First: So a school board in Ontario wants to create a specialized school in which the children of post-secondary educated parents are barred from attending. Paolo Miele intends to launch a human rights complaint against the school board for discrimination on the basis of family status, but the Commission has already prejudged the case:
While Miele plans to challenge a board-specific policy, Pascale Demers, spokeswoman for the Ontario Human Rights Commission, said the school is permitted under the Ontario Human Rights Code.
“The code permits implementing special programs designed to relieve hardship or economic disadvantage or to assist disadvantaged persons to achieve or attempt to achieve equal opportunity, so there’s no clear ground here,” she said.
“Socio-economic status is not a ground under the Ontario Human Rights Code. The party would have to make an argument about why it’s discriminatory under family status.”
Socio-economic status is not a ground under the Code? So how do you justify your policy on rental housing in which you forbid landlords to discriminate on the basis of income?
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.
Let’s see what the OHRC says about my plan to establish a public-funded school in which only the children of college graduates are allowed to attend.
Second: Interestingly, the Manitoba Human Rights Commission denied an application by a woman who was fired for shaving her head, reasoning that she had done it voluntarily. But all is not lost for the complainant:
Scarth said a waitress could file a human rights complaint if her male counterparts were allowed to shave their heads while females were not. Lozinski hinted she may take that route because she believes she wouldn’t have been fired if she were a man.
I wonder if the same reasoning can be used to throw out complaints based on addictions, on religion, on family status, on criminal status, and even on sexual orientation, all of which are believed by many to be voluntary choices. Ah, but it’s only the Commission’s definition of “voluntary” that matters here.
Third: Some see the OHRC’s campaign to mandate “equity and inclusive education” as an attempt to control the thoughts of Ontario’s schoolchildren. While even I won’t go into body-snatching rhetoric, the OHRC certainly knows the weak points in which they can pursue their pet ideological projects – the schools.
Fourth: Gulp. The courts in the Yukon are worse than their Tribunal. It is an incredible story with lots of twists and turns. A man with a long list of criminal convictions was contracted by the government at the behest of his wife – a government employee – and then subsequently fired because other employees complained. His wife was also fired for concealing his criminal record when she recommended him. Both are pursuing human rights complaints, and a re-hearing of the husband’s case was ordered by the court after the Tribunal dismissed the complaint.
Canada – where criminals have all the rights and the victims only get a museum.
Vikki Bell, Registrar at the Human Rights Tribunal, confirmed that women who feel that they have been harassed or inappropriately denied reasonable accommodation to breastfeed their child in public (including stores) can file a complaint under the sex discrimination part of the Human Rights Code.
Interestingly, the Attorney General’s Human Rights in British Columbia, Sexual Discrimination and Harassment that describes what kind of discrimination is illegal also says the law “protects people against discrimination in printed publications.” (Have you read the Human Rights Act, Vancouver Sun?)
To this I will echo my continual rebuke to the rights-gestapo – just because you have a right to do it (breastfeed in public without any attempt at modesty, using furniture being advertised for sale) doesn’t make it polite – and doesn’t make criminals out of those who object.