The Lynch List, 30-Jun-2010

June 30, 2010

Not too much on the HRC front:

First: At least employers are still able to dabble in a little nepotism without the Overwatch (Tribunal) getting involved. In fact, two Tribunal cases have penalized respondents who have established anti-nepotism policies, since they discriminate on the basis of family relationship.

Second: A letter-writer thinks that the Ontario Human Rights Commission should have participated in the G20 protests. I guess they would fit in nicely with all the other Marxist totalitarians.

Third: Crying Wolf, or at least Crying Human Rights Complaints:

A restaurant in Ottawa South attempted to dissuade potential patrons from bringing a three-month old baby into the restaurant at dinner time. From the news coverage, it wasn’t as though the group showed up with an existing reservation and were turned away. The dissuasion took place at the booking stage, giving the family significant warning to find a place that would be more receptive to infants.

And yet, the women who were turned away (and the journalist covering the story) believe there is a strong case to be made at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.  But what ever happened to the rights of people who wanted to eat in a restaurant and not listen to a crying baby or a restless toddler? Is it discrimination for restaurateurs to consciously and openly foster a more adult environment?


The Lynch List, 28-Jun-2010

June 28, 2010

As we move into the summer, it looks like the HRCs are slowing down too. Posting may be a bit more spotty for the next two months.

First: Remember when I predicted a housing shortage in Ontario? Apparently the current housing shortage is now reason for the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal to intervene further, and strike down zoning laws that may restrict the options for certain “protected” groups:

Kathy Laird, the executive director of the Human Rights Legal Support Centre that’s representing the Dream Team in its case against the City of Toronto and two other municipalities, says those provisions are discriminatory since they restrict options available to people with disabilities at a time of a housing shortage.

Second: CHRC lawyer Giaccomo Vigna is finishing up his libel civil case against Ezra Levant for some colorful blog postings. Xanthippa has a run-down of the body language of the participants.

Third: A decent editorial that argues that the Molnar B&B complaint will probably go the complainant’s way, using the argument that pious Christians tend to pick and choose the religious tenets that they discriminate on:

If the couple had established their B&B as a closely monitored temple of virtue, perhaps I would be more sympathetic, otherwise I’ll reserve my right to assume (perhaps unfairly) that their refusal was less the product of a strict adherence to a sincere religious conviction as much as to their strong personal belief that homosexuality is “icky”.  Ultimately, I have difficulty conceiving of the mere act of catering to gay couples, without more, as a compelled violation of religious belief.

…to which I respectfully disagree. A bed and breakfast is an intimate setting in which the owner basically invites the customer(s) into his house as a guest. Such an invitation is clearly more than a mere “catering” to a gay couple.

Fourth: An indecent editorial that, besides calling concerned parents paranoid bigots, reports that the Alberta Education Board has turned the tables on the religious community over Bill 44, insisting that the Catholic Schools should be taken to the Human Rights Commission if they teach religion without giving parents the option to opt their children out. When you can’t beat’em, join’em, right?

Fifth: The federal government is trying to destroy the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, says a lawyer. Really? Great!!!


The Lynch List, 23-Jun-2010

June 23, 2010

Onward…

First: If you thought NDP MP Libby Davies couldn’t do anything stupider than deny Israel’s right to exist, she now wants to forbid the public’s ability to discriminate on the basis of social condition. She also wants judges to increase the sentences for criminals whose crimes are suspected to be motivated by the victim’s social condition. Besides employing yet another army of lawyers to probe every orifice of this vague term for financial advantage, it gives the Human Rights tribunals a fresh source of complaints to keep them busy and their agencies growing.

Second: The Tribunal has decided to exclude cameras from the hearing into the complaint between aboriginal social service agencies and the federal government. This isn’t anything new, the CHRT has even excluded the public for several hearings to try and restrict the ability of the public to keep tabs on them. But this time, it’s the complainant that wants the cameras. Take note of the results of the appeal – it will set a precedent for the rest of us.

Third: If you don’t like the way the police handle complaints against their forces, you’ve got a recourse at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal – but only if you’re black.

Fourth: Scaramouche quotes Thomas Sowell with regards to the professional grievance industry, including this gem:

The kind of society to which that leads is one in which a newborn baby enters the world supplied with prepackaged grievances against other babies born the same day. It is hard to imagine anything more conducive to internal strife and a weakening of the bonds that hold society together.


The Lynch List, 21-Jun-2010

June 21, 2010

Here we go…

First and foremost: a speech from Lynch herself at a panel discussion for the Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals conference is making waves in the blogs. Wow – it reminds me of a little book called The Prince. Let me start you off with a quote that seems to be lifted straight from a 1950’s dystopian novel:

We are facing a new challenge, where some individuals, are seeking to erode trust in public institutions by spreading campaigns of misinformation that dishonestly attack the practices and the people in these institutions.

A crisis, however manufactured, cannot go to waste. She goes on:

Of course, we don’t have the right not to be offended; however the question is: how do we respond to untruths that go unchecked? What do we do when editorial boards and parliamentarians innocently repeat inaccurate information?  In short, how does an administrative tribunal or agency manage its reputation in the face of misinformation, personal attacks and innuendo?

This is a serious concern. The public’s respect for an institution – and by default its legitimacy – is inextricably linked to its ability to provide the most vulnerable with access to justice.

[…]

The Commission has seen this first hand. We have spent considerable energy trying to repair our reputation after bloggers – who misrepresented the Commission and the administrative justice system as a whole – were able to influence the tone of the discussion.

Lynch goes on to lay out the CHRC’s strategy to regain the public trust. This includes:

1) Submitting reports to parliament that reprimands them for not taking the CHRC’s side

2) Bullying journalists

3) Navel-gazing with sympathetic organizations so they can avoid criticism.

Ezra Levant also took notice of the speech and pointed out that one of the “sympathetic organizations” named is the anti-Semitic Canadian Islamic Congress.

Steyn’s comments on it here!

Second: There’s one more strategy that Lynch is using to sway public opinion – that she neglected to mention in her speech. Get lawyers who are enriched by the Commission to write op-eds in the CHRC’s defence! Kiss the hand that feeds!

Third: You know that the common understanding of human rights has significantly devolved when you read statements like this:

Opponents of human rights like to point out individual rights are more important.

Um, humans are individuals, no? Sigh…


The Lynch List, 18-Jun-2010

June 18, 2010

Some light weekend reading…

First: The CHRC is out for Terry Tremaine’s blood again, hauling him in front of Federal Court on accusations that he breached the conditions placed on him by the Tribunal – rather brazenly, too. It is interesting to see in this case how the CHRC is flexing its legal muscle in order to keep the screws on the racists, since it could always turn its attention to bear on other perceived speech and thought crimes…

Second: The BC case of the complaint against a Christian Bed&Breakfast operators for refusing to welcome gays into their home has some parallels in Britain. Two separate cases are underway in Britain, in which gays are suing Christian B&B owners for refusing to let them, er, sleep in their homes.

Third: What would happen to the nasty anti-Semite Salman Hossain if the CHRC didn’t exist? Exactly what’s happening now – nothing. A little choosy with our targets, aren’t we?


The Lynch List, 16-Jun-2010

June 16, 2010

It’s eerily quiet on the front…

First: I didn’t exactly need Rabble to tell me this, but the true purpose of the Charter and the Human Rights Commissions is actually to destroy the Christian Right. Glad to see we’re on the same page.

Second: The Laval school board has been found guilty of not discriminating enough – or, in HRC newspeak, guilty of discrimination against the disabled.

Third: Barbara Hall defines racism. Poorly.

And Fourth: Next excuse that the Human Rights Tribunals will use to manufacture rights: “like, this stuff is part of my religion, man


The Lynch List, 14-Jun-2010

June 14, 2010

Here’s a big one for you today:

First: I’d like to request that the Globe and Mail edits their headlines to be a little closer to reality. How about “Hate Crimes Reporting Up By One-Third“?

Note that this statistic measures reported crimes, not real crimes. We have no indication that the number of hate crimes has actually increased.

I don’t doubt for a minute that the apparent increase in hate crimes reporting is due in part to the Human Rights Commission’s stumping for complaints. The promotion of their “services” encourages people to become oversensitive victims with a chip on their shoulder. In addition, the Commissions have been twisting the ear of the police forces for some time, which must have an effect on how they approach the reporting of hate crimes.

Second: Remember the Tribunal decision against the Downtown Vancouver Business Development Association that was reversed in a real court? The Tribunal had slapped Director Charles Gauthier with a $2000 fine for daring to give an interview to the media, and the BC Supreme Court had reversed the ruling and awarded costs to Gauthier.

The Pivot Legal Society, always looking for another way to squander the DVBIA’s money, has decided to appeal the ruling. (More from Jesse Ferreras)

Third: Clearing up some of the confusion on the subject of absolute privilege, it’s something that appears to cut both ways at the Tribunal. Normally, absolute privilege protects a person making a legal submission from civil action (defamation) on anything stated therein.

The Tribunal has declared that submissions to it by applicants and respondents are subject to absolute privilege, i.e. either party can slag the other with malicious and untruthful statements during the proceedings of a complaint, and not be afraid of a defamation suit. So it does appear that a respondent has absolutely no recourse to frivolous and malicious complaints against him/her, especially considering that the Tribunal will not award costs. This is a free license for libel.

At the same time, various other documents, such as eviction notices, are also subject to absolute privilege against defamation. Since the Tribunal honors absolute privilege in its proceedings, it cannot accept these documents as evidence for any breach of the Code. So if you are going to slag someone on prohibited grounds, do it in the context of a legal document and you can’t be held liable.

Fourth: A joint letter from various First Nations groups (and KAIROS, but I digress) asserts that Canadians don’t have a right to govern themselves. International law takes precedence over silly concepts like “freedom” and “democracy”.

Fifth: Walker Morrow continues his ascending writing career at Enter Stage Right: “Speaking of Freedom