The Lynch List, 09-Jul-2012

July 9, 2012

First: Equality of Opportunity is a much-abused buzz-statement. I have argued in the past that this is a codeword for Equality of Outcome, and been criticized for it.

A new report from the CHRC analyzes the “equality of opportunity” for the disabled, their key findings reported that the disabled are less likely to have less net worth and median household income. Those sound like outcomes, not opportunities, to me. In addition, they assessed whether the disabled were as likely to complete a university degree, hold a full-time job, have a work-supported pension, use technology, feel like they are socially included, and have comfortable housing. Even obesity is part of “equality of opportunity”.

Equality of opportunity is a Trojan Horse to usher in equality of outcome, which cannot exist together with equality under the law. They are mutually exclusive.

Second: Another T-shirt flap, only this one is at a completely different venue: the workplace. The content of the “Life without Jesus is wasted” t-shirt that William Swinimer wore to his high school, and the “Legalize Gay” t-shirt that Heidi Carrier wore to her workplace, are approximately in the same league. Both express a deeply held belief, a call to act, and an insinuation that opposing beliefs are wrong-headed. Both could be offensive to some people, and neither is obscene.

But the main difference between the two scenarios is the context. A school is a public institution that theoretically exists solely for the benefit of the public, whose rules, and the application of them, should be subject to scrutiny by the public that foots its bills. A business is a private entity that exists for the profit of the owner. He has every motivation to ensure a harmonious workplace and an environment most appealing to customers. Nobody is forced to work at the business, and the taxpayer is typically not exposed to its costs or business risks. If Ms. Carrier doesn’t like the application of the company’s dress code, she is free to look for work elsewhere – the company owes her nothing.

Third: I couldn’t resist. Since property rights are essentially ignored in Canada’s “human rights” landscape, it’s poetic justice that our Human Rights Museum was burglarized.

Fourth: Some good commentary on the case involving the wrongful arrest of a black man – acting “reasonably under the circumstances” is not a defence any longer in the human rights tribunal.


The Lynch List, 02-Jul-2012

July 1, 2012

Happy Canada Day!

First: Should taxpayer-funded Canadian universities be allowed to ban Falun Gong practitioners from employment? Of course not, you would think. Yet it happens. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised, as state-sanctioned positive discrimination abounds in our halls of higher learning – why not extend it a little to get millions of dollars from Beijing?

And this is the predictable result of human rights codes and other statist initiatives that purportedly intend to stamp out discrimination – people lose their freedom while the government gains moral backing for its own discrimination.

Second: Toronto is attempting to argue in court that the human rights commissions and tribunals have no jurisdiction over municipal bylaws. It may be going out on a limb, but someone’s gotta do something to stop Barb from becoming the unelected mayor of every municipality in Ontario.

If the human rights hearing goes ahead it will open the door to more challenges by the Human Rights Commission, which has already signalled that it intends to go this route.

Third: I feel compelled to comment on the story of the elderly bus monitor who was bullied by students a short time ago. Compelled, because it proves several things that I have always been saying.

To begin with, Ontario’s Bill 13 would do nothing to protect this poor woman had this incident occurred in Ontario. The assumption within all recent anti-bullying legislation is that the victims of bullies are, or appear to be, gay. This woman was not gay, and therefore gets little or no sympathy from the backers of these sorts of legislation.

Next, would a human rights code have helped this woman if the bullying occurred in a district that had one? The woman was ridiculed over her son’s suicide, and her looks. None of that, on first glance, falls under any of the human rights victimhood classes, so this sort of behavior is just peachy from a human rights perspective.

Finally, let’s look at the response that this poor woman got from society. Did she get back at them with a human rights complaint? Did a taxpayer-funded bureaucrat make everything all better? Did some government agency step in over the school administration’s head and extract thousands of dollars from the kids’ hide for “injury to dignity, feelings, and self-respect”? No. Instead, society responded like it should have. The boys were suspended from their school by the administration. A Toronto man raised over $500,000 for the woman, all of it voluntarily given, so that she could “take a nice holiday” (the original goal was $5,000). Many other individuals and groups, without any compulsion of a Tribunal or nasty letter from Barbara Hall, are honoring this woman in whatever way they can, and expressing their derision for the bullies.

That’s how bullying should be handled.