Friday, April 11, 2008

They just don't get it

All the HRCs in Canada are presently under attack by virtually everybody in the journalistic or pubishing business in Canada because of the uproard caused by the complaints brought by some Muslims against Ezra Levant, Mark Steyn and MacLeans Magazine. In Ottawa there is even some thought being given to abolishing these institutions, although the provinces would have to deal with the provincial ones.

Early on, the Ontario HRC said it would not deal with the complaints because it was too backlogged with other business. But a couple of days ago it issued a statement saying that it would not take on the complaint because it did not have jurisdiction. If it had left it at that it would have been enough. But it was not enough for the OHRC. Without having heard the merits of the complaints, or the defense of Steyn and MacLeans to the accusations, without, in short hearing a shred of evidence one way or another, it decided that MacLeans was guilty of inflaming Islamophobia, and by inference, guilty of violating somebody's human rights.

The head of the OHRC is a former mayor of Toronto and a lawyer. One would think a lawyer would have more regard for the impropriety of a quasi-judicial body declining jurisdiction, but by media release pronouncing a verdict without a trial. That in itself is shocking, but to have the audacity to perform something as foolish as this in the face of the growing windstorm threatening to blow HRCs out of the water is simply astounding. See this jaw dropping statement here.

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