Winding things down

January 30, 2010

Hi. Walker Morrow, here.

Well, it’s been fun.

Truly, it has. We’ve covered a lot of issues in the short time of the Mob’s existence, and I hope that we’ve been able to entertain and inform.

But it’s time that I wound things down, and stopped writing for the Mob.

The Lynch Mob was actually started up with, really, one goal in mind: to look into the possibility that the CHRC’s Chief Commissioner, Jennifer Lynch, was compiling an enemies’ list of her critics.

Two freedom of information requests later, and we had our answer: no. Well, as far as we were ever going to find out. Later, Terry O’Neill, conducting his own investigation, discovered that freedom of information certainly doesn’t come cheap – unless you shell out tens of thousands of dollars on a routine basis, in which case your perspective on such matters might be different from, say, mine.

Meanwhile, we here at the Mob covered twocount ’em, two – sets of testimony before the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights’ investigation into Section 13(1) of the Canadian Human Rights Act – and then some.  We covered some of the CHRC’s spending habits, and found that, as a whole, they’re spending way too much for the job that they’re doing. We covered the Boissoin appeal of Lori Andreachuk’s censorious AHRT ruling before the Court of Queen’s Bench, Alberta – and Stephen Boissoin‘s victory. And we covered many other cases and decisions from Human Rights Commissions and Tribunals across the country.

In short, I would say that we were damned good at what we did.

So why am I walking away? Well, I have my reasons, plural. But the only reason, singular, that I’m going to supply is that, simply put, I think I’ve done all I need to do with the Lynch Mob. I’ve covered the issues that I created the Mob to cover, and it’s time for me to move on.

But don’t lose all hope. The Lynch Mob will remain after my departure under the guiding hand of frequent contributor Scary Fundamentalist, who has generously volunteered to keep things going. Thanks, Scary.

And thank you very much – really – to everyone who contributed to this site while under my ownership: Mbrandon8026 from Freedom Through Truth; Don Sharpe from Sharpe StickJesse Ferreras; Eowyn – or as she was known in these parts, Theodensdaughter – from Shooting Star; Rebekah from The Miss Marprelate Tracts; Xanthippa from Xanthippa’s Chamberpot; Marc Lemire from The Freedomsite Blog; Natasha from MooseandSquirrel.ca; Truepeers from Covenant Zone; and others to whom I am very grateful. You’ve all been wonderful, and I couldn’t have done it without you. And if I’m forgetting anybody to thank, it’s not out of malice but out of pure forgetfulness, and I apologise if that’s the case. Finally, of course, thank you to Scary Fundamentalist for his posting over the months.

Thank you to everybody who commented here to keep us – me primarily – in line, and to everyone who linked to this humble site and helped to make it what it was. Especially Binks at Free Canuckistan, and Mark and Connie at Free Dominion: you’ve been great; your encouragement was greatly appreciated.

And thank you, dear reader, for choosing us. I hope that under my oversight the Lynch Mob was able to entertain and inform you, and keep you involved in the HRC debate, in its own small way. And it’s not like we won’t be seeing each other again – drop on by my personal blog for the occasional post, some of which might just have to do with Canada’s HRCs, and maybe I’ll see you around the comments here as the resident alumnus.

Finally, I would just like to say to the contributors, my fellow bloggers, the commenters and the readers: keep fighting. We’re mad as hell, and we’re not gonna take it any more.


CHRC: Freedom of Information is Not a Right

January 28, 2010

The Canadian Taxpayer’s Federation has been rebuffed many times by the CHRC in their efforts to access details on the reporting discrepancies of Commissioner Jennifer Lynch’s expenses. After three requests for information in August 2009 were effectively stonewalled by the CHRC for months, the Information Commissioner has now deemed the CHRC to have “placed itself in a position of deemed refusal“.

We will soon find out the consequences, if any, that government agencies will have to bear when they flout Freedom of Information requests.


Lemire Decision Appealed

January 26, 2010

The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decision to acquit Marc Lemire of Section 13 transgressions on account of the unconstitutionality of the hate speech provisions has been appealed. Jennifer Lynch’s Commission is spearheading this challenge to federal court, in which they claim the following errors were made by the Tribunal:

1) The Tribunal erred when it examined the manner by which the Commission investigated the complaint.
2) The Tribunal erred when it refused to apply Section 13 and its related penalty provision 54(1) in its entirety when the constitutional concern was only over the penalty provision.

In regards to (1), I believe that it is the norm in real courts that if the constitutional rights of the accused were steamrolled by the investigators, the charges would be thro. After Lynch professed that the CHRC follows an ambiguous concept of “public service values and ethics” (rather than having their own ethics code), wouldn’t police procedures be included in that? It is highly unethical to categorically state before a crown that investigational tactics cannot be examined by the defence.

With regards to (2), Lynch is gnawing on the bone that Tribunal member Athanasios Hadjis threw to them – I believe Hajis saw how Section 13 was being abused and wanted no part of it, while realizing that the Supreme Court of Canada had already declared the section constitutional in the Taylor decision. True, Hadjis stated in his original decision that he refused to apply Sec 13 because of the penalty provision, sec 54(1), but a closer look at his findings indicated that he had Sec 13, not 54(1), squarely in his constitutional crosshairs. It is the proportionality clause in the Oakes Test, laid down by the Supreme Court of Canada, in which s. 13 is declared unconstitutional:

…there must be a proportionality between the effects of the measures which are responsible for limiting the Charter right or freedom, and the objective which has been identified as of “sufficient importance…

The SCC in Taylor stated that the only way that s. 13 is proportional is if it is pursued in a conciliatory manner, with or without the penalty provision in s. 54(1). As Hadjis states:

s. 13(1) has, since the 1998 amendments, lost the exclusively compensatory and preventative features that characterized it in the eyes of the majority in Taylor

The Commission pursued this investigation at the outset in a punitive, penalty-focused manner. It is very likely that the complainant would not have brought this complaint if it was not for the penalty provisions he could inflict upon the defendant.

Lynch’s waste of our tax dollars must be stopped.

h/t BCF (Cross-posted at SF)


Appealing to a Lower Court

January 25, 2010

Another case of a complainant going grievance shopping and finding the mother of all bargains: the human rights tribunal:

MONTREAL – Two Montreal police constables have been censured for unjustified arrest, illegal detention and assault against an Ontario St. E. beauty salon operator.

But the Police Ethics Committee, which acts as a tribunal, this week cleared Constables Stéphane Boucher and François Plamondon of racism, disrespect and negligence for the health and safety of Jean-Paul Ounabakidi.
[…]
The committee has yet to recommend sanctions, following which the officers may launch an appeal. Ounabakidi has also filed a complaint to the Quebec Human Rights Commission.

Considering the immense burden of proof required to prove that unconscious racism exists in white police officers, Ounabakidi can start planning his retirement in the Caymans.


Chihuahua Thrown Out of OHRT

January 24, 2010

As much as I’ve always wanted to throw one of those little yap-dogs out the door, it is more satisfying to see this case get thrown out instead.

A fight over a chihuahua described as a disabled man’s service dog has been dismissed by the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.

There is no evidence the dog or its owner’s disability was a factor in wanting them to leave a bulk food store in Carleton Place, Ont., said the ruling by tribunal vice-chair Leslie Reaume.

Alex Allarie of Carleton Place filed the complaint against Keith and Leslie Rouble, the owners of the Granary Bulk and Natural Foods, after he and his tiny dog, Dee-O-Gee, were asked to leave the store in August 2008.
[…]
Allarie said he hasn’t yet received the document but was aware the case was dismissed and plans to appeal.

Great. Where is he going to appeal to? A real court? Good luck with that.


Times Like These…

January 20, 2010

It is forced upon one that there is a beautiful trade going the way of the buggy makers. The honourable art and science of being a satirist.

A satirist (for those Liberals who don’t get it) is someone who exaggerates reality. Today, you cannot exaggerate reality.

A while ago I could have probably gotten some few chuckles if I had suggested that someone who publicly calls for the random (or not) murder of (Jewish) civilians could get the government to take seriously his hate speech complaint against someone who (accurately) quoted a couple of imams.

Then again I might not have. Some people like wild exaggerations about the culture of politically correctness and the tone deafness of certain types of activists. Others don’t like satire that they feel is just so inaccurate it’s tasteless. I wouldn’t have blamed anyone for thinking that joke fell into the second category.

Until it happened of course.

So now what do we satirize? Do we make silly jokes about women having the right to be forced to wear sleeves? Oh yeah. Not so much.

However I’ll bet I can come up with something funny given enough time. What if I said this;

“Who cares what you observe. Just because something’s true doesn’t make it legal to talk about it. Idiot.”

Then again why would I make that up when I could just quote this.

““It is irrelevant whether Wilder’s witnesses might prove Wilders’ observations to be correct”, the ‘Openbaar Ministerie’ stated, “what’s relevant is that his observations are illegal”.”

I tell you, it’s a dying trade.

But although some people like to compare satirists to rats (and they don’t think about rats the way the Vinyl Cafe’s Rat-a-Tat-Tat does, or even Ratatouille) they are slower to abandon a sinking ship. Some might even say they swim out to sinking ships so that they can go down with them in style but those people have agendas (cue creepy music). Usually trying to advance their career in liberal satire (I’m told it exists but is indistinguishable from liberal serious debate).

So here are some satirical predictions for 2010. And if anyone brings a hate speech charge against me for them, well, I may just have to mail them an English Writing Dictionary 101 (35.99 + tax and you can pay Liberal 7% tax)

The Imam who called for the murder of homosexuals will lodge a HR complaint against the blogger who complained about him on the grounds that that complaint was discriminatory. It was discriminatory because the only reason the blogger brought the case was that the Imam was Muslim. The Tribunal will find him (Imam) a credible witness.

Richard Warman will win the Order of Canada for anti-racism activism. This will mark the first time in Canadian history that someone simultaneously wins a national anti-racism award and is under investigation for racist hate speech.

Jennifer Lynch will lose it in public and will scream at a panel of MPs to get the * out of her Dominion. Said committee will vote to expand the CHRC budget and powers.

Someone will blow up a clogged airport security line while waiting to be frisked. (Okay so everyone’s making this prediction)

Warren Kinsella will wake up one morning to find a Maple Leaf painted on his car by a bunch of irate soldiers. Kinsella will then hyperventilate about the possible offense said leaf might cause agoraphobia communist immigrants.

Warren Kinsella will make nasty remarks about my blog as a result of this prediction. (Okay so I hope this one comes true. I could use the traffic of conservatives who visit Kinsella’s blog to find out who is really worth reading.)

A Green Party member will blow up an airplane to reduce carbon emissions. The Greens will then throw a street party where they celebrate the end of racial/ethnic/religious profiling in airports and burn Mark Steyn and “those deniers” in effigy (as long as they can’t actually get their hands on Steyn and said “deniers”). May will issue a press statement about respecting diversity and the enthusiasm of youth.

All pro-life club members will have to attend mandatory diversity training run by a panel of Elmasry, Morgentaler, and Napolitano (on special loan). “Patients” will not be released until they can read the Toronto Star without screaming. Life sentences will be considered.

Bans on human sacrifice between consenting adults will be ruled unconstitutional by the courts.

Someone will try to shut down the blogosphere but will be deterred when Blazing Cat Fur and his pet competition buddies collect all feral cats in Toronto and dump them in said killjoy’s bedroom.

On Canada Day all flags are flown at half mast out of respect for Aboriginals. (Except in Newfoundland where they are already flown at half mast so they take them down the other half and send up the laundry)

Ignatieff will disappear and never be seen again except for randomly released videotapes taunting Canadians who are stupid enough to live through Canadian winters (At which point I may find myself agreeing with him so profoundly I could almost vote Liberal. Only if he promises to bring about massive global warming though)

HRT will decide that homeschooling a child is denying them a service (government education) based on discriminatory grounds (I’m guessing religion here).

Someone will kill a cartoonist or author and then bring charges against the dead man for inciting the hate crime of his own murder. Murderer will win.


You’re Using My Tax Dollars For This?

January 14, 2010

A business in the entertainment industry dares to specify different dress restrictions for men and women. Off to the Tribunal we go. An excellent use of the resources of the productive.

The nightclub has one set of dress restrictions for male customers and another for female. What a shocking public acknowledgment of biological truth. In our rightsish society, we cannot have the right to acknowledge the biological and clothing differences between male and female customers, truth be damned.

It is, indeed, a little more complicated than that. The nightclub insists on sleeves for male customers in order to cut down on the display of gang tattoos. The same rule does not apply to women, since they seldom, if ever, have such markings identifying them as having allegiance to a criminal organization. Women have the right to be treated like potential gangsters too, I guess.

Both the provincial Bar Watch association and the police want to intervene on behalf of the nightclub. Both organizations need to pay for lawyers and other personnel to travel and attend in order to fend of this ridiculous complaint.

How this is a human rights issue is beyond me. How people can ignore the flushing sound of their tax dollars going down the drain is even more confusing.

Cross-posted at SF