The Lynch List, 23-Jun-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.

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4 Responses to The Lynch List, 23-Jun-2010

  1. Kevin says:

    Just about every provincial Human Rights Act already includes social condition (or some equivalent term) as a prohibited ground of discrimination. It accounts for only a handful of complaints (less than 1% of total complaints in Ontario).

  2. Kevin:

    Once Ontario’s HRC “read it into” their Code, it has resulted in the Commission releasing guidelines to landlords that they are not allowed to discriminate based on the prospective tenant’s ability to pay. Genius. Mortgages are next. Just what our economy needs.

    Just so everyone is clear, I did a survey of the Codes:
    BC: nothing
    Alberta: “source of income”
    Saskatchewan: “receipt of public assistance”
    Manitoba’s: “source of income”
    Ontario: “receipt of public assistance”
    Quebec: “social condition”
    PEI: “source of income”
    New Brunswick: “social condition”
    Nova Scotia: “source of income”
    Newfoundland: nothing

  3. Kevin says:

    I don’t know what you mean by “read it in”. The words “receipt of public assistance” are right there.

    Also, the Commission’s guidelines aren’t something they made up, they just summarize the government’s regulation on the issue:
    http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/regs/english/elaws_regs_980290_e.htm

    Also, nothing says you can’t consider ability to pay. In fact, they expressly say you *can* consider ability to pay–i.e. whether someone has enough income to cover the rent. You just can’t discriminate against people who are poor, but *can* cover the rent.

  4. Here’s the OHRC guidelines:

    “You can only use income information to confirm the person has enough income to cover the rent. Unless you are providing subsidized housing, it is illegal to apply a rent-to-income ratio such as a 30% cut-off rule.”

    Having enough income to cover the rent and ability to pay the rent are not the same thing. I’m sure we can both agree that if a person’s rent is 95% of his income, that he obviously doesn’t have the ability to pay it. What human right am I transgressing if I apply a cut-off?

    It doesn’t have anything to do with receipt of public assistance, since there can be poor people who are not on the dole (and rich people who are on it). Instead, it has everything to do with “reading in” social condition (being poor) as a prohibited ground of discrimination.

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