I’m baaaack. Lots happens when you’re offline for a few days.
First, an organization representing handicapped persons in Quebec is demanding that businesses be forced to install movable debit-card readers and keypads to allow better access for the disabled. They hope to bring a complaint to the Quebec Human Rights Commission to this effect. As is the case for most human rights complaints, reality is irrelevant:
Their efforts are pitting the rights of thousands of handicapped Quebecers against retailers’ security and cost concerns.
Last year, Quebec police urged retailers – especially dépanneurs, restaurants and gas stations – to replace movable debit-card readers, which were being unhooked and stolen. Criminals were using the devices to access bank-card data and customers’ PIN numbers.
Second, several Montreal residents are bringing complaints against the local transit police for harassing them because they were using the transit system without paying the fare. Since they happen to be a racial minority, they are bypassing the usual complaints process and are instead alleging “systemic racism” within the transit police, allowing them to bring their case before the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal, which will most likely be very sympathetic.
Aside from the obvious point that these individuals are not disputing that they were fare-dodging, and therefore can’t argue that they shouldn’t be subject to being questioned and fined by transit officials, this is one more instance of the human rights system being used by designated “vulnerable” groups to bypass existing complaint resolution mechanisms.
Also noted by BCF
Third, An op-ed by Ian Hunter in the National Post, concerning the evolution of human rights legislation. He points out the logical result of affirmative action, something that I have been saying for years:
The spread of the idea that an appropriate response to inequality is not to prohibit but to encourage the drawing of distinctions based upon race or colour or sex has been all-embracing. Decisions that were once required to be colour- or gender-blind, are now, by affirmative action, required to be based precisely on these factors. I well remember a university dean chortling to me about how he had just hired a “twofer” — a black female. The alchemy which transmuted what had formerly been an illegal act of bigotry into a socially encouraged exercise in affirmative action was simply the decision of a government agency that the result was socially desirable. The damage caused to passed-over candidates — passed over, be it noted, for factors over which they had no control — didn’t matter.
Fourth, Big Blue Wave reports that a Chinese couple was awarded $7000 for a racist assault by some youth. When there is no hope of the criminal justice system doing anything about the problem, at least you can get some justice if, and only if, you belong to a “protected group”. French news article is here.
Fifth, Joseph Brean reports on the arguments before Federal Court over the appeal of Marc Lemire’s Section 13 acquittal and subsequent finding of the unconstitutionality of Section 13.
The CHRC is expected to argue that, by severing the penalty provision, Section 13 can be saved.
Ms. Kulaszka argues in her brief this cannot be the case, because the penalty and victim compensation provisions “reflect the intent and objective of Parliament to chill, punish, and deter expression as set out in [Section 13]. They are the pith and substance of what Parliament wanted to attain in the legislative scheme around [Section 13].”
She argues even human right tribunals do not see Section 13 as purely remedial, citing decisions that describe “cease and desist” orders against hate speech respondents as having “symbolic” value as a “public denunciation.”
Sixth, An update on the Charmaine Archer complaint regarding the strip-search in the Ottawa airport that she says was motivated by racism.
Seventh, Blazing Cat Fur tried to get to the bottom of the CHRC regularly visiting his website. After an FOI request and five dollars, all he got was this lousy redaction. (Also noted by Unambig, Scaramouche, SDA, Xanthippa’s Chamberpot)
Eighth, Scaramouche notes that Karen Selick in the National Post reports on complainants-of-fortune trying to cash in on the transsexuals-in-the-changeroom brouhaha in Fulton’s fitness center. Selick accurately defines the term “shakedown”:
Many cases settle at the mediation stage, when the nature of the shakedown process is first revealed. Targets are told, in essence, “You can settle for $25,000 now or pay $200,000 in legal fees later. Take your pick.” Most pick settlement…
Finally, An old friend of this blog comments on the HRT decision forcing Elections Canada to improve access, the Human Rights Tribunal of BC interferes again in other legal proceedings, the OHRC is threatening Whole Foods of all companies, senior citizens have a human right to be firefighters, and girl’s sports teams in Maine will have to compete with gender-confused boys.