Tuesday, March 12, 2013


I don't have much to add to this:

Much of the recent commentary on our human rights commissions and tribunals has focused on the recent Supreme Court of Canada’s Whatcott ruling. The case dealt with the so-called “hate speech” section of Saskatchewan’s human rights laws, after a Christian pastor was accused of promoting hate against homosexuals. Some provinces (like Saskatchewan) have such laws, and some (like Manitoba) do not. I am conflicted on whether such laws are desirable, but I do know that we should never throw out the baby with the bathwater. If you don’t want hate-speech clauses in human rights laws, lobby governments to take them out. We do not have to abolish human rights commissions and tribunals in order to do so. We should be working to improve our commissions and tribunals, not eliminate them altogether.

In short, human rights commissions and tribunals are typical administrative law bodies. They are not bogged down by frivolous complaints, and provide useful assistance in mediating disputes and educating the public. While not perfect, they can be made better without starting over from scratch. These institutions play an important and constructive role in Canada today. They should not be abolished.

Doug Christie has passed, incidentally.


Marky Mark said...

But the debate hasn't been about abolishing the full codes and the tribunals but just the hate speech section(s) and that's what governments are being asked to do. Sounds like the author is agnostic on s. 13.

bigcitylib said...

For awhile Hudak and co. were going to shut down the OHRC. Backed off a few years back.