First, there is some discussion between Human Rights tribunals and the courts on whether the Human Rights Code protects recreational marijuana smokers. The Ontario Court of Appeal says it does, and refusing employment on this basis is discriminatory. In a dramatic role-reversal, the tribunals in BC and Ontario both say that recreational marijuana use does not constitute a disability and therefore may be discriminated against.
The official CHRC drug testing policy states,
Despite these decisions, the issue of whether casual or recreational users are protected under human rights legislation is still a matter of debate and has not been settled to a degree of certainty by the Courts. The Courts have said that the grounds of prohibited discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act are to be given a large, liberal and remedial interpretation, and they are to be interpreted and applied in accordance with the purposes they serve.
In another employment-related case, a complaint was denied in the BCHRT to a father who was fired for suddenly refusing overtime due to family obligations. Once again, the case law has muddied the waters around this one, leaving lawyers to speculate,
So where does that leave employers, given that the law remains uncertain? Proceeding with caution.
See a pattern here? The more unclear the laws are, the more leeway the human rights commissions have in investigating and forwarding complaints to the tribunal. In the absence of clear and concise laws, the power is consolidated more and more into the hands of the tribunal members to pick and choose the criminals and innocents. One might think that Dr. Ferris himself is running the Commissions.
Second, Abdur-Rashid Balogun, who self-identifies as a “black, African muslim” had his application to the Canadian Forces delayed and finally denied by a credit check problem. Following Tarmourpour’s stellar example of turning one’s own inadequacies into human rights violations in the military, Balogun launched a human rights complaint. He was denied all the way to the
OntarioFederal Court of Appeal, where he was tossed out and stuck with the Canadian Force’s legal bill. Yes, sometimes justice can be found in Canada. Also noted by BCF.
Third, Rob Breakenridge interviews comedian Guy Earle, of the lesbian-jokes-human-rights-complaint fame. Also noted by BCF and FFOF (you’d think they were married or something). The case is scheduled for an entire week from March 29 to April 2, case # 5338.
Finally, Jennifer Lynch supports an all-you-can-shoot-up program of free needles in Canadian prisons, why aren’t the mainstream media talking about the HRCs, Canadians not so keen on multiculturalism, and maybe the human rights police can investigate net household wealth disparities.
Parting Shot: Those who support hate speech laws in order to root out racism get a front-row seat to how a truly free society effectively deals with nasty racists. Not by laws, commissions, tribunals, fines, and jails, but rather by, as Jay Currie coined it, the “point-and-shun” method.