Alright, here we go.
First off, a constitutional challenge to Section 13(1) has been, effectively, dropped. Via the ARC collective: In Non Aryan Guard Related News, Guille and the CHA Concede:
Well, perhaps she didn’t actually verbalize it, but given that Melissa Guille and the Canadian Heritage Alliance have dropped their constitutional challenge to section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, we think this constitutes a concession.
Second, via the New Brunswick Beacon: Lack of transparency leaves human rights in the cold: Criminology chair:
By Stew Corbett
Dr. Paul Groarke started the night off on a light note at his human rights lecture at St. Thomas University on Monday.
“The first thing I will do is remove my jacket which is something I never got to do in the courts,” says Groarke. “When I was on the tribunal they always insisted that the lawyers wear jackets. Now I get to indulge in the luxury of taking it off.”
Groarke is this year’s endowed chair for the criminology and criminal justice department at St. Thomas. Prior to being appointed chair for the 2009 fall semester, Groarke taught at the university and served 11 years as a member of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. Monday was the first time he spoke publicly about his experiences since making his final ruling in 2006, and he didn’t have many good things to say about the system.
“In my view at least, and I am very much speaking as an insider…I am very concerned about the direction the system is going,” says Groarke. “And that’s a very sincere comment from someone who’s very aware of where the system is going.”
Groarke pointed to three key problems with the human rights tribunal. He said he’s particularly concerned that the tribunal focuses too much on individuals and not enough on groups. He also takes issue with how much human rights at the tribunal level is being dealt with behind closed doors. And lastly he feels the system is shutting down and not doing what it was set up to do.
Groarke also cited problems with Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which lets the human rights tribunal deal with complaints regarding the spread of hate messages via telephone or Internet.
Read the rest here.
Third, a bit of a grab bag. Sorsogon United notes the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal’s taking on of of a Philipino boy’s case against the Marguerite Bougeoys School Board and two school staff. Meanwhile, Deborah Gyapong notes the CHRC’s updated policy on alcohol and drug-related discrimination.
Fourth, via the Toronto Sun: Ex-teacher wins age discrimination complaint:
HALIFAX — An independent board of inquiry has awarded Robert Theriault $64,515 for financial losses and damages resulting from his forced retirement from an Acadian school board in Nova Scotia.
Board chairman Don Murray, in a ruling released today, accepted that Theriault felt betrayed, bitter, disillusioned, upset and frustrated.
Theriault filed his complaint with the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission after the French-language board forced him to retire in 2005.
Human rights commission CEO Krista Daley says the board of inquiry’s decision recognizes the impact that a discriminatory act can have on an individual.
She says it’s “gratifying to see that the board chair found that age discrimination is no different than any other discrimination.”
Read it here. This story also available via the Ottawa Sun. Meanwhile, via Halifax News Net: Nova Scotia human rights inquiry awards damages for forced retirement:
An independent board of inquiry awarded Robert Theriault $64,515 for financial losses and damages resulting from his forced retirement from Conseil scolaire acadien provincial.
Conseil scolaire acadien provincial discriminated against Mr. Theriault when it forced him to retire in 2005. When considering losses suffered, board chair Don Murray accepted that Mr. Theriault felt betrayed, bitter, disillusioned, upset and frustrated by his forced retirement.
“This decision recognizes the impact that a discriminatory act — whether on the basis of race, sex, or age or any protected characteristic — can have on an individual’s sense of self-worth,” said Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission CEO Krista Daley. “It is gratifying to see that the board chair found that age discrimination is no different than any other discrimination.
“Whenever a person is affected by decisions that are based on irrelevant personal characteristics there is harm done.”
Boards of inquiry are the final stage in the human rights complaint process.
Read it here.