The Lynch List, 10-Jun-2011

Just a couple to end the week:

First: Normally, an innocent mistake is grounds for a heartfelt apology. Not so when the BCHRT gets involved.

The hotel decided to deny Bhangra Idols its booking. Staff members wrote down their reasoning in Wall Centre records: “Group is associated with the International Bhangra Society. Due to past problems the group is not allowed to stay with us anymore.”

That was a mistaken assumption. There is no connection between Bhangra Idols and the VIBC; in fact, the two events are in competition with each other.

Oops. If you made the mistake between the International Highland Dancers’ Association and the Western Highland Dancing Club, the hotel would probably write their apology, give a free lunch voucher, and that would be the end of it. But, because it’s a racial minority, off we are to the Tribunal. After leveling a $5000 fine, member Murray Geiger-Adams confirmed the discriminatory nature of the Tribunal:

Wall Centre staff responded that the situation wasn’t any different from if one hockey team had caused problems — the hotel would be within its rights to enact a policy against admitting hockey teams in general.

But tribunal members said that analogy didn’t apply to a culturally specific event like Bhangra Idols.

“Hockey players are not, unlike the complainants in this case, members of a group protected under the [Human Rights Code.] Hockey players can, and do, come from anywhere. On the evidence before me, participants in Bhangra are associated, overwhelmingly, with the Punjab,” Geiger-Adams wrote.

Second: Quelle surprise. A former Ontario Human Rights investigator is now the executive VP of Ontario Big Labour. No philosophical connections there, no.


21 Responses to The Lynch List, 10-Jun-2011

  1. Bill says:

    You do know human rights tribunals apply equally to racial minorities and majorities, don’t you?

    Actually, since you blatantly lie in pretty much every post here, I’m going to assume that you do know that, but have consciously chosen to lie.

    Or else you have decided, again, to simply redefine a word so that it means the complete oppose of what it actually means… among many past examples:

    “circumventing the law” = applying the laws of Canada as passed by Parliament.

    “discrimination” = the act of prohibiting discrimination based on inherent human qualities

    Now we have “racial minorities” = any racial group, including racial majorities.

  2. Bill:

    Not so. In any discrimination case, the Tribunal is supposed to consider the “vulnerability of the target group” and whether “existing stereotypes are being reinforced”. So members of groups deemed “less vulnerable” (e.g. men, white people, Chrisitans) are considered fair game for discrimination.

    In other cases, simply being a member of a majority is considered evidence of a propensity to commit unconscious racism.

    Equal my ass.

  3. Bill says:

    No, you are wrong. No groups are considered fair game for discrimination. If you read the statue, you would know that. If you read the rest of the case you are quoting, you would know that. Or else you are just lying again, which seems likey, as you can’t seem to get through a post without doing so. Here is a further quote from that case:

    “All that is required is an objective determination that the effect of the message was to make the manifestation of hatred or contempt more acceptable, thereby increasing the likelihood that the target group would be exposed to it.”

    This applies to all races, minority and majority. Men or women. Christians or Muslims. The test is whether the statement is likely to produce hate. One of the factors that may be considered is “vulnerability of the target group” and whether “existing stereotypes are being reinforced”. Neither of these is determinative. Rather, they simply expressions of what happens in every single legal analysis in our country – an examination of context.

    So again, when you say “So members of groups deemed “less vulnerable” (e.g. men, white people, Chrisitans) are considered fair game for discrimination,” you are either: (i) lying; (ii) being completely disingenuous; or (iii) to stupid to understand the applicable legislation. Which is it?

  4. Bill:

    The question is “whether the target group is more likely to be exposed to hatred or contempt as a result of the representation”.

    Two of the factors considered is the “vulnerability of the target group” and whether existing stereotypes are being reinforced.

    The Tribunal member concluded that, while the statements “appear on the face of them to be discriminatory,” there is “very little vulnerability of the target group[s]” (whites and Christians) and that there are no existing stereotypes against them. Granted, these are only “considerations” and not defences, but it clearly shows that there are mechanisms being employed to exempt discrimination against certain groups not deemed to be worthy of “protection”.

    There are many other cases in which there are built-in exemptions from the Code for minorities. For example, there can be women-only gyms but not men-only, girls-only leagues but not boys-only, that universities can have aboriginal ancestry as a job requirement but not European ancestry, that cities are forced to proclaim and support gay pride parades but not straight pride parades, etc.

    The fact that the vast majority of hockey players are white, and that white people are perfectly able to engage in Banghra dancing, illustrates the bias of Geiger-Adams in the above case.

    I’m under the assumption that those who comment here, intend to debate in good faith. Accusing another of lying, disingenuity, or stupidity just because you don’t agree with them is unacceptable.

  5. Bill says:

    Oh really? How abotu accusing tribunal members of illegality for following the law? Is that unacceptable?

  6. Bill says:

    Thats’ what I thought. Good faith is required of commenters only, not bloggers.

  7. I never accused Tribunal members of illegality, or circumventing the law. I did state that Tribunal members make a career out of circumventing legal rules and procedures – which is accurate since all Human Rights Codes explicitly allow the circumvention of standard legal rules and procedures.

    There may be times in which I am mistaken, or other times in which I irresponsibly stretch the truth. You’re welcome to point that out as much as you want, just as Kevin has politely done on many occasions. But to say that I’m intentionally lying or just stupid is, in my mind, inappropriate.

  8. Bill says:

    At no time did they “circumvent the legal rules and procedures”. The Human Rights Code does not allow the “circumvention of standard legal rules and procedures”. The Human Rights Code is the law. It is the rules and procedures that govern those matters within the jurisdiction established by Parliament. Saying they circumvented the law is an explicit charge of illegality. I give give two shits if you think my comments inappropriate. You are willing to, in your words “irresponsibly stretch the truth” (in my words, lie – which I think is more than accirate in this case) in your jihad to ensure that gays are excluded from society. I don’t respect you or your position and see no reason to pretend I do.

  9. From the BC Human Rights Code (emphasis mine):

    A member or panel may receive and accept on oath, by affidavit or otherwise, evidence and information that the member or panel considers necessary and appropriate, whether or not the evidence or information would be admissible in a court of law.

    And it’s not only me who thinks the Tribunal is circumventing standard legal practices:

    Millar then walked out of the hearing, saying he can’t participate in what he calls an illegal proceeding because the adjudicator hasn’t even decided if the tribunal has jurisdiction.

    And I’m not willingly “irresponsibly stretching the truth”, but you obviously are – I said that in the course of my polemical writing, I may inadverdantly and irresponsibly stretch the truth – and I appreciate respectful commenters setting me straight. Your claims are neither respectful, nor do they set me straight – you’re simply wrong.

    If you submit any more libellous allegations about me lying, or wanting to exclude gays from society, I will delete your comment. I am more than willing to debate the points, but my patience has reached its limit with your slander.

  10. Bill says:

    Wait a second, did you just quote a law to try to prove the illegality of the law you are quoting? Wtf?!?

    I’ll say it one mroe time – read slow so you understand – the human rights code is a “law”, therefore, its procedures are the “law” and in no way circumvent the “law”. There are currently 26 administrative tribunals in British Columbia alone. All have their own procedures. All are legal. All are the “law”. Each of them, while following their procedures, are following the “law”. None of them, while following their procedures, are circumventing the “law”. Not all of them have the same rules of admissibility of evidence of superior courts. In no case does that mean that any of those tribunals are circumventing the “law”. Under no possible interpretation of the term “circumventing the law” is your statement remotely correct.

    Sorry I forgot the rule here – bloggers may post libelous statements. Commenters must refrain from pointing out that blogger statements are libelous. For someone who spends all their time spweing venom at people who don’t agree with you (usually, public servants who are following the “law” as written), you sure can’t take any back. You would think that someone whose primary political goal is legally discrimination and tellign people to jsut suck it up, would be more thick skinned.

  11. Bill says:

    Oh and wait… a lawyer who’s client was before the tribunal walked out in a huff! OMG! The whole process must be illegal! If only Robert Pickton’s lawyer walked out in a huff, the whole trial would have collapsed due to the illegality of the court.

  12. Bill says:

    I know there is no point in explaining this one, since I’m sure you don’t care, but every administrative body everywhere hears evidence before making a decision as to its jurisdiction to decide the matter. The reason they do that is because they need to base that decision on evidence. To decide jurisdiction before hearing sufficient evidence to make an informed judgement on jurisdiction would be incorrect and contrary to their role as administrative tribunals. And I have 100% confidence that now knowing this, you wiill completely ignore that reality and continue to insist that Millar’s hissy fit was evidence of the tribunals illegality. Cause that’s how you roll.

  13. I’ll say it one more time – read my original post. I never wrote that McNoughton circumvented the LAW. I wrote:

    Quite shocking, since they’ve made a career out of circumventing legal rules and procedure…

    It’s like appointing a retired hangman to run a hospital; he’s made a career out of killing people (legally), and now he’s in charge of trying not to let people die. It was a statement in irony.

    Millar is a well-respected lawyer here in Vancouver; his “hissy fit” was evidence that I’m not alone in my charge that the Tribunals circumvent legal rules and procedure. He was upset that the Tribunal hadn’t figured out whether it had jurisdiction, but was prepared to move on to a full hearing without answering that question. Geiger-Adams wasn’t interested in hearing evidence to make up his mind on jurisdiction.

    As I said before, I welcome it if commenters point out any libellous statements I have made; please do so within the post in which the statement occurred (rather than hijacking unrelated posts), and I will remove them if they are indeed libellous. Unfortunately, since I administer this blog, I am judge, jury, and executioner over what constitutes libel and slander; don’t like it, don’t post here (or commence legal proceedings), but my track record speaks loudly for my utmost efforts to avoid censorship and my willingness to remove demonstrably incorrect factual statements.

  14. Bill says:

    No, your record does not indicate that in the slightest. Instead, you feel free to make factually incorrect statments and then make absurd arguments to try to justify them. Such as your latest comment, which somehow tries to make a distinction between “legal rules and procedure” and “law”. “Legal rules and procedures” are “law”. There is no distinction. You are trying to make the distinction that “legal rules and procedures” includes only those “legal rules and procedures” that are applicable under superior court rules. And that is factually incorrect. The rules of administrative tribunals are every bit as much “legal rules and procedures” as those of superior courts.

    You are also factually incorrect when you state that “Geiger-Adams wasn’t interested in hearing evidence to make up his mind on jurisdiction”. He was interested in hearing all the evidence before making up his mind, which he subsequently did, as set out in the final decision.

  15. I’ll clarify my Geiger-Adams statement: he was no longer interested in hearing evidence to make up his mind on jurisdiction, which prompted Millar’s walk-out; he was moving ahead with the rest of the hearing.

    An administrative tribunal is not a “court of law”, as is clearly stated in the BC Human Rights Code. I believe it is plain that my statement refers to rules and procedures that operate within a court of law.

  16. Bill says:

    It is not plain or clear in any sense that your statement was meant to apply only to those “legal rules and procedures” applicable to superior courts. It is not clear because you did not qualify the statement by saying that you were referring to the “legal rules and procedures” that apply to superior court, and because readers of your blog are not mind-readers. At no time did you use the phrase “court of law”, so I’m really not sure why you are pointing out that administrative tribunals are not courts of law. There is no possible reason for anyone reading “legal rules and procedures” to restrict that statement to exclude that vast array of legal rules and procedures that are valid rules and procedures under the laws of our province and country, and yet have nothing whatsoever to do with the procedures of superior courts. Again, it would be easy enough to go correct your post so that people don’t have to read your mind if you were interested in making a factual statement.

    Your clarification regarding Geiger-Adams is still, also, a factually incorrect statement. He had clearly decided that he needed to hear all the evidence in order to make a decision on jurisdiction. Which is exactly what he did. And he then used that evidence to make a decision on jurisdiction. If he was not interested, or no longer interested, in hearing evidence to decide jurisdiction, then he would have simply made his decision on jurisdiction at that point.

  17. Bill says:

    And it any case, it is not an accurate description to say that those legal rules and procedures were “circumvented”. To properly say something was circumvented, that something must apply in the given case. The legal rules and procedures of superior courts did not apply, and so they were not circumvented. It would make as much sense to say that the BC human rights tribunal circumvented the legal rules and procedures applicable to the Zimbabwean utilities commission. Which is to say, it would not make any sense whatsoever because those rules do not apply to the given circumstances.

  18. Where do you find the time to split hairs like this?

    Again, look at my post. I mentioned she was appointed to a “real court”, which is common among ‘speechies to refer to a Court of Law (as far as I know they are not a “superior court” wrt Tribunals since in most cases they can’t hear appeals of Tribunal decisions). I then stated that she made a career of curcumventing legal rules and procedure, and now she’s in charge of them, referring ot the legal rules and procedure of the Supreme Court of BC.

    wrt “circumvent”, again, refer to my earler example of the hangman. He may object to his trade being described as “killing”, claiming what he did was legal and referred to as “sanitizing society”. But opponents to capital punishment are within their rights to to refer to it this way.

    I stand by the term “circumvent” because I and many others believe that our fundamental freedoms as spelled out in the Charter should not be punitively restricted except by a court of law employing long-standing universal concepts of justice.

  19. Bill says:

    I have time to split hairs because, in my opinion, that post was clearly meant to imply illegality on the part of the ex-commissioners. Any person who is not privy to the alternate definitions of words among right wing extremists would read the same thing.

    Again, you are standing by a definition of “circumventing” that has nothing to do with the actual meaning of the word. It would be appropriate to say that she was circumventing that set of legal rules and procedures that you wish applied in the case, but clearly doesn’t due to democractically passed laws of our country. But that is not what you said. And what you said clearly implies illegality. That is why I am “splitting hairs” – because I don’t think it is proper to accuse public officials of illegality for properly performing their jobs according to the laws of our country, however much you happen to dislike them.

    So can I get clarification of your general rule on slander and libel? I’m allowed to do it as much as I like as long as, in my head, the words I am using have a completely different meaning than those words have in real life among the general population?

    And for your future reference, a “superior court” is any common law court of general jurisdiction. The BCSC is this BC’s superior court, despite being named “Supreme Court”. It has nothing to do with appelate jurisdiction over tribunals.

    Wrt to your last paragraph, your position is that unelected courts should be able to remove Charter rights based on what you call “long-standing universal conceptions of justice”? Is that right? And never by an elected Parliament in accordance with the amendment articles of the Charter? Gee, I had thought that conservatives didn’t like judicial activism. Turns out they want judges to be appointed mini-dictators with the universal power to overturn any and all legislation. Weird.

  20. Bill:

    It’s been a nice chat, but I’ve got to cut it short. I won’t beat myself up over your misunderstanding of my statement. It remains fair comment. If you feel that someone is being libeled, sue me.

    As for the rest, you are, yet again, wasting my time with wild tangents.

  21. Bill says:

    Oh, I understand. Never a moment to waste when making the world safe for discrimination against racial minorities. It’s the Lord’s work, really.

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