The Lynch List, 16-Nov-2011

First: At one time, the boys were able to play hockey amongst each other. The human rights tribunal banned that (but still allows girls-only hockey). Now, it has levied more fines over a problem of their own making – the confusion over whether the few girls who play in boy’s leagues should be allowed to change with the boys. The Brampton Minor Hockey Association wouldn’t bend over backwards, and now has to bend over – to the tone of $18,000 to two sisters who wanted their cake and the privilege of eating it too.

Second: Thank you, Supreme Court! Human rights tribunals have long been a chance for a “second crack” if complainants in other administrative tribunals weren’t satisfied with the amount they hosed their victims for. The tribunals maintained that they had standing to review whether the original deciding body had misapprehended the relevant human rights principles and law applicable to the issue. In other words, they regarded themselves as the Supreme Court of administrative tribunals.

The Supreme Court of Canada has clipped their wings a bit. As you might have guessed, it was the BC Human Rights Tribunal that went too far, and got slapped.

Third: “Human rights” like freedom from discrimination are absolute, yep, totally, completely. Unless the “distinction was accepted honestly, in the interests of sound and accepted business practice, and not for the purpose of defeating protected rights under the Code”.

So, the mainstream business community can continue to use their collective moral compass to determine when supposedly absolute human rights can be broken or not, provided they hold no animus towards the Code and its Guardians at the Commission. But private individuals cannot?

Fourth: Howard Levitt describes the weight of onus on an employer(!) to investigate whether poor behavior on the part of an employee may be due to a medical condition. You would think that it is the responsibility of the employee, but this is human rights la-la-land, after all.

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