“There are people out there who do not recognize the fundamental equality of everyone in our society”

[ ED NOTE: Jesse Ferreras was kind enough to let me crosspost this item from his blog. You can read the original here.

It must be hard to be an employee, or former employee of Canada’s HR system these days…]

So says Paul Groepke, a former member of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal who served on it for 11 years. The source is an article in the Daily Gleaner, a publication from Fredericton, New Brunswick.

The story addresses a lecture he plans to give titled “Why Human Rights Law Fails: Repairing the Relations Between Groups.”

I’m not sure whether it’s the subject or the author’s fault that the article is so cryptic, but Groepke repeatedly states that deep issues aren’t being dealt with and that there’s a lack of recognition for equality in Canadian society. Yet he doesn’t say on whose part – I’m to presume he’ll bring it up in his lecture.

He then argues that the tribunal system has failed because cases are mediated and solved without the tribunal’s help.

I understand him saying this. It being his former employer, he has a duty to stand up for its reputation. But if people’s problems are being worked out without the tribunal’s help it sounds to me as though the CHRT is rather moot when it comes to spreading equality.

I hope his lecture addresses other reasons why the tribunal system doesn’t work: that it clamps down on free speech; that the people running its sister commission hire disgraced ex-police as investigators; that its investigators take up online avatars and act as Nazi provocateurs on fringe websites. And furthermore, that his own tribunal has betrayed a little sanity in stating that its own provisions against hate speech through telecommunication are contrary to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Clearly Groepke has more to tackle than equality.

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