Monday, February 16, 2009

Folly Continues at the Ontario Human Rights Commission

In 2008, the Ontario Human Rights Commission smarted at the realization it had no jurisdiction to punish a journalist for what it perceived as "Islamophobia."

The Commission's website purports to define Islamophobia. The result is a wandering, erroneous and grammatically embarrassing effort. Such commissions wallow in vagueness, preferring to deal with feeling rather than fact. They exclude objective judgement, a condition favoured by the Utopian activists who inhabit such institutions.

Unable to impose political correctness on the media in Ontario, OHRC Chair Barbara Hall called for a national press council with compulsory membership for on-line media services. She would empower this yet another bureaucratic overseer to expose any breach of professional standards on the Internet, as she would like them to be.

In a manner exemplary of its communication skills, the Commission articulated, "Ensuring mechanisms are in place to provide opportunity for public scrutiny and the receipt of complaints, particularly from vulnerable groups is important, but must not cross the line into censorship."

From an editorial in The National Post: ". . . making all writers, bloggers and broadcasters hostage to a national press council is merely the first step toward letting the Barbara Halls of the world decide what you get to hear, see and read."

This attempted expansion of government intrusion was in reaction to the proposed curtailing of human rights commissions' jurisdiction as recommended by Law Professor Richard Moon. He wrote, "The use of censorship by the government should be confined to a narrow category of extreme expression --- that which threatens, advocates or justifies violence against members of an identifiable group."

No comments: