The Lynch List, 17-Nov-2010

A big, long Lynch List for you today. Pull up a chair and enjoy!

First: A former employee of the 100 Mile House Dairy Queen is given the royal $51,000 treatment after being wrongfully dismissed – no, not by some employment tribunal which is specifically tasked and equipped to handle employment disputes such as these, but by a hopelessly biased BC Human Rights Tribunal with an outgoing chair, Heather McNoughton, who seems to be dishing out as much as she can before her contract runs out.

Second: My favorite HRC columnist, Howard Levitt, on Ontario’s human rights system:

It has proven to be yet another expensive ideological boondoggle for the Ontario taxpayer in many respects.

A great read.

Third: Another editorial on the HRC’s, this time by Derek James from the Canadian Constitution Foundation:

This is precisely how our human rights commissions have a profound chilling effect. Encumbering a person with 10 years of legal uncertainty is a backdoor means of making freedom of expression so costly that Canadians will choose to keep silent. How did Canada get to this point? We have failed to remember the lessons of the past.

Fourth: The Tyee, about as unbiased on the HRC’s as I am, gives a belated report on the BCLI response to BC’s proposal to axe the BCHRT in favor of an employment super-tribunal. Some great head-in-the-sand quotes, first from labour kingpin Jim Sinclair, unhappy that his members’ gravy train is under scrutiny (emphasis mine):

It’s a small group of employers who want to get rid of the tribunal in its current form, said Sinclair. While they drove the review, the provincial government supported them far enough to turn it over to the BCLI, he said.

I’m not an employer. Are you an employer? Another from BC Human Rights Coalition spokesperson Robyn Durling, whose organization benefits considerably from the human rights racket via tax dollars:

Durling argued for making the tribunal more independent of the government, providing more assistance to people making complaints and creating a centre to offer more education on human rights.

Fifth: Liberal MP Raymonde Folco is spearheading an effort to have the Canadian Human Rights Act amended to make any mandatory retirement provisions illegal. After all, I feel very safe when the pilot of my airliner requires a walker to get into the cockpit…

Sixth: Another bill making its way through the House will introduce a panoply of ways for the CHRT to make life miserable for federally-regulated businesses. The bill seeks to add “gender identity” and “gender expression” as prohibited grounds of discrimination. Next on the docket: Mrs. Smith to be fined and forced to repent for getting a little upset when she and her three-year-old daughter found a naked man, claiming to be a pre-op,  in the women’s changeroom…

Seventh: You think that medical universities have the authority to define entrance requirements into their residency programs? Hah! That’s the Quebec HRC’s privelege now, suckers!

Eighth: “Family status”: the gift to the HRCs that just keeps on giving (emphasis mine):

In years past, an employer’s reaction to an employee imposing family-related restrictions on his or her availability might have been to send the employee packing.

That is, of course, because employers need employees to be available for work and feel that regular attendance is one of the inviolable obligations of employment.

Employees, on the other hand, wish to protect their sphere of freedom and to reserve adequate time to attend to family-related obligations.

The tension between the employer’s needs and the employee’s wishes is at the heart of the family status tug-of-war.

Ninth: The Ontario Human Rights Commission has launched a survey to confirm their biases learn more about the barriers that the mentally disabled face. Note the implicit assumption that the barriers exist.


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