The Lynch List, 31-May-2010

The last Lynch List for May…

First: A B.C. Human Rights Tribunal will be asked today to decide whether a homeless person has a right to sit down on a sidewalk without being harassed by private security guards. Of course, the Tribunal would never rule on whether common citizens have the right to walk the streets without being harassed by homeless people, but I think we all knew that.

“Sidewalks are the issue,” said John Richardson, executive director of the Pivot Legal Society, on Sunday. “An important part of security guards’ job is removing the homeless from downtown. There have been hundreds of illegal removals.”

The two-year-old complaint was brought against the Vancouver Ambassadors, a privately funded security organization, whose mandate is to address “quality of life” issues such as panhandling, littering and illegal vending.

“When a super-marginalized homeless person is just sitting down because they are not doing well, tremendous harm is created when they are removed,” said Ann Livingston, a volunteer with the Vancouver Area Network Drug Users, which is a co-complainant with Pivot.

That’s the first I heard of yet a new level of privileged status before the state: super-marginalized. Do they get more rights than the ordinary marginalized?

Second: Christie Blatchford on the Tribunal complaints against Ontario ombudsman Andre Marin:

And now these complaints to the Human Rights Tribunal, which appear far less about discrimination and a culture of fear than about a demanding boss and a campaign of productivity. Should this tribunal really be hearing complaints from people so fragile they count good mornings?

Third: The Gator Ted’s dilemma has now gone all the way up to our federal Health Minister. Ted is the bar owner who was hauled before a Tribunal for asking a medical marijuana smoker on his premises to butt out – which is required of him by the province’s liquor laws.

Fourth: Mark Steyn notes the long, slow death of Section 13 and a note of encouragement for all of us:

From time to time I get e-mails from supporters of Ezra and me in our battles against the Canadian thought police wondering whether the campaign’s worth it. Yes, it is. The wheels of kangaroo “justice” grind exceeding slow, but two-and-a-half years after we began this thing, Section 13 is unenforceable and suspended – and not just for noisy, deep-pocketed types like me and Maclean’s but for no-account, nickel-and-dime hatemongers, too.

Fifth: Charles Lewis at the National Post on the confusion caused by the Christian Horizons decision

Finally, Americans look to Canada for examples of what censorship is like, maybe Ali Mallah will bring his racism complaint against Blazing Cat Fur to the OHRT, and the Nanaimo Minor Hockey Association caves to the BCHRT.

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3 Responses to The Lynch List, 31-May-2010

  1. It is the responsibility of the government to keep the sidewalks safe. This is a delicate issue needs to addressed with a human touch.

  2. Primarily, it is the responsibility of the individual to refrain from actions that adversely affect the safety of others. At the same time, it is each person’s right to act against those who are threatening their own, or their customer’s, safety. We may task our government with keeping our sidewalks safe, but what happens when they fail to do their job?

    I agree that it is a delicate issue. The livelihoods of many downtown business owners are at stake, but at the same time we must keep restrictions to the liberty of all (not just the homeless) to a minimum. I don’t trust the Human Rights Tribunal to make an appropriate distinction.

  3. […] LOTSA HRC NEWS– The Lynch List, 31-May-2010; The Lynch List, 27-May-2010 …. […]

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