Saturday, April 23, 2016

Exporting human rights and wrongs

It may be well and good that other nations copy our Charter of Rights and Freedoms as extolled by seemingly endless editorial writers, retired judges and commentators  However, any export of this document must include the caution:"Contents subject to extreme abuse." 

One need only examine one of the Charter's offspring (Ontario Human Rights Tribunal) with its over-reaching tendencies and questionable results.

-- A UFO cult was declared a religion thereby transforming a breach of contract into a more lucrative case of religious discrimination. 

-- A coffee shop owner was ordered to pay $15,000 to a disruptive customer whom he called a Gypsy.  I do know if there's a connection but within two months the coffee shop closed.

-- A hockey association was ordered to pay $18,000 to a family for failure to provide adequate dressing room facilities.

-- The Ontario Superior Court ordered a re-hearing of a case where a business owner was ordered by the human rights tribunal to pay $36,000 to a dismissed employee. Immediately following the original decision, the Human Rights Legal Support Centre (HRLSC) swooped in and obtained a writ of seizure ordering the sheriff to sell the business operator's home to enforce payment. 

On appeal, the Court said it was "simply not possible to logically follow the pathway taken by the adjudicator." The HRLSC chose to proceed, the illogic notwithstanding. Had the accused not had the funds to appeal, she would have lost her home. And so on, across Canada.

By any objective standard, human rights tribunals are cash cows for those with grievances, real or imagined. Countries importing our Charter must be warned: Handle with care.

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