Edmonton Journal – The Alberta government again appears to be making health-care decisions based not on true cost savings, but on what it thinks taxpayers will make the least noise about. How else to explain the continuing determination to end funding for sex-change operations?…
In the case of the relatively few Albertans seeking sex-reassignment surgery each year, they would be required to pay for a procedure that costs between $18,000 and $70,000 — an amount that can be financially devastating, to say nothing of the emotional and psychological devastation that would result from being unable to afford it.
Monthly Archives: April 2010
Aljazeera – As Latin American governments have condemned a tough new anti-immigration law in the US state of Arizona, a leading human rights group has also launched a scathing attack against it.
“Arizona’s new immigration law violates an international anti-racism treaty that is binding on all government officials in the United States,” Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Friday.
AP – Drug traffickers, not soldiers, killed two children during a shootout in northern Mexico earlier this month, Mexican military officials said Friday.
Army investigators reviewed the evidence and found 5-year-old Martin Almanza Salazar and his 8-year-old brother, Bryan, were killed by shrapnel from a grenade that hit the back of their family car April 3, the chief armed forces prosecutor, Jose Luis Chavez, said.
The Province – The decision by Little Flower Academy, a private Catholic girls school in Vancouver, to sack music teacher Lisa Reimer after she revealed that she and her partner were about to have a child indicates, again, how confused and frankly uptight many people remain about sexual orientation.
There’s no way you’ll watch the whole thing, but the first screen will do: “The Human Rights And Social Movements Program at the Carr Center for Human Rghts [sic] Policy.” Basically four well-to-do chicks bitching about life for 100 minutes.
Fox – Without fanfare, the United Nations this week elected Iran to its Commission on the Status of Women, handing a four-year seat on the influential human rights body to a theocratic state in which stoning is enshrined in law and lashings are required for women judged “immodest.”
McClatchy – As the death toll has climbed from drug-related violence in Mexico, it’s fallen largely to newspapers to keep the count.
Two weeks ago, a government report that legislators leaked spoke of 22,700 deaths over little more than a three-year period, a far higher body count than the 18,000 or so given by El Universal, a leading newspaper.
Patterico – Yesterday, Amnesty International called the abuse of migrants in Mexico a major human rights crisis. The same day, a “caravan of rights observers and leftist political activists” traveling in southern Mexico were attacked by gunfire. Two people were killed and many more may have been abducted…
The Hollywood Gossip – The She Wolf is on the prowl, and she’s set her sights on Arizona.
In response to that state’s incomprehensible new immigration law – which allows the police to ask for the identification of anyone suspected of being an illegal alien – Shakira is going on the attack.
She’s headed to to Arizona today to get involved in the issue…
Vancouver Sun – Albertans who have already had voluntary mastectomies or have started hormone therapy that has irreversibly led them to change sexes will be eligible to have their transgender surgery paid for by the province if they apply by July 31.
Funding for up to 20 people will remain in place for the sex-change surgeries until 2014-15, when the cash will dry up from Alberta Health and Wellness.
Globe and Mail – In a match that pits a modern-day human-rights crusader against a historical women’s-rights pioneer, a prominent Winnipeg lawyer is questioning whether Nellie McClung should be venerated on the grounds where she first fought for her right to vote nearly a century ago.
Earlier this year, the Nellie McClung Society unveiled plans to erect a larger-than-life statue of their namesake on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislature…
Like other suffragettes, Ms. McClung was an open advocate of forced sterilization, a blemish on her record that troubles modern-day rights advocates.
Metro - Canadian employers have historically taken an ignorant view of human rights tribunals and their often extraordinary decisions. But that may be quickly changing.
Sweeping changes to human rights legislation and left-leaning adjudicators directed to interpret remedial legislation — such as human rights laws — in a broad and inclusive manner, should leave employers very concerned. Here are some of the reasons why…
Times-Colonist – The University of Victoria’s efforts to evict a student who has lived in on-campus housing since 1991 could be heading back to B.C. Supreme Court.
Alkis Gerd’son claims UVic is violating his human rights because he has a mental disability. In 2004, the province designated Gerd’son as disabled, allowing him to collect monthly support, including a housing allowance and other benefits. His complaint goes before a B.C. Human Rights tribunal in June.
Gerd’son earned a bachelor’s degree in 1997 and has not completed classes since. The university has been trying to evict him since 1998.
Times-Colonist – It seems increasingly likely that a dispute between the parents of a Nanaimo bantam girls hockey team and the Nanaimo Minor Hockey Association will go before the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal later this year.
Parents recently cancelled a settlement meeting to try to resolve the dispute, first made public last fall.
A complaint filed on behalf of the Bantam A female hockey team claimed “gender-based” discrimination after a competitive hockey program for teenage girls for the 2009-10 season was cancelled.
The NMHA informed parents the female Bantam A competitive program, which had been running for four years, would be cancelled due to a lack of players.
StarPhoenix - There are good reasons why the Court of Queen’s Bench is not a good replacement option for the human rights tribunal.
Three comprehensive reviews of provincial human rights systems have said just that, for reasons of access to justice, expertise in human rights, and representativeness of different sections of the community. The Ontario Human Rights Code review task force, Achieving Equality: A Report on Human Rights Reform, 1992; B.C. Human Rights Review: Report on Human Rights in British Columbia, 1994; and the report of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, Renewing the Vision: Human Rights in Saskatchewan, 1996.
Huffington Post – On Tuesday, April 27, 2010, a judge takes a seat on the bench and gavels court to order … in a military commission convened at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Nearly 18 months after believers’ elected Barack Obama president and more than 15 months after he raised his hand and took the oath of office, that which he promised to stop continues. Maybe the Obama 2012 re-election slogan should be “Believe it when you see it.”
National Post – A Canadian human rights group is accusing the University of Ottawa of “spying” and attempting to stifle free speech after top university administrators considered preventing a well-known Burmese activist from speaking on campus.
Canadian Friends of Burma says it will ask the Ontario government to grant provincial ombudsman Andre Marin power to investigate the conduct of the University of Ottawa administrators in relation to the event.
Daily Mail - Parents who smack their children should be prosecuted for assault, a European human rights group said last night.
The Council of Europe is calling for a complete ban on smacking across the continent, saying even the smallest slap can leave psychological damage.
One official even compared parents who smack to men who violently beat their wives.
North Star National – Where I will get worked up is whether we really need such a commission with such broad implications. One quick look at the Commission’s web site is chilling (emphasis is original):
“Our Mission: To become the premier human rights agency globally.”
Why would a local governing body want to overtake its counterparts around the world? Or do they just want to be the best anti-discrimination agency in the world?
Either way, I am beginning to question whether such a regulatory system needs to take place in the United States anymore.
Vancouver Sun – Female high school athletes in Ontario will have the opportunity to crack the roster of boys’ teams next year after amendments were made to a provincewide policy following a human rights complaint.
The Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) said it will allow girls to try out for boys’ teams after Courtney Greer, a Grade 11 soccer player from Waterloo, Ont., a filed formal complaint.
National Post – The family of Luc Cagadoc, a young Filipino student from Montreal, claims the boy was discriminated against by his elementary school’s staff for eating his lunch Filipino-style — cutting his food with a fork and scooping it into his mouth with a spoon. This week, the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal came down on Luc’s side, awarding $17,000 to his family for racial and ethnic prejudice.
Chilliwack Times, Open Letter to Readers – There has been much discussion lately about “free speech” in Canada. I use parentheses [sic] to denote a term that causes many individuals to have a gag reflex as they consider the term to be a uniquely American concept that has no relevancy with our sense of Canadian values. Call it “freedom of expression” or what have you, but I do have concerns about our willingness to acquiesce to seemingly arbitrary standards of conduct and speech imposed by quasi-judicial bodies. Their willingness to take away your right to expression should concern all of us.
The Stir – It’s a sad day for animal rights groups. The Supreme Court just struck down a federal law designed to stop the sale and marketing of dogfight videos and videos showing other acts of animal cruelty.
The court, in an 8-1 decision, ruled that the law was an unconstitutional violation of free speech…
The last time the Supreme Court carved out an exception to First Amendment free speech protection was in 1982 when it banned the distribution of child pornography.
Kansas City Star – Animal rights groups were naturally disappointed by the ruling, but said they would continue to press for a more specific law, one that might pass constitutional muster.
And let’s face it: This was a victory for free speech because it once again validated the view that the government doesn’t have all-encompassing powers to shut down speech it doesn’t like or deem appropriate.
Daily Mail – A Pakistani paedophile who abducted and sexually abused two young girls cannot be deported back to his native country because it would breach his human rights, it emerged today.
Zulfar Hussain, 48, was due to be sent home when he is released from prison halfway through his sentence for plying two vulnerable girls with drugs and alcohol before having sex with them.
Time – “IT’s time for equality for all Americans!” another protester yelled at 6:22. Obama said, “can I just say again Barbara and I are supportive of repealing Don’t ask dont tell.” But protester keeps yelling. Bringing Obama’s remarks to a halt. The crowd responds again by “shouting yes we can!” [sic] over the protesters.
“Be quiet!” someone yells.
Bangor Daily News – The Maine Human Rights Commission worked on but has not yet issued recommendations on how public schools accommodate transgender students. What should be the policy? Should boys who identify as girls be able to use the girls bathroom and locker room and participate on girls sports teams?