By Michael Swan
Parishioners accused of conducting a witch hunt against a homosexual altar server in a Cobourg, Ont., parish have told the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal they were only trying to get rid of their parish priest.
In response to a complaint from Jim Corcoran, 12 parishioners from St. Michael’s parish say they did not single Corcoran out or conspire to remove him from serving at the altar on Sundays. The parishioners have told the tribunal the whole thing started with the appointment of Fr. Allan Hood as pastor in 2008. Changes in liturgical style and parish management inspired them to begin a series of petitions to Peterborough Bishop Nicola De Angelis asking the bishop to reverse his decision to appoint Hood.
The controversy has led Corcoran to file a human rights complaint against the parishioners and De Angelis after he was asked to give up his altar serving duties at St. Michael’s. He is seeking $20,000 from each of the 12, $25,000 from the bishop as well as legal costs.
An April 14, 2009 letter to De Angelis asks the bishop how he can reconcile requests for Catholics to lobby against same-sex marriage with two gay men serving at the St. Michael’s parish altar.
“Now we have a couple, not from our parish, who are openly and publicly involved in a same-sex relationship serving on our altar at Sunday liturgies,” reads the letter. “This has to be a grave contradiction. What message is being given here?”
It was after De Angelis received this letter that Corcoran was relieved of his duties as master of ceremonies in St. Michael’s all-male Altar Servers’ Guild.
“The Parishioner Respondents further specifically deny the allegations that they acted ‘hateful and discriminatory’ towards the Applicant and that they were ‘spreading hateful innuendo about’ the Applicant,” reads the St. Michael 12’s July 23 filing with the tribunal.
The group also contends that the tribunal has no jurisdiction to hear the complaint against them — both in terms of the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.