My apologies for the infrequent summer holiday Lynch Lists; the usual three-a-week schedule will return in September.
First: An ambulance paramedic was removed from his position by the BC Ambulance Services in 2005, since he could no longer detect a pulse due to his disability. Insisting that the BCAS owes him a job despite his limitations, he took his employer to the BC Human Rights Tribunal. In its zeal to squash yet another insolent employer with over $62,000 in penalties, the BCHRT “erred in law“, according to the BC Supreme Court.
The only way that Tribunal decisions can be overturned in most jurusdictions is by judicial review – in which the opinions and the judgment of the Tribunal member are immune to scrutiny. The scope of review is limited to an “error in law”, in which a point of law was incorrectly applied or not applied at all. It’s a very high threshold, which, in the words of the former BCHRT chair, gives Tribunal decisions “more certainty and finality“. The fact is that there is a significant number of BCHRT decisions being overturned on judicial review – which points to the ineptitude (or bias) of Tribunal members.
Second: Great. Just what we need. The CHRC is giving guys like this a persecution complex. Besides being completely ineffective in inhibiting the transmission of their repulsive ideas, the CHRC hate-speech prosecusions only fosters the law is unfairly slanted against them – and therefore destroys any compulsion to abide by it.
Third: An Ontario woman filed a human rights complaint after her twin 10-year-old sons were denied enrolment into a social activism course at the University of Ottawa. The OHRT simply couldn’t dance around the fact that the Code only applies to adults and had to dismiss the complaint – but practically begged for a Charter challenge against this limitation.
Fourth: The Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal has now officially been eliminated. The revisions to the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code are here, and came into effect on July 1. I firmly believe this is a positive step from an incrimentalist point of view: significant changes in one jurusdiction will reduce the political capital necessary to make changes in other jurusdictions. I see it as momentum.
Derek From of the CCF doesn’t quite see it that way:
The Government of Saskatchewan seems to be taking a middle-ground position instead of grappling with the issue of the Code’s relation to fundamental Charter rights.
If the Government of Saskatchewan wants to be a real leader in Canada, it should demonstrate that it takes individual freedom seriously and completely eliminate the Code.
Fifth: Shakedown was voted the best political book in the last 25 years. Congrats, Ezra!