A lot has gone on this week…
First: Ontario Conservative leader Tim Hudak has backtracked on his leadership campaign promise to do away with the Human Rights Tribunal. It comes as no surprise, but is surely disappointing, as Mr. Hudak has abandoned principle for politics.
There is no great mystery, however, as to why the Conservatives’ position has softened. Having watched their previous campaign go off the rails because of former leader John Tory’s pledge to expand funding for religious schools, they’re loath to embrace another hot-button social issue that could blow up on them before the Oct. 6 election
Second: The federal minister for Immigration and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney, appeared on Ezra Levant’s The Source on Tuesday, and discussed whether the Conservative government would move on scrapping Section 13. “A definite maybe,” he hedged, signaling more oppenness to the idea than is typical.
Third: A Falun Gong practitioner has won a discrimination complaint after being forced out of a Chinese Seniors’ Association over her religion. I myself have been a vocal supporter of the Falun Gong’s quest to rectify systemic state discrimination in China, and sympathize with the complainant’s plight. However, it is ironic that the same heavy-handed state intervention is being employed to reverse that same problem here in Canada.
If any readers live in Ottawa, please send the Ottawa Chines Seniors’ Association a middle finger from yours truly.
Fourth: Human rights complaints can proceed even if they haven’t sorted out who the complainant is, says the BC Supreme Court. The high court refused to intervene in the ongoing hearings into the refusal of MJ Mouat Secondary School to provide unrestricted access to the controversial Social Justice 12 course that was designed by two prominent gay-rights activists. One of the authors is launching the complaint on behalf of the students, but this hit a procedural snag in that the group allegedly being represented by the complainant was “overbroad and inappropriate”.
Think that sort of problem would halt a hearing? Not in the BCHRT!
Fifth: The Online Party of Canada considers whether the Human Rights Commissions and Tribunals should be abolished:
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms enshrines every Canadian’s right to thought and expression. It also guarantees freedom from discrimination, which is how human rights commissions can limit speech. The issue becomes one of protecting both of these fundamental rights simultaneously, and whether human rights commissions are the correct body to do so, or if they should be abolished in favour of moving human rights complaints to the judicial system