Only two stories for you today, but both are big ones.
First: The Human Rights Act and its provincial Codes were largely meant to govern human rights abuses with respect to employment, accommodation, and the provision of services. Section 13 and its provincial versions was the only exception, in that it extended the reach of the Commissions and Tribunals into the press and public discourse. But were they ever intended to apply to private conversations between individuals?
They do now, apparently. A Quebec man has been fined $12,000 for uttering homo-“phobic” slurs to his neighbors, a gay couple. The court described the respondent’s conduct as “harassment”. While the Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which empowers their Tribunal, is a considerably different beast than most other provincial Codes, you can bet that Tribunals across the country are salivating at the thought of prosecuting every private conversation that runs afoul of their politically-correct spidey-sense.
Second: I have had discussions before about the very nature and philosophy of human rights, specifically if rights are at all extinguishable. In the 18th century, the pioneers of the terminology explicitly recognized that one’s rights were forfeit once the holder placed himself in a “state of war” with his neighbor. For example, if Bob steals a dollar from Jim, then Bob’s right to property is no longer valid with respect to the stolen dollar that is within his possession.
Likewise, it was recognized that a murderer no longer has any claim to his right to life, much less his liberty or property, since he took the life of another.
But things are different in this day and age. A cop-killer, in jail for life, has been awarded $9500 from Correctional Services Canada for being forced to stand up while the prisoners were counted. This award was on the basis of disability – poor Mr. Collins had back pain, and it was inhumane to make him to stand up during head-count.
What is inhumane is the cold-blooded murder of Constable Utman and the bereavement of his wife and children, you disgusting piece of filth. It is only by the benevolence and mercy of the society around you that your worthless carcass still draws breath.
If you have ever needed a more compelling reason to get rid of these Tribunals, here it is.
(h/t Arthur Weinrab)