The Lynch List, 30-Aug-2010

First: Out of Quebec, it’s now a human right to be transported to school – from anywhere. A Catholic School Board has to pay an autistic student $13,000 after it refused to transport him 33 kilometers from his therapist to an afternoon kindergarten program every day. The Tribunal simply laughed at the precedent that this would set:

The board argued the cost of providing transportation to or from therapy could “substantially affect” its viability.

If all students with a disability received special needs transportation to attend therapy, as many at 11,700 could qualify at a potential cost of more than $23 million, the board’s lawyer told the tribunal.

Second: Straight from the mouth of Barbara Hall: Teasing and Taunting are Human Rights Violations (read the comments):

Teasing and taunting may sound minor, but they can also be considered harassment under the Ontario Human Rights Code if it is related to a ground of discrimination — such as disability, race, sex or sexual orientation.

Third: In the ongoing saga between Xstrata and the McIvors, it looks like mob tactics are next:

The injured, laid-off Xstrata Nickel worker is optimistic a meeting with company officials Monday morning will get him his job back at the Anglo-Swiss miner.

In case it doesn’t, McIvor, his wife Vicky, a couple of other injured, laid-off workers and their supporters have planned a rally for Tuesday afternoon to ensure their voices are heard.

Expect this one to be in the OHRT in the new year.

Fourth: Check out this job posting for a Human Rights Agitator Advocate:

The Advocate provides and assists with advocacy in Human Rights cases – primarily with complaints to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal. Due to recent cuts in legal aid and the general disintegration of services and funding, many non-profit agencies are struggling to keep up with the demand – responding to the effects of systemic discrimination is very challenging for one advocate. The time sensitive nature of the processes and the limited number of advocacy hours requires knowledge of community resources and alternative means of advocacy and expression is key to ensuring the greatest success for individuals.

If you want an idea of the mindset of the organization, check out their politically correct address at the bottom.

Fifth: Here’s a funny one. The BCHRT is refusing to accommodate one of its ideal complainants, one who will ensure reams of complaints in the future. The complainant is non-ambulatory and suffers from hyperacusis, an over-sensitivity to sound, and therefore has a “right to accommodation” from everyone within earshot. Yet the Human Rights Tribunal won’t accommodate the complainant’s demands to serve him hand and foot. What’s that cliche about a dose of one’s own medicine?


4 Responses to The Lynch List, 30-Aug-2010

  1. Kevin says:

    re: Catholic School Board

    I think context is everything. In this case, the School Board had a practice of providing transportation to and from daycare facilities, and in fact provided it for over half of its students. This particular kid couldn’t attend a licensed daycare facility because of his disability, but attended a care facility specific to autistic kids. I think the ruling is that if you have a policy of transporting kids, you can’t administer it in a way that arbitrarily excludes disabled kids.

  2. Kevin:

    Yes, the context is within a service that the Catholic school board provides in this case, but one that I speculate is essential to their very existence. Schools that draw their enrollment from a particular religion and/or those seeking alternative education methods require a larger catchment area, say 10-15 km in urban settings as opposed to 1-2 km for public schools. This usually necessitates a school-run transportation system in order to make it feasible for such a distance. In extending the pickup/dropoff criteria to daycare facilities, the assumption is that the facilities will be located very close to home and therefore wouldn’t require a vast expansion of the bus network. After all, this is Quebec with state-funded daycare.

    This case is not about exclusion, it’s about reasonable accommodation. The autistic kid was attending therapy, not a care facility, and so fell outside of the school’s policy, which was purposely designed to avoid situations in which the parents treated the bus system as a taxi system. The Tribunal has used its “reasonable accommodation” big stick to force the boards to provide such a taxi system to disabled kids.

    If there’s any “exclusion”, it’s for non-disabled kids who don’t get to demand the bus system around for their activities and appointments.

  3. Kevin says:

    I don’t think “close to home” was a factor; the Board said distance wasn’t a factor in its decision.

    The Board’s policy allowed kids to be picked up from a caregiver, rather than from home. The Tribunal found that this facility was, for all intents and purposes, a caregiver. (Thus still avoiding the prospect of parents using the bus system as a taxi system.) If it had been his grandparent’s house, a baby-sitter, or a licensed daycare, the kid would have been picked up. But because he went to the only caregiver he could attend with his disability, the policy arbitrarily excluded him.

  4. […] LYNCH MOBBERY– The Lynch List, 30-Aug-2010; The Lynch List, 24-Aug-2010; The holiday version of the Lynch […]

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