Western Standard

The Shotgun Blog

« Putting on a show | Main | WS radio: Political Animals and a special, action-packed show »

Monday, April 28, 2008

Oh Ontario!

The "holy shit!" moment of my weekend came when reading Mark Steyn's column in the May 5 Maclean's, in which he reveals that the Ontario Human Rights Commission's new mandate (coming into effect July 1) will define a "hate incident" as an act or an omission.

An explanation of this concept is provided on the OHRC website by writer Frances Henry (who, as Steyn points out, "cites the thinking of 'modern neo-Marxist theorists.'"):

"The denial of racism used by so many whites in positions of authority ranging from the supervisor in a work place to the chief of Police and ministers of government must be understood for what it is: an example of White hegemonic power of those considered 'other.'"

In other words, guilty of being white.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on April 28, 2008 in Current Affairs | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
https://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d834515b5d69e200e5520117298833

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Oh Ontario!:

Comments

At a first glance, this not only looks bad, it looks VERY bad. But a more careful examination is needed to see just how bad it is and in what ways, exactly, it is bad.

First, remember that the OHRA does *NOT* have a provision that makes hate speech a violation of human rights. This is why the case against Maclean's for Steyn's article was dismissed by the OHRC. So to talk about "acts or omissions" as "hate incidents" is not to talk about what people say or write.

Second, the definition of "hate incident" Steyn quotes comes in a document advising the government general in how to deal with hatred, including non-criminal and non-HRA violating incidents. The document, for example, discusses dealing with expressions of hatred among school students as an issue of concern, but is not recommending that criminal charges or HRA complaints be pursued.

Third, for what it is worth, it should be noted that the passage that Steyn quotes from the OHRC website and that you have quoted above comes from an article that is preceded by this disclaimer: "The views and opinions expressed by the author are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Ontario Human Rights Commission."

So just what kind of omission is being counted as a human rights violation? Well, that is not altogether clear, but it could be something like this: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=550808&in_page_id=1770 (In short, discrimination laws have been changed in the UK to allow a case to be brought against an employer not only for sexist actions by the employer, but for failure to protect employees from sexual harassment by customers. This, then, would be an omission to do something about a case of sexual discrimination by someone else.)

Now I think it is already the case that employers are not only responsible for not treating their employees is a sexist, racist, etc manner and that they can be held responsible for sexist, racist, etc behaviour of their employees (towards other employees or customers) by failing to do anything about it, so the idea that omissions count is not new. It might be that the kinds of omissions being covered are more extensive.

So what are the implications of these changes for OHRC investigations? It is really hard to tell. It might be nothing at all. It might also be an opening to the British-style extension of employers' duties to protect employees. But if it is more than that, it is not clear what that would be.

Is this a very bad news story? I dunno.

Posted by: Fact Check | 2008-04-28 11:54:21 AM


These HRC's have to be dismantled and fast. They are not needed in this democracy. They are used to kill our right to free speech for starters.

Everything about them is bad news.

Time to get onto Provincial and Federal governments and demand action.

Posted by: Liz J | 2008-04-28 12:01:26 PM


"Is this a very bad news story? I dunno."

And for that very reason, I would be deeply inquisitive until I do know. Application of lots of sunlight would be in order.

Posted by: Sounder | 2008-04-28 12:15:57 PM


Is anyone really surprised that this is happening in the erstwhile province of Bantario? A demagogic mayor of Toronto who accretes ever more power, an out-of-control HRC that sets itself up as a real-life, live-and-breathe Orwellian Thought Police, a province where the federal Liberals could run 100 clones of Saddam Hussein and still win a majority. The gun registry incubated in this province, as did the pit bull ban and the nascent handgun ban. All firmly flying in the face of fact and reason.

They whine about global warming with completely straight faces even as they trudge through record snowfalls. Whine about "American-style" gun violence even as violent crime rates in the U.S. drop while theirs skyrocket. Even people in southern California aren't this divorced from reality.

The 905 belt is mostly responsible. Which begs the question--do Torontonians have any control--any at all--over how deluded they allow themselves to get?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-04-28 12:53:13 PM


At present employees may be able to draw attention to acts that they deem hateful , but without unclear gov`t oversight , such complaints are usually dealt with in an arbitrary and cavalier fashion .i.e. the employer is usually the judge as to who gets accused. Now that Comrade Hall has the increased ability to intervene on behalf of such an employee , employers will, as a matter of course, turn over any such complaint to her operatives with their unlimited budgets . This establishes yet another layer of beaurocracy with which an employer will be forced to deal. At the same time it might remove the arbitrariness from the system . It`s not all bad , but it will be expensive administering to all those bogus complaints.

Posted by: daveh | 2008-04-28 1:09:05 PM


Why is so surprising? Ontario is a racist place and always has been. White Ontarians see non-whites as inferior - always have. It's a modern day Apartheid or Slave society. If those people would just accept it, then maybe it could be corrected given a few centuries. But that would mean they'd admit that they have responsibility for their own affairs, so it will never happen.

I suggest reconstructing Ontario. The Ontario government will be disbanded and the area placed until military occupation. Ontario's entire society will have to be rebuilt from the ground up, with equal opportunity for non-whites. Only when the rest of the country is satisfied with Ontario's progress will local rule be established.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-04-28 1:16:33 PM


Zebulon Pike wrote:"I suggest reconstructing Ontario. The Ontario government will be disbanded and the area placed until military occupation. Ontario's entire society will have to be rebuilt from the ground up, with equal opportunity for non-whites."

When he steps down from power in Zimbabwe, this would an ideal job for Mugabe. Barbara Hall will be delighted to have a fellow-believer in charge of Ontario.

Posted by: Patrick B | 2008-04-28 1:37:59 PM


"Ontario is a racist place and always has been. White Ontarians see non-whites as inferior - always have. It's a modern day Apartheid or Slave society."

Maybe white Ontarians are right. Considering that millions of vismins have flocked/and continue to flock to Apartheid Ontario then maybe they are arriving sans a full curry.

Posted by: DJ | 2008-04-28 2:43:58 PM


Zebulon,

Racism is a human quality that we all can be tempted to partake, in some way or another. The worst cases of intolerance and racism I have seen have been by non whites to whites.

Posted by: TM | 2008-04-28 3:52:46 PM


Shane:
The 416 area cose is where all the wacko leftoids hang out.
905 is outside of Toronto.

Posted by: Bocanut | 2008-04-28 5:22:04 PM


The 416 area cose is where all the wacko leftoids hang out.
905 is outside of Toronto.

Posted by: Bocanut | 28-Apr-08 5:22:04 PM

How do you categorize someone who has a 647 area code?

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2008-04-28 5:25:49 PM


647 is Toronto proper, just like 416. Anybody with an M postal code. 289 is the supplementary area code for the 905 region.

Posted by: Annie | 2008-04-28 6:11:44 PM


Actually, Bocanut, 905 covers south-central Ontario, including the Niagara Peninsula, Hamilton, Oshawa, and the suburban GTA. And as I said, this crew would rather vote ANYTHING but Tory. It's almost as if the reign of Mike Harris has left them emotionally scarred. Which is crap, because Harris, at least, would never have allowed Caledonia to drag on for two years, and he was a definite improvement on Bob Rae, whom they have recently elevated to the federal Liberal caucus in spite of his disastrous tenure of premier.

This is one of those things peculiar to Canadian politics and history that continues to baffle me--the suspicion so many Canadians seem to have of success. Hold up your head high enough, and rest assured someone will blow it off. Lose your head via disgrace most foul, and eventually someone will hold it up. But then, isn't love of success, like free speech, an American import?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-04-28 6:14:03 PM


Fact Check,
"Third, for what it is worth, it should be noted that the passage that Steyn quotes from the OHRC website and that you have quoted above comes from an article that is preceded by this disclaimer: "The views and opinions expressed by the author are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Ontario Human Rights Commission."

So why is OHRC reviewing MacLean's for Steyn's comments?

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2008-04-28 6:16:11 PM


FC,

And why is HRC reviewing Steyn for quoting comments made by islamo extremists?

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2008-04-28 6:17:31 PM


"And as I said, this crew would rather vote ANYTHING but Tory."

It's not the views of the crew that changed, but the crew itself.

http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/409112

"Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?"

Bertolt Brecht

Posted by: DJ | 2008-04-28 6:24:22 PM


h2o273kk9,

The OHRC recently announced that they terminated the case against Maclean's for the Steyn article, essentially because there are no provisions in the OHRA that regulate hate speech. This was the obvious outcome to anyone who had read the OHRA (and apparently the complainants either had not, didn't understand it, or didn't care). The cases against Maclean's before the BC HRC and the Canadian HRC are all still in process. Both BC and Canada have HRAs that do regulate hate speech, so they are not as likely to dismiss the issue so quickly.

Posted by: Fact Check | 2008-04-28 6:26:04 PM


OHRC fears litigation from vismins:

"A recent Supreme Court decision has put the so-called watchdogs on high alert, according to an article in the Globe and Mail (August 16, 2004). Though the decision makes “it possible for members of the public to sue and obtain financial damages from law societies...for failing to deal promptly with allegations of serious misconduct against lawyers” (ibid). Prof. Lorne Sossin of University of Toronto Law School and an expert in administrative law and civil litigation says: “The ramifications are quite broad, not just of law societies but to all professional bodies that have as part of their mandate, a protection of the public interest.”

Posted by: DJ | 2008-04-28 6:34:47 PM


FC..

"Third, for what it is worth, it should be noted that the passage that Steyn quotes from the OHRC website and that you have quoted above comes from an article that is preceded by this disclaimer: "The views and opinions expressed by the author are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Ontario Human Rights Commission."

Ah. Yes. I see now.

The cases against Maclean's before the BC HRC and the Canadian HRC are all still in process."

Please excuse my ignorance for not differentiating completely between Nazi Munich and Nazi Berlin.

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2008-04-28 6:34:54 PM


Toronto is rotting away. It has been for about 70 years. It's spreading its rotteness even today. Many people living in Toronto and its environs probably are not aware of the rot that Toronto and surrounding places have become subject too. People are buying houses and condominiums in Toronto, etc., probably without realising the decay of the very foundation upon which they hoped to begin a new life, whether it be to escape from a foreign country or just to move to a new beginning. Many years ago, Toronto was a place of great promise, a place of hope. Now its hope is the veneer that people cling to even as they stand on an edifice that is decaying under their very toes. Some have noted this decay and tried to stop it; they put up a good fight. They finally realised that the fight was hopeless, so they retreated and are now quietly hoping no one notices while they escape from the rot. Lucky for me, I escaped.

Posted by: dewp | 2008-04-28 7:26:03 PM


We can complain and complain about these Human Rights Commissars (HRCs) but until the politicians are held accountable nothing will change. It was politicians who created these appointed monsters. Therefore in any elections provincial or federal the politicians should be asked: " Will you abolish these HRCs?" These politicians MUST be held accountable. Oh dear, where did I hear that word "accountable?" Was it Mr. Muzzle who said it?

Posted by: Stephen J. Gray | 2008-04-28 9:06:12 PM


This is consistent with the way Barbara Hall views things. She attacked fellow lefty David Miller while running against him for Toronto Mayor by taking the phrase "looks like a Mayor" out of context from one of his pamphlets and implying that he was a racist for having that in the pamphlet. It was utterly ridiculous, even for the hard left in Toronto and she was booed off the stage.

Posted by: Buchanan | 2008-04-28 9:42:55 PM


Note to all: Do not use the words "Ontario" and "Toronto" interchangeably. There are many, many of us in Ontario who look askance at Toronto, its leftard electorate, and its undue influence on provincal government policies. Their hockey team sucks, too.

Posted by: JMD | 2008-04-29 7:46:36 AM


JMD- I second all of that.

Posted by: gerry | 2008-04-29 10:46:30 AM


That's why I was careful to use the term "905 belt," JMD. I do recognize the difference. :-)

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-04-29 11:11:07 AM


I don't disagree that the 905 belt has no respect for freedom, but I don't think the Harper/Stelmach gang of socialists are any better. It sounds to me like everyone is on the same page.

Posted by: abc | 2008-04-29 5:23:42 PM



The comments to this entry are closed.