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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tim Hudak’s got it half right, but better that than nothing

The announcement a few days ago by Ontario PC party leadership hopeful, Tim Hudak, that he “vows to scrap [Ontario’s] human rights tribunal” was welcome indeed. We are finally beginning to see politicians take up this cause—MPP Randy Hillier, another leadership hopeful did so earlier—and add their weight to the struggle for free speech by citizens like Ezra Levant.

This from Mr. Hudak’s Web site:

Tim proposes that the Tribunal be scrapped in favour of a court-based system operating under the rules of evidence. Complaints would go to specially trained judges, similar to the existing Domestic Violence and Family Law Courts. These judges would have a mandate to hear real cases of discrimination or harassment – not politically-motivated cases of hurt feelings.


Ezra Levant writes in his blog that he’s pleased with the Hudak announcement, but states that it covers only “half the problem.” Mr. Levant writes:

But merely replacing the HRCs [human rights commissions] corrupt system with a fairer court system is not the whole solution. I would have been no happier had a real judge heard the censorship case against me. It's the censorship that matters, too—the counterfeit “right not to be offended”. I don't want a real judge applying that fake right. I don’t want anybody presiding over such a sham. So it’s not just the process that’s broken, it’s the substance, too.


I’ll be happy with only half a solution if we can get. We have got to start somewhere in this struggle against insane laws and basic injustice. And I share Mr. Levant’s hope that Christine Elliot and Frank Klees, the other two candidates for the Ontario Tory leadership, come out with HRC reform platforms themselves, making it unanimous.

© 2009 Russell G. Campbell

3 comments — This is a moderated blog and comments will appear when approved. Please don’t resubmit if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, and please do not post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable.

  1. I agree. Unfortunately, Christine Elliott has come out to say she will only make some minor changes to the HRC:

    http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20090519/tribunal_Tories_090519/20090519/?hub=TorontoNewHome

    She says it will be worse than faith based funding for education. She's really, really, wrong.

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  2. Russ, it looks like we lost a PC leadership hopeful in the "struggle against insane laws and basic injustice." Christine Elliott does not support eliminating the human rights bureaucracy set up by Dalton McGuinty:

    http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20090519/tribunal_Tories_090519/20090519/?hub=TorontoNewHome

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  3. I agree with you, Russ, that we have to start somewhere. And while I respect Ezra for thinking that it may not be enough to remove the OHRC, getting rid of it would certainly mean reevaluating the system on which it is based.

    One doesn't really go without the other, at least thinking logically. I think Ezra should look more positively at Tim Hudak's proposal, it would be a first for this country. A wonderful precedent.

    As for the other candidates, as both commentators said before me, Elliott seems afraid to interfere with the reign of censorship of the OHRC. Minor changes won't cut it. I read that Frank Klees is also in favour of only "fixing" the OHRC.

    I don't understand the reticence from both of these candidates. Its pretty clear, as Ezra has pointed out several times, that the troubles with the HRCs are acknowledged by tons of normally conflicting groups. This is a tent issue, if we can say. I guess the hardcore liberals might not like it, but then it might reveal these candidates' true shade of Tory.

    Thanks for your post, Russ.

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