Better a little late than never.
First: The hemmhoraging at the federal Tribunal continues. The federal Commission is now publicly reprimanding the Tribunal for this one. Good thing the Commission knows its place.
In a case that is guaranteed to be appealed to federal court, the Tribunal has been asked to rule on whether the federal government should be forced to increase the amount that child welfare programs receive on-reserve. While the feds have the constitutional authority to figure out their own funding formula, the First Nations argue that they have a human right to the same per-child amounts set by each provincial government.
This is clearly unconstitutional, and the Tribunal wouldn’t be able to give any sort of politically-correct decision satisfactory to the First Nations without triggering a constitutional challenge from the Feds. So even if the Tribunal wasn’t completely dysfunctional, it would understandably be dragging its heels on this case in which it would have to bite at least one of the hands that feeds it.
Bottom line: the Canadian Human Rights Act has been unconstitutional right from the get-go. Time to get rid of it.
Second: Kevin Libin delves a little deeper into the case of the serial hugger: that the root of the disagreement was over wages, not hugging. Only after attending a human-rights clinic in order to recover her statutory holiday pay did she launch a human rights complaint – partly on the basis of religion (Mr. Petres was, kinda, New-Age-like and stuff). In conclusion, Libin states:
The tribunal did find that the hugs were inappropriate, and they might well have been. But, again, sexual molestation is serious business. And not just for the people it happens to, but for the person being accused of committing it. For those reasons, it requires a serious forum where the bar for legitimacy of evidence is set at least moderately high. It requires a judge who’s going to determine its validity on more than the testimony of a man claiming to be a Jedi knight.
More from Adrian McNair
Third: CN has decided to proceed with only one of the three women in the landmark case against it requiring it to discriminate on the basis of family status. While I’m sure it’s more efficient to proceed with the case most likely to succeed, it would be kind of nice if a company the size of CN could foot the legal bill to defend the principle of the thing. Alas, when lawyers get involved…
Fourth: Commentary in the Toronto Sun about the Supreme Court’s refusal to allow someone to launch a class-action defamation lawsuit on behalf of all members of a particular race:
But in a 6-1 decision in mid-February, our top court judges ruled the group defamation lawsuit couldn’t succeed. In reaching this conclusion the court solidified the law that no one is entitled to compensation “solely because he or she is a member of a group about which offensive comments have been made…”
Having recognized freedom of expression trumps groups from seeking financial compensation for feelings of humiliation, isn’t it time to address the human rights code counterpart to group defamation lawsuits?
I’m referring to the often criticized section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act and its provincial counterparts which prohibit various forms of communications that are “likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt by reason of the fact that that person or those persons are identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.”
This vague prohibition is all the more chilling as it is enforced by professional human rights experts rather than judges, procedural safeguards are few and there is no defence of either truth or reasonably held opinion.
Fifth: Heh. Here’s what “censorship” means to left-wing librarians’ unions:
Rowley said that while Canadians don’t face the overt censorship seen under repressive regimes, corporate ownership and sponsorship of media exposes us to another kind.
Though I give them kudos for including the Catholic Insight case as one example of censorship in Canada.
Sixth: In response to queries earlier of whether there is any such thing as “neutrality” in politics, as the Quebec Human Rights Commission believes, I refer to the unanimous opinion of the SCC in Chamberlain vs Surrey School Board :
In my view, Saunders J. below erred in her assumption that “secular” effectively meant “non-religious”. In my view, nothing in the Charter, political or democratic theory, or a proper understanding of pluralism demands that atheistically based moral positions trump religiously based moral positions on matters of public policy.