So what were the HRCs up to over the weekend?
First, the Commissions and the Tribunals are slowly but inexorably replacing democracy with autocracy. We saw it in Ontario with the Tribunals arbitrarily defining public policy with the food supplement program. Another example is in BC with public education. Parents are launching complaints over funding for special educational programs for their kids, insisting that it is their right for specialized treatment on the taxpayer’s dime.
This began in 2005 when Rick Moore won a Tribunal decision that took decision-making over education programs for special needs students out of the hands of elected politicians, and under the power of the Tribunal. Luckily, our court system spotted this for the abuse of power it was. The Supreme Court of BC was quite scathing in overturning the decision:
The Tribunal was not correct in its identification of the service that was customarily available to the public. The service that is customarily available to the public that is the subject matter of this claim is special education services provided to special needs students. This error permeated the whole of the discrimination analysis so that the Tribunal was also incorrect in its selection of the appropriate comparator group.
Now that Mr. Moore is pursuing his case to the Supreme Court of Canada, supported by completely impartial groups such as the Teachers Union, parents of learning-disabled children are waiting with bated breath to see if a whole new Human Rights gravy train will be opened to them.
Second, the BC Human Rights Tribunal doesn’t need no stinkin jurisdiction, at least when it doesn’t suit its purposes. The Tribunal had pushed ahead with the hearing without establishing its jurisdiction over the case, but when Guy Earle’s lawyer, James Millar, applied to have the case heard before the Supreme Court on constitutional grounds, tribunal member Geiger-Adams cited jurisdictional issues to deny the request. Convenient.
Fourth, commentary on the Human Right to Display Bad Table Manners in Public. Tasha Kheiriddin from the National Post:
Indeed, I would say that this latest incident teaches us this lesson: demands for cultural sensitivity have gone completely overboard when an issue of table manners winds up in front of a publicly-funded administrative body.
Scaramouche opines on the same topic, in which the suddenly rich mother states, “Hopefully it’s all over and now we can move on”. In other words, please, please, don’t appeal to a real court, just ignore the fact that I’ve just gouged the taxpayer for frivolous reasons and move on.
Fifth, the BC Human Rights Tribunal will decide whether you have the right to practice medicine while suffering from mental illnesses that university medical faculties deem to be “debilitating”. Pretty soon you’ll be wheeled into the surgical suite, wondering if your surgeon has an anxiety disorder…