CNW – Harper Government Steps Up Attacks against Women’s Human Rights
In recent weeks, the following organizations have been denied funding by Status of Women Canada (SWC): the New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity, le Conseil d’intervention pour l’accès des femmes au travail (CIAFT), the Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses, Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW), Réseau des tables régionales de groupes de femmes du Québec, the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation, Action travail des femmes.
Several other key organizations have been denied SWC funding in the last few years, such as the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women, Womenspace, the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada, the Alberta Network of Immigration Women, Centre de documentation sur l’éducation des adultes et la condition feminine, Association féminine d’éducation et d’action sociale (AFEAS.)
Tag Archives: Canada
Xtra – As Xtra previously reported, Richard filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission in 2005. He alleges discrimination based on sexual orientation by his former employer, the Treasury Board of Canada.
Richard, the Canadian government, the CHRC and the Attorney General are entangled in legal proceedings over whether Richard’s allegations of systemic homophobia — which was filed two decades after the events in question — should still be heard in court.
Edmonton Journal – Dismayed and angry members of the transgendered community are preparing to launch a human rights complaint after the province delisted sex-change surgery from its funding coverage.
“It’s a matter of life and death,” said Jamie-Lynn Garvin, a 47-year-old who has been living as a woman for the last two years and was on a waiting list for a sex-change operation (although her funding hadn’t yet been approved).
ACC – Keep an open mind when determining which relationships are covered by family status protection. For example, the Ontario Human Rights Code defines family status as “the status of being in a parent and child relationship.” This definition however, has been liberally interpreted by both courts and tribunals to include most parent and child “type” relationships including non-biological parent and child relationships and non-biological gay and lesbian parents. The Ontario Human Rights Commission has also taken the position that family status protection extends to individuals providing eldercare to aging parents. Given the aging population, employers should prepare for family status accommodation requests from employees who are looking after older parents with special needs.
Detroit Free Press – “The United States is correct that it need not wait until people are killed before it arrests conspirators,” U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts said in a 36-page decision. “But, the Defendants are also correct: their right to engage in hate-filled, venomous speech, is a right that deserves First Amendment protection.”
Toronto Sun – She is helping friend, Ray Nemard, 40, in his bid to obtain an apology from the commission after he was allegedly called a “f****** monkey,” by an operator at Coxwell subway station in 2004.
A complaint was filed to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, which is hearing his case.
“I am not happy by what I heard today,” Nemard said after the meeting. “The operator who did this to me is still on the job even though we know he has 16 complaints against him.”
He takes “pills and other medication” to help him cope with the slur, which he said led to a loss of his job as a chef.
Toronto Star – Hate speech and the Canadian Human Rights Commission: B
Any restriction on speech has to have a clear social benefit, and so we recognize the Canadian Human Rights Commission for its decision in the Lemire case to deem the hate speech provision of the Canadian Human Rights Code to be unconstitutional.
Examiner – Don’t expect Commissioner Lynch to bring about change to way the system works, at least not in anyway that protects and respects the fundamental freedoms Canadians cherish such as free expression…
Asking Ms. Lynch this week about changing well documented problem behaviours in the CHRC, she tried to tell me that they are rated as one of the best places to work by civil servants and that they are continually improving.
“We are proud of how we accomplish our work,” says Lynch. I just wish the rest of us could say the same.
Vancouver Sun – The rules that allowed a Vancouver Catholic high school to sideline a lesbian teacher after her lifestyle became an issue have been in place for decades across the country and have been upheld by Canada’s highest court.
But labour and employment lawyers said Thursday it may be time for the Supreme Court of Canada to revisit the issue of how religious rights and freedoms can in some cases trump individual human rights.
Globe and Mail – What issues are you going to be raising?
We’re thrilled the Canadian government has decided to focus on maternal and child health for the G8. But the fact is that they’ve been backsliding. This is a government that hasn’t taken gender equality and women’s rights issues very seriously in terms of our foreign aid. The Canadian government used to give a lot of funding directly to women’s organizations, but we’ve been shrinking that funding over the years.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Toronto Star – City bureaucrats may withdraw funding from Pride Toronto next year if the activist group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid is allowed to march in this summer’s parade.
The city, which gave Pride $121,000 in 2009, believes its anti-discrimination policy was likely violated by QuAIA’s conduct and even its very presence at last summer’s parade, said general manager of economic development and culture Mike Williams…
“They’re trying to compare it to hate speech, and I find it deeply offensive, as somebody who’s been fighting human rights battles for a really long time, to hear that criticism of the state of Israel is somehow hate speech. No way,” said Flanders, one of several Jewish QuAIA members.
“I’m a big Jew-lover. And my Judaism taught me to stand up for what is right. This has nothing to do with anything other than criticism of Israel … Political difference need not be censored.”
The Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) announced plans last month to close its regional offices in Toronto, Vancouver, and Halifax, a move some critics are calling an attack on the human rights system…
Taylor says the closure of the offices will actually deliver better service, because the CHRC is “taking management positions and turning them into front-line positions.”
Deborah Gyapong – Political correctness, media feeding frenzies charging “raaaaacism!,” ‘human rights’ commissions undermining fundamental rights, have also played their role in hamstringing the police departments. Who is to blame? We are for not demanding political accountability and for not insisting on free speech and association rights without the threat of violence or bullying tactics to shut it down.
Globe and Mail – Environmental sensitivity is listed as a disability in Ontario’s Human Rights Code, which means that employers have a duty to accommodate the needs of the environmentally sensitive in the workplace.
However the rule doesn’t specifically address scent sensitivities as a disability, says Pascale Demers, spokesperson for the Ontario Human Rights Commission.
The commission has only ever received two complaints from employees about scent sensitivity. Both were settled privately, and the commission has no information about what was decided, Ms. Demers says.
Scaramouche – Love power? Looking for employment? Willing to relocate to beautiful British Columbia? Well, then, do I have the job for you–a spot on the B.C. Roobunal…
Heather MacNaughton, Chair, BC Human Rights Tribunal. 2008 salary: $172, 101.
Chronicle Herald – Peter MacKay, the defence minister and a supporter of the UN effort, said the March 11 ratification signals Canada’s commitment to be governed by the agreement.
“The convention is important internationally because it is the first international human rights treaty that explicitly reaffirms existing human rights guarantees for people with disabilities and promotes respect for their inherent dignity,” said MacKay in a news release.
Denise Peterson-Rafuse, the provincial minister responsible for the disabled persons commission act, said she was proud Nova Scotia was one of the first provinces to signal support for ratification of the treaty.
CTV – The Forks in Winnipeg is undergoing a makeover which is expected to last around ten years.
The Forks North Portage and their site partners outlined their plans for the future of the area at a Public Open House on Saturday.
Some of the projects include an Adventure Park for kids, renovations to the Manitoba Children Museum and the Upper Fort Garry Heritage Park and Interpretive Centre as well as the anticipated completion of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
There are also plans to build 350 condominium and apartment suites.
Toronto Star – The new Conservative appointees hounded the [Rights and Democracy] president, Remy Beauregard, over three small grants he had given to one Israeli and two Palestinians NGOs to probe possible human rights violations during the Israeli attack on Gaza a year ago. He died of a heart attack caused by the harassment, said his wife, Suzanne Trepanier, who testified Tuesday.
Toronto Star – Call Ontario’s new human-rights legal centre for help with racism and the telephone wait time could last up to 20 minutes.
Some people who have experienced discrimination will eventually get advice. Others give up and never call back.
Earlier today, the Star revealed that the centre is swamped with allegations of sex, race and disability discrimination, leaving front-line staff able to answer only 57 percent of the 38,579 calls received in the year-long period ending March 31.