Lots of big news to talk about today.
First: MP Brian Storseth says he’ll introduce a private member’s bill that would repeal Section 13. It looks like Storseth has done his homework and is saying all the right things:
But the difference is that in a court there is the openness and transparency, which you don’t have through the human rights tribunal. In a tribunal, a person can lay a complaint, but doesn’t not have to have their name attached to it. There’s no cost or expense to the person putting the complaint forward, no matter how frivolous that complaint might be. And it violates the fundamental right of an accused to face his accuser. At the end of the day, all the onus and costs are put on the defendant and this should not the basis of our justice system.
Second: Hard to believe that this one doesn’t merit a “first”, but here it is. A former Brantford police officer has launched a human rights complaint after the police force threatened to discipline him – for smoking crack cocaine while on duty.
Const. Jeffrey Servos, a former six-year cop with Brantford Police, pleaded guilty to one count of possessing cocaine in 2009 and was also slapped with 16 Police Services Act charges.
He resigned from the force in 2009 after a series of plea bargains rather than serving three months in jail. The police act charges were withdrawn after he resigned.
Convenient. He resigns to get the police act charges dropped, and only then complains that he wants his job back.
Today, the Tribunal issued a ruling that stated that he couldn’t get a job back that he voluntarily resigned from, but helpfully suggested that he re-file his complaint alleging discrimination and failure to accommodate his disability while he was working. Glad to see that the Tribunal is looking out for the interests of illegal drug abusers masquerading as cops…
Third: This one should also merit a first. The leader of Alberta’s Wildrose Party has pulled a Hudak and backtracked on her party’s earlier resolution to unequivocally protect free speech rights. Kevin Libin isn’t happy:
But Ms. Smith is just the latest in a pageant of politicians that have pushed back against their parties in getting tough on HRCs. When even the most avowed conservative party leader looks at the prospect of stripping down human rights rules to categorically protect all kinds of speech, even the unpleasant sort, they all, it seems, ultimately get an irresistible chill in their feet.
Fourth: National Post reporter Joseph Brean has put together a handy-dandy “Section 13 for Dummies“. But he mentioned Richard Warman’s name. Get ready for a lawsuit, Joseph.
Fifth: Rick Dykstra, MP for St. Catherines, reiterated his stance that the Canadian Human Rights Commission needs to be reformed. Too bad you couldn’t make it part of your government’s omnibus crime legislation, Rick.
Sixth: The Jehovah’s Witness publication “The Watchtower” printed an article that compares apostates to the “mentally diseased”. This is already being investigated in Britain, and others are looking to launch human rights complaints here in Canada over it.