The Lynch List, 26-Sep-2011

First: An owner of a farmer’s market in London Ontario asked a vendor to remove his transgendered employee, stating that he wants to maintain a family friendly atmosphere.

Oops. Yes, it’s a slam-dunk case that should be filed at the OHRT shortly. Yet the question remains, to what extent can an employer or business owner set dress codes? Businesses have always done that for customers, insisting on “no shirt, no shoes, no service”. Should that extend to “no drag queen attire”?

A petition has started up to boycott the market. To me, that’s a very appropriate response and should put some pressure on the owner to rethink his position, while maintaining the owner’s freedom to do as he pleases with his private property and his freedom to associate with whomever he wishes. But a human rights complaint? Well, I’m sure you know what I think about that.

Second: John Carpay on the Whatcott case:

But Canada’s human rights commissions are so certain of their own opinions that they seek to silence opposing views. As Mill put it: “All silencing of discussion is an assumption of infallibility.”

Not only do human rights prosecutions violate the free speech rights of Whatcott and others, the prosecution of politically incorrect speech also robs Canadians of the benefit of debate and discussion, which is the cornerstone of democracy.

Third: Jim Furey of the Ottawa Sun has a suggestion for Tim Hudak: abolish the OHRC

Here’s a good wrench to toss in: Abolish the Ontario Human Rights Commission. This subjective agency that is answerable to no one, but expects everyone to be answerable to it, is easily one of the largest blights upon Ontario’s recent history. But none of the parties will touch it.

Fourth: A York University professor believes that Starbuck’s application form discriminates when it asks if the applicant is able to work overtime. One’s ability to work overtime may indicate whether they are a member of a designated group, and therefore a question like this shouldn’t be allowed.

Next, he’ll demand a ban on asking for an applicant’s name. After all, that is a clear indication of whether he or she is a member of a designated group. I wonder, what would an application to be Doorey’s teaching assistant look like?

Fifth: File this under “unintended consequences of playing with fire”. Alberta’s Bill 44 enlisted the province’s human rights system as an enforcement mechanism in ensuring the religious freedom of parents is respected when sensitive topics are brought up in school. Now a St Albert man is considering a complaint to stop prayer in all public schools – something that has always been constitutionally exempt from any Charter challenge. You can bet that the Alberta censors will be all over this one should it be filed.

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