Having now lived in Canada for over 50 years, it pains me to see how far we have drifted from an ideal of equality under the law. There was a time not so long ago when our laws were meant to apply equally to all. Unfortunately, though, that time is perhaps lost forever.
Under Canadian law, individuals and private organizations cannot discriminate on the basis of gender, race, etc. As we have seen recently, however, our federal government can and does discriminate in its employment practices without fear of arrest or other sanction.
If one’s a participant in Toronto’s annual Gay Pride parade, one need not fear arrest regardless of exposing one’s wedding tackle, as Michael Coren calls it, or engages openly in lewd behaviour.
Furthermore, if you are a participant in a large protest or parade such as the ones put on by Toronto’s and Ottawa’s Tamil community, you can block a major high-speed highway for several hours with police cooperation and without arrests being made. You can also block traffic in front of the Ontario legislature, just make sure your protest has 1,000 or so participants—apparently our laws do not apply to large groups and gatherings.
Someone can call me dreadful, hurtful things and I can seek redress under the criminal code. But if I qualified as a person who is “identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination” as defined under Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, I could make a complaint to a human rights commission and it won’t cost me a cent. Individual rights, you see, are now subordinate to group rights. This makes equality of individuals under our laws a sham. It gives more rights to those individuals who belong to certain groups the government identifies for special treatment under the law. That, in effect, makes me a second-class citizen. That’s okay with progressives and they’re not happy to stop there.
Remember that our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms restricts its limit on free speech by stating “except where the statements made are true or are made in good faith.” In other words, truth is a defence. That’s about as fundamental as anything about democracy. It is what made the Charter’s limitation palatable. Apparently, though, this isn’t good enough for the progressives and the human rights industry. The Canadian Human Rights Commission wants to remove truth as a defence. Yes, the CHRC has listed this on its Web site as one of the recommendations in its Special Report to Parliament, Freedom of Expression and Freedom from Hate in the Internet Age. It’s right there under Part V: The Way Forward, Recommendation 5. The CHRC tries to justify removing truth as a defence by claiming “hatred against an entire group could never be true.” In other words, to protect certain groups considered worthy, it is prepared to destroy the fundamental human right of free speech as it applies to individuals. How progressive of them!
If you want to display symbols, such as flags, of outlawed organizations in public places, or honour the assassinated political head of an outlawed terrorist organization such as the Tamil Tigers, go right ahead—it’s quite acceptable and you’ll almost certainly get Liberal MPs to join in.
If one’s an aboriginal, one can block highways, damage public property and threaten residents while receiving OPP cooperation and assistance. If, however, you are a non-aboriginal Caledonia resident, you risk police arrest if you carry a Canadian flag near any protesting aboriginals.
During the recent G20 conference in Toronto, keeping the peace became such a mangled concept that at times on that weekend, it seemed no law at all applied, and the police made up their own on the fly to suit the circumstances. At times, vandalism occurred right in front of police without any attempt on their part to prevent it. At other times, just being on the street seemed enough grounds for individuals to be arrested.
That’s the new progressive way it seems.