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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Christine Elliott and the Human Rights Commission

Yesterday Christine Elliott sent out an e-mail titled "Poll: Scrapping Human Rights Tribunal = Faith Based Funding." The suggestion was that the proposal to abolish the Human Rights Tribunal could lose the PC Party the next election. She backs up this assertion:

Asked if they'd consider the Ontario PC Party as an alternative to Dalton McGuinty's Liberals in the next election, 42.6% of respondents said yes, 38.8% no. Asked whether they'd consider voting the same way if the PC party's new leader wanted to scrap the tribunal, that support plunged to 25.2%.

I despise the kangaroo courts that lay claim to protecting 'human rights.' They do not protect rights but violate people's basic rights to due process, rights that go as far back as the Magna Carta.

The reality is, however, that most people haven't heard much about this issue. They hear the words 'human rights' then they hear the words 'abolish' and they rightly become suspicious. Most people don't know what happened to Ezra Levant or Mark Steyn; sadly most people don't pay that close attention to politics.

In a way, Ms. Elliott is right. If such a policy was proposed in the middle of the whirlwind of an election, it could easily be used to crush the PCs. The Liberals could use the people's ignorance to paint such policy as being heartless or malicious. As a not so great Prime Minister once said, "[An election] is not the time, I don't think, to get involved in very, very serious discussions."

This isn't to say that politicians of principle should ignore the issue. Far from it, the ignorance of the public means that the politicians should tackle it with greater energy. There is time before the next election to educate the people. To tell them why the HRC needs to be disbanded.

Sometimes politicians have to bend to the aggregated will of the people. Sometimes a politician has to lead.

Posted by Hugh MacIntyre on June 17, 2009 in Canadian Provincial Politics | Permalink


Like it or not, most people, if they read Ezra Levant, wouldn't mind him being told to stop.

Like it or not, "scrapping" the Tribunal would lose the election.

The HRTs were created by a conservative government, so please stop acting as though it's a crazy liberal invention designed to step on our rights. To do so is to propogate in incredible falsity.

"Sometimes a politician has to lead." Like Elliott and Klees, both of whom have said the Tribunal needs to be fixed, not scrapped.

Posted by: Chowdy | 2009-06-17 10:43:11 AM

Like it or not, Chowdy, the HR tribunals have earned nothing but condemnation and even ridicule from all quarters, and regardless of who created them, their increasingly arbitrary and eccentric conduct constitutes grounds for their termination.

Like it or not, most people would probably not only not care, but probably not even notice.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-06-17 10:52:13 AM

Hugh, standing up to quasi-judicial tribunals is a winning issue for the PCs. The more people find out about the HRCs the less they like them. The Liberals will try to make this about human rights, but it is really about justice. We want the Liberals to go on record defending these kangaroo courts. Free speech is a human right, and fair trials are a human right. That argument will drown out the pablum that this is somehow limiting human rights. The status quo is not acceptable, and Christine Elliott has all but endorsed the status quo. We need to stop patronizing Canadian immigrants. They're not as brainwashed as this webpage makes them sound.

Posted by: James | 2009-06-17 11:15:07 AM

I say make it an issue. Force the opposition parties to challenge them on this. A good public debate is sorely needed.

Posted by: Charles | 2009-06-17 11:22:53 AM

The election should be about the the economy about taxes, educating people that lower taxes equal more revenues. Lower taxes equal jobs.

Religious School Funding killed John Tory. Hudak is on the record AFTER the last election supporting Religious School Funding.

Now he says: The people of Ontario spoke and Religious School Funding is out.

The Liberals will do the basic Opposition Research to find this.

Tim Hudak would lose the next election on 3 key issues:

His support for Religious School Funding
His Support to Abolish the OHRC's
His support of Mike Harris

Politics is Politics and even though Hudak is a good guy - the Liberals will destroy him and the PC Party on those 3 points.

The will spin it, the media will spin it, and the Unions will throw money at these messages.

Hudak will lose.

Posted by: Frank B | 2009-06-17 12:25:55 PM

All provincial and the Canadian HRC's have morphed into Kangaroo courts with tremendous powers to monitor and prosecute for speech that "may hurt someones feelings".
Sadly in Canada MSM is virtually silent on the curse that HRC's have become in this deranged Dominion.
Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant have first hand knowledge of the corruption involved in the current HRC's.
The sooner they are brought to heel the better.

Shame on MSM and gutless journalists for not making Canadians aware of that threat and thus are complicit the in the debacle the HRC's have become, and continue to flourish.

Elliott can win the leadership -

IF .......

(1) What she must do is break the unionized strangle hold on the LCBO and give Mom and Pop variety store owners in Toronto and all Ontario the right to sell beer and wine products competitively.

(2)promise to reconstitute the Ontario HRC to its original mission. Leaving hate speech to the criminal courts.

(3) Skewer Dalton McGuinty's "early daycare program" as a closet communist plot to further indoctrinate children to socialism.

(4) Stress the flat tax.

(5) Stress property rights!!

(6) Come on strong like a Margaret Thatcher.

Posted by: Joe Molnar | 2009-06-17 1:13:41 PM

Dispensing with the OHRC is going to take political finesse I'm not sure any of the PC candidates have.

Rightly or wrongly, the Liberals are going to paint those who oppose the OHRC as racists. Warren Kinsella will see to that. Will people be able to see through the charade? I doubt it. A skilled politician could frame the issue properly -- maybe -- but I wouldn't bet against Kinsella.

Besides, the Ontario human rights act doesn't have an equivalent of the federal Section 13(1). That makes it much more difficult to oppose the institution on free speech grounds -- unless "no blacks allowed" signs are your idea of free speech (since that's the kind of "speech" that OHRC has jurisdiction over.)

Try running with that idea. It would be a disaster.

Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2009-06-17 1:29:48 PM

Being free to post an NBA sign is not what Hillier proposed (unfortunately) although the racists are quite happy to restrict whites from forming the equivalent of an Association of Black Police Officers. Hillier suggested moving it to the courts.

The racist hypocrite game, (some of my best friends are black, however, I'd never step a foot inside Jane-Finch except for a photo op) unfortunately is embraced by the sheeple.

Posted by: DJ | 2009-06-17 2:04:08 PM

"Try running with that idea. It would be a disaster."

How about running with the idea that these tribunals violate your Charter rights? Many of the most infamous cases brought before the OHRC have had nothing to do with race.

Of course, this IS a province that voted for both Dave Miller and Dalton McGuinty twice, so it would hardly be proper to overestimate their intellectual capabilities.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-06-17 2:06:03 PM

"so it would hardly be proper to overestimate their intellectual capabilities."

Nor the demographics!

Posted by: DJ | 2009-06-17 2:22:59 PM


You're right, but that's how it will be portrayed. The rhetoric around the HRC system is that it allows vulnerable minorities to protect their rights without having to resort to the time and expense of a lawsuit. I'm not evaluating that claim -- just repeating it.

Therefore, if you want to abolish the OHRC, you're going to enable more discrimination against those minorities. Tell me that Kinsella isn't going to go down that road. In fact, I'd bet that "enabling discrimination" or "enabling racists" or maybe "empowering" them will be exactly the kind of language that would be used.

(Hudak did say he wanted to abolish Section 13 of the Ontario Human Rights Code, which does deal with the "intention to discriminate," e.g. "no blacks allowed" signs. Maybe he misspoke, or was referring to Section 13 of the CHRA.)


I don't think you can go wrong with a low estimate of the cognitive abilities of the electorate. Just imagine the commercials:

Show image of "No blacks allowed" sign, maybe an old photograph from pre-Civil Rights era U.S. Flash slogan: "If Hudak is elected, will we be seeing signs like this in Ontario? Don't take that chance."

Etc. Appealing to Charter rights isn't going to help much because most people don't believe their rights are being infringed because the law prohibits them from putting up a "no blacks allowed" sign.

That's unfortunate, and if such commercials do air the WS will be all over them. But will the major news media do the same?

Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2009-06-17 3:01:46 PM

"Many of the most infamous cases brought before the OHRC have had nothing to do with race."

This is what I meant by educating the people. A competent political team should be able to present a strong case...given the time to do so.

To be fair to Ms. Elliott, she is going to have to spend a great deal of time and effort explain her flat tax to the electorate. It is not reasonable to ask her to take on two such tasks. It is reasonable, however, to care more about tax cuts than getting rid of the OHRC. After all taxes hurt far more people than the OHRC

Posted by: Hugh MacIntyre | 2009-06-17 3:13:03 PM

No doubt, Terrence. However, Hillier has made the commitment. It's a little late now to be concerned about being called a racist. It's like John McCain. He didn't bring up Rev. Wright's association with Obama for fear of being called a racist, yet he was called, not only a racist, but a red state fascist, anyway.

Posted by: DJ | 2009-06-17 3:35:20 PM

Terence wrote:

"Hudak did say he wanted to abolish Section 13 of the Ontario Human Rights Code, which does deal with the "intention to discriminate," e.g. "no blacks allowed" signs. Maybe he misspoke, or was referring to Section 13 of the CHRA."

That was Klees. Hudak wants the whole thing "scrapped", to be replaced with I know not what. And if Klees was referring to Section 13 of the CHRA, then how could introducing a private members bill in the Ontario Legislature accomplish anything?

And if he was counting on PCPO members being dumb enough to miss the distinction (between provincial S13 and federal 13), do PCPO members want him to lead them?

Posted by: bigcitylib | 2009-06-17 4:37:34 PM

i never doubt the ability of the masses to take the easy route to oppression.

"Sometimes politicians have to bend to the aggregated will of the people. Sometimes a politician has to lead".

yeah, but if we had a rock solid, liberty centered republican Constitution, politicians would not necessarily be at the mercy of populism, nor be unfettered to lead and make incredibly stupid decisions.

but we don't, so it's a crap shoot. the years ahead will be interesting.

Posted by: shel | 2009-06-17 5:19:09 PM

Hudak wants the whole thing "scrapped", to be replaced with I know not what.
Posted by: bigcitylib | 2009-06-17 4:37:34 PM

How about using existing laws in the Criminal Code, or do you liberals prefer kangaroo courts?

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-06-17 5:22:12 PM

The Stig,

Nope. He wants to create a kind of new court thingy based on family court. Or do you Conservatives have shit for brains and don't even pay attention to what your own leadership candidates are saying?

As a Liberal, I shouldn't have to do your work for you.

Posted by: bigcitylib | 2009-06-17 6:49:25 PM


Thanks for the correction(s).

I remembered reading that one of the candidates had mixed up the CHRA with the Ontario code at your place and thought it was Hudak.

Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2009-06-17 10:54:50 PM

I can't believe how spineless so many people in this party are. It reminds me of a bunch of Michael Ignatieffs. The HRC issue is not similar to faith based funding. John Tory was the problem, not the stupid faith schools issue. We can't elect another Red Tory. Ernie Eves = lost. John Tory = lost. The next Red Tory candidate = will lose. Dalton will slice and dice a diet Liberal. When he does that, these kangaroo courts will go on for another decade. It's time to act like principled conservatives and change the status quo. What would Winston Churchill do? "Oh no, it will be unpopular. We should go with the flow to win an election."

Posted by: Charlie knows best | 2009-06-18 6:23:54 AM

I doubt the wisdom of treating the electorate as though they were stupid. I am naive perhaps, but I have no doubt that if warren want to go negative over the issue of suppressing free speech, his conservative counterparts could go tit-for-tat.

Posted by: Timothy | 2009-06-18 9:19:13 AM

"I can't believe how spineless so many people in this party are. It reminds me of a bunch of Michael Ignatieffs. The HRC issue is not similar to faith based funding. John Tory was the problem, not the stupid faith schools issue. We can't elect another Red Tory. Ernie Eves = lost. John Tory = lost.The next Red Tory candidate = will lose, etc,etc,"

Posted by: Charlie knows best | 2009-06-18 6:23:54

Exactly right Charlie.......
In that vein I have emailed Randy Hillier with copies to all four PC leadership candidates, earlier today, the following email. (self-explanatory)

Mr. Hillier,

I will be voting for the person who proposes the following planks in their run for the Ontario PC leadership.
Not necessarily in order of preference as presented, and allowing possibly some variation on implementation of the plank.

( 1 ) Elimination of "block funding" of Hospitals, encouraging Hospitals to compete for patients.

( 2 ) Allow beer and wine sales in Mom and Pop Variety stores in Ontario ( a sure vote getter in major centres with many immigrants)

( 3) Revamp the Human Rights laws removing the "hate" issue as it is currently imbedded.

( 4 ) Consider a provincial flat tax or enhanced tax breaks for families with young children and a stay - at -home parent.

( 5) Enable and encourage "Charter" schools.

( 6 ) Strengthen "property" rights.

( 7 ) Right to work legislation especially in the healthcare industry.

( 8 ) Encourage Native groups to set up and operate world class diagnostic (MRI / Cat scan) pay as you go for profit clinics on "reserves" as opposed to illicit cigarette manufacturing and sales.

Posted by: Joe Molnar | 2009-06-18 12:17:17 PM

Joe Molnar,

That idea of getting aboriginals involved in improving healthcare delivery is fantastic!

Posted by: Timothy | 2009-06-18 3:17:49 PM

Charlie knows best,

And the irony is: Winnie Churchill was a Red Tory, too.

Posted by: Konrad | 2009-06-20 8:07:11 PM

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