Monthly Archives: May 2008

Not A Guide Dog? Not A Problem

[Vancouver Sun] A strata council has been ordered to pay a blind man $12,000 for frustrating his attempts to buy into a Vancouver Island townhouse development because he was bringing his guide dog with him.

“I have concluded that it was Ms. Frazelle’s understanding that the strata council could only accept a dog over 15 kg if it was a registered guide dog. This had an adverse impact on Mr. Jones because of his physical disability,” [BC Human Rights Tribunal Member, Barbara Humphreys] said in her written decision.

Humphreys said that while Chloe didn’t have training as a guide dog, there was evidence she had adapted to the role as Jones lost his sight.

The rest.

Singapore’s Attorney-General Pays Attention In Class

[Reuters] The newspaper quoted Attorney-General Walter Woon as saying that it would be “hypocrisy” for such activists to decide what is acceptable for the rest of society.

“There is a misconception that Singapore officialdom is against human rights,” the pro-government daily quoted Woon as saying at a Singapore Law Society event.

“What we are against is the assumption of some people that when they decide what are human rights, it is a decision for the rest of humanity,”

The rest.

Finding Future Surgeons, Without All The Icky Stuff

[Canadian Press] That’s what animal rights activists in West Virginia had in mind when they donated Canadian interactive software that replicates a frog dissection to Wheeling Park High School.

Marilyn Grindley, a member of the Ohio County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said dissecting animals “desensitizes kids.”

“It tells them that we do not have any respect for any animal.”

She wants to end the practice.

The rest

Human Rights Law Prof: Cut Bush Some Slack

Tip of the hat for a gutsy move on this guy’s part. There goes his grant money.

[Thane Rosenbaum, WSJ] This is a difficult issue for me. I didn’t vote for President Bush – twice. And as a human-rights law professor, the events at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, along with various elements of the Patriot Act and the National Security Agency’s wiretapping of Americans, are all greatly troubling to me.

All this time Americans have been safe from suicide bombers, biological warfare and collapsing skyscrapers, while the rest of the world has been on red alert. And yet President Bush is regarded as the worst president in American history? Sorry, I must be missing something here.

The rest.

One Step Closer To Total Power – And A Whole Bunch Of Money

[CHRC website, May 29, 2008] The Commission was commenting on the passage of Bill C-21 in the House of Commons.

“This is a milestone piece of legislation,” said CHRC Chief Commissioner Jennifer Lynch, Q.C., “How appropriate that this historic step forward by Parliament is being taken now, as today is the National Day of Action.”

Repeal of this section is just a first step. The real work for the Commission and for First Nations — building effective human rights protection — is just beginning.

Rewind:

Don’t forget to pony up the cash…

[Jennifer Lynch, Speech, April 19, 2007] I would like to articulate clearly the imperative need of ensuring that both First Nations and the Commission have the resources needed to ensure that implementation is successful. No matter how well an interpretative provision is drafted or how long the transitional period is, implementation will not be successful without adequate resources to build needed capacity. Without that capacity, implementation may falter and this would bring the Canadian Human Rights Act into disrepute.  No one wants this result.

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…and just remember who you’re dealing with, too.

[Speech, same page] Finally, I would like to clarify that the Commission’s statutory mandate goes well beyond the investigation and resolution of human rights complaints.  The Act makes the Commission the guardian of human rights by giving the Commission broad powers to ensure that human rights are effectively implemented in the federal jurisdiction.

But it’s all about Aboriginal rights, isn’t it?

The Higher You Go, The More It Stinks

[Canwest] Teresa Hitchings, 31, filed a complaint with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission after she was terminated from her job as an order desk clerk at salon products company P.S.S. Professional Salon Services.

After a 2005 hearing, a human rights tribunal ruled in Hitchings’ favour after boss Don Campbell testified Hitchings likely would have received a letter of warning for being “a troublemaker” at work, had she not been on maternity leave.

The tribunal awarded her a total of $4,384 in lost wages and personal injuries suffered.

Campbell appealed, and a Queen’s Bench judge upheld the ruling in 2006.

But last December, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal overturned that decision, saying the tribunal disregarded enough evidence to affect its ruling.

The human rights commission tried to fight back, applying for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, but on Thursday, the country’s top court refused to hear the case. The court does not release reasons for refusal.

The rest.

No Way. An Opportunistic Human Rights Lawyer?

[Ottawa Citizen] Mrs. Blair, who is also an accomplished barrister specializing in human rights law and member of Britain’s Queen’s Counsel, is being criticized as “cash-hungry,” “opportunistic,” and for providing too much personal information.

The rest.