Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Toronto Moves To Toughen Up Discrimination Policy

[James]Pasternak’s motion directed city manager, Joe Pennachetti, to craft an updated discrimination policy that will ensure events funded by the city, or that take place on city property, promote respect, tolerance and diversity.

In other words, no hate speech.

Well, that's one way of putting it.  Another way is to say that under Toronto's current discrimination policy, which is based on the Ontario Human Rights Code,  the expression "Israeli Apartheid" does not constitute hate speech, so council has voted to change the policy such that it does, thus effectively prohibiting Queers Against Israeli Apartheid from marching in Toronto's Pride parade.  The rewrite won't be ready for this year's march, and in any case its easy to see how it might all go awry:  though aimed explicitly at QuAIA, the language in the new document must be crafted in more general terms, and there's already a line-up forming to address the concerns of other groups.

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