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Monday, April 19, 2010

Our Hate Runneth Over

Only the Toronto Star would try to make us feel sympathetic toward the Human Rights Commission:

Ontario Human Rights Commission chair Barbara Hall believes only a small number of cases are ever reported. "This is the tip of the iceberg," she says.

It is too soon to determine whether discrimination is on the rise or if this deluge is the effect of public awareness campaigns for the new system. But the Star's examination of at least 50 public cases and dozens of normally private mediated ones gives a stark picture of rampant racism and discrimination.

Or people cashing in on easy marks. Or seeing an opportunity for settling grudges. The Star then helpfully provides a series of commission cases, meant one assumes to show the knuckle draggers how much hate there is in modern Ontario. 

A black woman whose colleague taunted her with racial slurs won $15,000 through mediation. When she complained about the racist comments to her supervisor, he began to scrutinize her every move. She wrote a letter to the company president asking for help, and he fired her the next day.

Horrifying. Not the slightest bit of journalistic suspicion that an incompetent employee, pretty close to being let go, might devise an elaborate story to her advantage. The rest of the cases fall into a similar manner, spiced up by the occasional example of bad service cum cross burning. My favourite is the one with the smelly lunch. I'm not saying these incidents didn't happen, just that they have the feel of a system being well and throughly milked, or the usual give and take of a multi-ethinic society. People sometimes behave like jerks toward one another. Using this as a pretext for bureaucratic empire building will do little to change human nature. Some of the cases do involve legitimate grievances. Wrongful dismissal, physical and sexual harassment, trespassing on private property and old fashioned breach of contract. Yet these are all matters which could and should be settled through the regular court system. There was no reason to erect, much less maintain a parallel system of kangaroo courts to deal with these matters.

Posted by Richard Anderson on April 19, 2010 | Permalink


Thankfully, the days of these kangaroo courts appears to be numbered. Saskatchewan has already proposed trashing its tribunal, and when that does not bring about the end of civilization, other provinces and the feds will likely follow suit soon enough. They have all proved an acute embarrassment and an enormous political liability. The more the people learn about them, the less they like them.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-04-19 8:15:58 AM

HRCs are like stepping on dog poop or putting your hand on some drunk's hock. It's disgusting until you can clean it off, and you'll try to never have a repeat performance.

Posted by: Agha Ali Arkhan | 2010-04-22 12:17:43 AM

The sooner the funding is cut off for these Nazi tribunals the better. Hard to believe this was a free country not all that long ago.

Posted by: peterj | 2010-04-25 9:44:57 PM

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