Lifesite/The Interim – May 1999
Crushing dissent via ‘human rights’
By Tim Bloedow
One of the most terrifying aspects of Canadian politics for social conservatives – at least this should be the case – is the nation’s so-called “human rights” commissions and tribunals. These kangaroo courts, where historical, Judaeo-Christian principles of jurisprudence are tossed out the window, have established themselves in almost every part of Canada as the primary tool by which leftists seek to crush dissent in this country.
Those on the front lines are well aware that despite the positive images that ordinary Canadians might have of “human rights,” a vigorous battle is being fought under that banner against traditional values, unborn babies, the natural family and Christianity.
Am I exaggerating? People who have ears to hear will not think so when they find out some of the details about the committee Justice Minister Anne McLellan set up to review the Canadian Human Rights Act.
Of particular concern are the four members of the committee – William Black from B.C., Harish Jain from Ontario, Renée Dupuis from Québec and former Supreme Court justice Gerard La Forest.
Mr. La Forest appears to be the best person there. He is known to pro-family forces as the justice who wrote the Nesbitt and Egan decision in 1995, defending the traditional family. Gwen Landolt of REAL Women, however, thinks he was made head of the committee to protect its image from accusations of radicalism.
William Black is the most disturbing member of the committee. He led a review of B.C.’s human rights industry in 1994, and the final report which bears his name is a direct attack on the fundamental principles of jurisprudence in Canada.
At one point it reads: “The primary weakness of the (human rights) legislation of (the 1940s and 1950s) was that enforcement was by means of prosecution for a penal offence. This approach brought with it all the safeguards that apply to penal legislation. For example, the violation had to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, and the accused had a right to remain silent.”
“As applied to discrimination, these rules made enforcement almost impossible,” the report continues. “It was especially difficult to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the motive for refusing to deal with a person was race or religion rather than some legitimate reason.”
Ron Gray, leader of the Christian Heritage Party, is only one of a number of concerned Canadians who condemns this aspect of today’s human rights industry. If the human rights commissions in this country are going to insist on prosecuting people, then the cases should be heard in the real court system.
Mr. Gray, who participated in some of the public hearings during the B.C.
review process, said recently of Mr. Black that his “pro-homosexual and anti-Christian biases were consistently apparent during those hearings.”
Harish Jain, who sat for a number of years on the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal prosecuting human rights cases, appears to believe that systemic discrimination is rampant everywhere.
In 1994, he came to the defence of Toronto-area MP Jag Bhaduria, who was kicked out of the Liberal caucus for lying on his resumé, saying that Bhaduria wouldn’t have been treated as he was if he’d been a white person.
In 1990, Jain even charged that the lack of recognition given to foreign degrees in Canada is a form of racism, according to a report published by Canadian Press. Mr. Jain is a professor at Hamilton’s McMaster University.
I wasn’t able to find anything of substance on Renée Dupuis. She is a practising lawyer in Québec focusing on aboriginal issues. She sat on the Canadian Human Rights Commission from 1989 to 1995.
The human rights review is to include a review of the scope and jurisdiction of the act, including its exceptions. Critics like Ron Gray – and myself – see this as looking for excuses to expand the power of the federal human rights legislation.
It is also looking at the effectiveness of the complaints-based model. Most “human rights” activists condemn the complaints-based model because it does not give them the authority to go out and hound Canadians looking for violations. They have to wait for the complaints of a violation to come to them.
This human rights review is supposed to include public consultations. We will do our best to keep you posted on developments, as will others who will be trying to gain access to this process to share their views.
Read it here.