Alright, here we go.
First off, from The Ontarion: The Truth behind housing:
Daniel Bitonti with a report by Mike Treadgold and files from Iris Hodgson.
While Sufyan Shaikh speculates it might have been his name that had something to do with him not landing the lease, he is pretty sure it was his status as an undergrad that was the deciding factor.
“I went to see the house and I liked it so I thought I was going to make an agreement with the landlord,” Shaikh said, regarding a house he was trying to rent in Guelph this past summer. “On the ad it is said he [the landlord] allowed both post-grads and undergrads but if undergrads were going to apply he would need parents and professors to say that they were responsible. But later that day he called back and said because I was an undergrad he didn’t want me to sign the lease.”
In the Muslim Students’ Association office, Shaikh’s friends joked that it could also have been his long beard that scared the landlord away, playing upon the frequent and irrational stereotyping of Muslim-Canadians.
But regardless of whether it was his age or his race, a new report released on Oct. 5 by the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has made it clear that landlords cannot refuse people on the basis of race, religious beliefs, sex, citizenship, age, ability or sexual orientation or the fact that they are receiving public assistance. It provides guidelines for choosing tenants and examples of discrimination. It is a much needed reading on what experts say is a persistent problem in the housing game.
Read the rest here.
Second, William Miller writes on Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant’s testimony before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights for Impunity Watch: Writers Challenge Section Thirteen of Canadian Human Rights Act:
Impunity Watch Reporter, North America
OTTAWA, Canada – On Monday October 5, Writers Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn testified before the Justice Committee, a parliamentary committee currently investigating Section Thirteen of the Canadian Human Rights Act. Both men called for the repeal of the section of the Act, claiming it grants too much power to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to review published speech if it is considered offensive.
Writers Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn Testified against Section 13 before the Justice Committee (PHOTO: CBC)
Section Thirteen of the Canadian Human Rights Act has received criticism from free speech advocates who feel the section gives the Human Rights Tribunal which hears claims too much power to censor speech. The Act allows the Tribunal to punish communications which are “likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt.” Penalties for violations of the act can be severe and can even include lifetime prohibition from publishing.
Fourth, W.E. ( Bill ) Belliveau writes for the Times & Transcript:
That brings me back to Michael Ignatieff. As the MacLean’s article correctly points out, Ignatieff used to speak his mind. His Harvard lectures and BBC interviews revealed a human rights advocate that has been silenced by political ambition.
He once said the right to freedom of speech is the pre-condition for all other rights. His position on freedom of speech, on individual versus collective rights and his view that “rights inflation” damages the foundation of basic rights are most timely.
They were repeated recently to the House of Commons Select Committee on Justice and Rights, not by Ignatieff but by someone who agrees with him. They were delivered in response to an assertion by Chief Censor Jennifer Lynch who had said earlier that Canada’s constitution, notwithstanding “there is no hierarchy of rights,” only a matrix in which “freedom of expression” has to be “balanced” by modish (trendy or current) group rights and collective rights.
Trudeau said “it is no small matter to know whether we are going to live in a society in which personal rights or individual rights, take precedence over collective rights. It is no minor question of secondary importance to know whether we are going to live in a society in which all citizens are equal before the law and before the State itself.
“When collective rights take precedence over individual freedoms — as we see in countries where ideology shapes the collectivity, where race, ethnic origin, language, and religion shape the collectivity — we see what can happen to the people who claim to live freely in such societies. When an individual citizen is not equal to all other citizens in the state, we are faced with a dictatorship, which arranges citizens in a hierarchy according to their beliefs . . .”
These are thoughts shared by two academics who became leaders of the Liberal Party, albeit some 40 years apart.
Read it all here.
Fifth, Kathy Shaidle explains why she won’t be posting a link to no stinkin’ petition:
Yes, I got the email. Twice.
However, I will not be linking to the new online petition sponsored by the Canadian Center for Policy Studies.
I agree with the proposition in principle. However, online petitions are worse than a waste of time. They are a distraction and a drug, and in fact, are couter-productive.
Conservatives talk a lot about personal responsibility and about not outsourcing their responsibilities to the State.
Somehow, these principles fall away in the very realm they are most needed right now: the fight to restore freedom of speech to Canada.
We do not need more people doing safe, risk-free, harmless and ultimately ineffectual things like signing petitions.
We do not need more people hoping that Politician X will come down from heaven and save the day, “once we get a majority in Parliament” or some other bullshit.
We do not need more people outsourcing their outrage, and indulging in fruitless exercises such as encouraging politicians to think they have power over us, by politely petitioning them to pretty please give us our rights back.
We need more people to start speaking out, writing whatever they want, and risk their jobs and “reputations” to do so.
You need to vocally violate all rules and regulations about “political correctness” at every opportunity.
Unless you are doing so, you are simply maintaining the status quo.
Your lives, your fortunes, your sacred honor. Consider the paradox: You can only secure these precious treasures by risking them.
(PS: I’m about as aware of breast cancer as I need to be, thanks. Can we move on now?)
Read it here.
Sixth, times are a’changin’ for the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission: From the AHRCC website: Notice of changes to Alberta’s human rights legislation:
of this notice is available.
The Government of Alberta has amended the province’s human rights legislation. Here are some of the changes that are effective as of October 1, 2009:
- Alberta’s human rights legislation is now named Alberta Human Rights Act.
- Alberta Human Rights Commission is the new name of the commission.
- Effective October 1, 2009, sexual orientation is written in as a protected ground under the Alberta Human Rights Act. Between April 2, 1998 and October 1, 2009, sexual orientation had been “read in” as a protected ground under Alberta’s human rights legislation.
- The definition of marital status is now “the state of being married, single, widowed, divorced, separated or living with a person in a conjugal relationship outside marriage.” Previously, the word “state” was “status” and the word “person” was followed by “of the opposite sex.”
- The Chief Commissioner is now called the Chief of the Commission and Tribunals.
- Human rights panels are now called human rights tribunals.
One amendment will take effect on September 1, 2010. It requires school boards to provide notice to parents or guardians of students in certain teaching situations involving subject matter that deals primarily and explicitly with religion, human sexuality or sexual orientation. On written request from a parent or guardian, it also requires a teacher to exclude a student from certain teaching situations involving this subject matter.
The Alberta Human Rights Commission has developed an information sheet titled Amendments to Alberta’s human rights legislation, which offers a more detailed list of the changes.
The Alberta Human Rights Commission is in the process of updating its publications and website to reflect the amendments to the legislation. In the meantime, if you are reading a Commission publication dated before October 1, 2009, please note that the amendments have not yet been incorporated into the publication. If you are visiting the Commission website, you will see a “date created” or “date revised” notation at the bottom of any pages created or revised on or after October 1, 2009. If a page does not have a notation, it has not been updated to reflect the amendments.Please note: A complaint must be made to the Alberta Human Rights Commission within one year after the alleged incident of discrimination. The one-year period starts the day after the date on which the incident occurred. For help calculating the one-year period, contact the Commission.
Finally, old friends of Barbara Hall.