Monday, December 1, 2008

Human Rights Act, Section 13

Never ask a question if you fear the answer. Jennifer Lynch, chief of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, had no such fear when she paid University of Windsor law professor $50,000 to report on Section 13 of The Canadian Human Rights Act. She did not anticipate the answer she got.

Contrary to Lynch's expectations, Moon recommended curtailing the commission's mandate. He recommended that hate speech be dealt with by our courts, not human rights commissions where the usual rules of fairness find scant application.

Rather than accept the report, Commissioner Lynch has launched a consultative process -- an obvious delaying tactic. Given that she recently hired a communications firm, may we fear some kind of public relations offensive? Will she then refer the matter to Parliament? Fortunately, some Members of Parliament are already planning to act on the report.

No law or commission has ever erased prejudice or bigotry. This has always been a matter for educators -- a role commissioners are decidedly ill equipped to play.