This post is dedicated to all those intervenors in the Supreme Court who are defending our freedom of expression from the HRCs in the Whatcott appeal.
First: Much commentary flying around on the Whatcott case. But first and foremost, let’s get to one of the inane arguments that the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission brought before the court.
Besides their admission that they consider the Bible to be hate speech, the Commission argued that the advent of the internet makes it all the more important to have even more restrictive hate speech legislation at their disposal. The opposite is clearly true: the internet has made any attempt to curtail hate speech implausible at best.
The justices are approaching this correctly with their line of questioning – that the law is inoperable, regardless of the justification behind it, and so fails the Oakes Test.
Second: On to some Whatcott commentary:
The Ceeb has a poll! You know what to do!
Margaret Wente in the Globe: Should free speech trump hate laws? Yes.
Edmonton Journal: Free speech bolstered by defence of those we disagree with.
Third: The rationale behind service dogs has expanded far beyond assisting the blind. And beyond what many consider reasonable. Recall the infamous Dee-Oh-Gee case in which a person suffering from depression can even enjoy the same “rights” as the blind – that is, the right to ride roughshod over any pet restrictions on public and private property, damn the cost, the health hazards, or any rights of the property owner.
So it was within reason that a campground owner refused entry to a man and his dog, arguing that anyone who can drive his vehicle has no need for a service dog. The dog owner, who is paraplegic, flashed some accreditation papers in front of the owner’s face, which the Quebec tribunal recognized as enough to override any property rights of the campground owner.
That begs the question; who gave the accreditation body the power to infringe upon property rights? And since every organization benefits from an expanding mandate, what is there to stop MIRA from issuing service animal permits to everyone?