The Lynch List, 17-Oct-2011

First: The appeal of the Moore decision in BC has a twin sister that it just as ugly: the Comeau complaint in Nova Scotia. In both cases, the human rights tribunal decided that it has the power to override executive decisions when it comes to education funding. The Comeau case is even more egregious – it commanded the provincial government to launch a board of inquiry.

It looks like the Comeau case will proceed at the SCC before the Moore case. No doubt one will be a clear precedent for the other.

Second: Don Hutchinson of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada notes as an intervenor at the Whatcott trial that to uphold the restrictions on free expression would amount to “a virtual open season on anyone communicating a religiously informed position on any matter of public policy.”

Like it isn’t already, Don.

He also confesses that he was taken aback when the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission stated that it considers a telivised recitation of Biblical passages to be hate speech. That canary died a long time ago (1997 to be exact)…

Third: The Whatcott trial has everyone all-abuzz. Lysiane Gagnon of the Globe and Mail comments on why we must tolerate hate speech:

Unfortunately, Canada, once a brave country of explorers, has become a “mommy state” in the grip of a vast clique of moralizers who encourage people to be extraordinarily sensitive to the slightest insult, as if reaching victimhood status were a goal in life. It’s censorship by another name, and also a pathetically naive attempt to eradicate evil from the face of the Earth and reconstruct the human mind.

Fourth: The Sun’s David Akin, embarrassingly, endorses the Saskatchewan HRC’s crucifixion of Whatcott. I assume that he will dutifully submit when the new National Press Council, chaired by Barbara Hall, yanks his journalist accreditation for harbouring unapproved emotions…

Fifth: Jonathan Kay of the National Post redeems Akin’s lack of insight:

Canadian Christian activists are not far off the mark when they say that human rights laws is verging on criminalizing Christianity. At the very least, there is a massive legal conflict between the promise of religious freedom contained in our Charter of Rights, and the effective ban on promulgating a central religious dogma — opposition to homosexuality — that has become part of our human-rights culture.

Sixth: Should the human rights commissions find battles that are worth fighting? Maybe, but wouldn’t it be better if an engaged and responsible citizenry find and fight these battles while respecting freedom, rather than putting together commissions and tribunals that have the power to restrict your rights? Just sayin…

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