The Lynch List, 23-Feb-2011

First: The union representing most HRC workers in Canada, PSAC, has had its legal challenge dismissed in federal court. Under pressure by the Tribunal (whose workers are also members of PSAC), the federal government gave $3.6 billion of taxpayer dollars to settle a pay-equity complaint. The union wasn’t satisfied; it challenged the rules set out by the government as to retroactive taxation on the settlement cash. No dice, says the federal court. Maybe the real courts are immune to conflicts of interest…

Second: More commentary on the Saguenay case that is going to judicial review. From the Calgary Herald:

Hard to see how Simoneau’s freedom of conscience was breached, since it is unlikely Tremblay held a gun to Simoneau’s head and forced him to recite the prayer.

Third: A good comparison between Pakistan’s evolving blasphemy laws and Canada’s own weapon of censorship. From the Activate CFPL blog:

[Pakistan entered] on a less moderate path that incrementally altered the original British law until it became only illegal to criticize Islam, and then legislated that essentially an individual would be punished if simply accused by one other of criticizing the prophet Mohammed.

This is not dissimilar to the establishment of Human Rights Commissions to administer [the] Human Rights Codes in Canada. The commissions and legislation originally intended to encourage acceptance, or at least tolerance, for one another (not necessarily agreement or approval) have been twisted into weapons directed toward those who disagree or disapprove. Also similar, is the use of these laws by a minority of zealous activists to punish those who intend simply to live freely in a democracy based on their own conscience – and, often, innocent and harmless principles of belief.

Fourth: Mark Steyn not altogether comfortable with being labeled a “human rights activist” (scroll down)

A while back, Ezra Levant took part in his umpteenth “free speech” debate, and got put up against somebody labeled a “human rights activist”, which translated out of Trudeaupian means “taxpayer-funded identity-group hack in favor of giving the state more and more power to regulate every aspect of human existence”.

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