Monday, August 31, 2009

Instant Replay 1 - The Real Victims of HRCs and the Law of Unintended Consequences

I am bringing forward some of my personal favourite blog entries of the last 4 months for this week, just like summer reruns, while I ponder the Fall Season of blog entries. I am working my way through a few items I want to post on, that take some research and time to put my thoughts together. I will still post some new stuff, just probably not any rocket science.

Here is my first rerun, where I started to look at the Real Victims of HRCs, and how the Law of Unintended Consequences gets them as much as the actual efforts of any government minion.

5 1/2 years ago, my wife and I became disabled. During these years, we have struggled with many things, not the least of which was the insurance system. However, all along the way, we have received Disability Income and benefits. So although we have endured financial, mental, physical and emotional hardships, we have not been totally economically disadvantaged, and we have had resources provided to us to help us deal with the challenges we have faced.

The real victims of the HRC’s are not in this position, and I empathise with them, and their plight, which is one of the reasons why I am writing this blog.

This blog is about the real victims of cases that are brought to HRC's. When a complaint is registered with an HRC, if it is a Hate Speech type of complaint, there does not have to be an actual victim, just the possibility that there might be a victim one day in the future. There only needs to be a complainant. In the case of a discrimination complaint, there is an actual aggrieved individual or group putting forward the complaint. For the moment, the aggrieved is a victim.

However, once the HRC is on the job, there are new victims in play. The first real victim in these cases is the Defendant in the action once it gets started. Why would I call the Defendant, who has been charged with discrimination or Hate Speech a Victim? The Defendant is victimized because the Claimant is able to just stand back and let the full might of the HRC come down on the Defendant.

The HRC documents the claim, gathers their evidence of the claim, and adjudicates the claim, all internally. The HRC pays all expenses of prosecuting the claim on behalf of the original Claimant, and regardless of how frivolous the claim, the Defendant absorbs all of his or her own costs to defend himself. The Defendant has no right to confront his accuser, no right to speedy trial, and is not innocent until proven guilty. In fact, the opening premise is that the Defendant is guilty, and the odds that he/she can prove he isn’t against the HRC machine are pretty slight.

I watched as Ezra Levant, who the Alberta HRC has tried to pin down advised a small businessman in London Ontario, who was being victimized by the Ontario HRC in a complaint, to pay them what they asked and get on with his life. Ezra’s logic was that if you can’t afford to fight tooth and nail with these bullies, then you need to get out of the fight as quickly as you can. What a sad but probably true commentary on a disgusting situation in our society.

But, Ezra Isaac Levant is, or at least he would have been, one of the real Victims of the HRC’s himself if he wasn’t a modern day Don Quixote, driving an armoured vehicle and locked and loaded with cruise missiles sited on the hallowed halls of the Alberta HRC. I have no doubt that Ezra suffered sleepless nights, and that his personal life was impacted. I do not know if the demise of the Western Standard as a magazine was impacted by his early struggles with the cases brought against him, but it shure did not help.

Ezra Levant is a street fighter, unlike most of us, and refused to take being victimized lying down, or even standing up for that matter. He took it at full throttle, as he seems to take everything.

Ezra has now made a new career out of fighting the HRC’s, and I for one am on his side. Most of the HRC hit list will not fare as well, at least in the short term.

Take Reverend Stephen Boissoin from Red Deer Alberta for example. Reverend Boissoin ministered to at-risk youth on the streets of Red Deer Alberta. He cared for them, because he knew where they came from. He had been there. He knew that many were prostituting themselves to make money to survive, and he had had enough. So, he spoke out in writing to the Red Deer Advocate. His words might have been intemperate, but his heart was well intentioned. He loved the kids and wanted to heal them and bring them to the truth. But for 6 years, he has been fighting against the Alberta HRC machine, because one man Dr. Darren Lund took offence and rather than write a letter to the editor himself, complained to the Alberta HRC. So not only is Reverend Boissoin a victim of the Alberta HRC, but also the street kids of Red Deer Alberta, who lost their mentor, because he had to resign from full time ministry due to the stresses and strains on his life.

He will survive because good ultimately triumphs over evil, though evil might have its season. Will the kids he was ministering to? Does anybody even care about the real victims of this travesty of justice?

And take the case of my friend in Ontario, a grade school principal. She had worked her way up to being a principal by caring about kids and fellow teachers over many long years of hard work, and study. Then one day, an irate mother, a bully herself but with the advantage of dark skin, went to the Ontario HRC, and claimed discrimination, because her son who had stolen money from the principal’s desk was being punished, and because the principal would not allow certain so called medical equipment on school grounds without proper medical approval. The case, now in its third year strained the already fragile health of the principal, and she retired last year. She is a victim of the Ontario HRC, but so too are all the kids and teachers that relied on her for love and support.

She will survive because good ultimately triumphs over evil, though evil might have its season. Will the kids she was guiding? Does anybody even care about the real victims of this travesty of justice?

What is at play here is what is called the "law of unintended consequences". This is not an actual law but a maxim and states that "any purposeful action will produce some unintended consequences." From recent theatrical history, we may be familiar with the "Butterfly Effect".

The HRC's in an effort to protect us from the possible malicious thoughts or words or even deeds of others, that might be construed to be discriminatory unleashes undesirable after effects. As above, they have caused through their hubris a school to lose a loving, compassionate principal, and young people at-risk in need of a mentor to lose that mentor. As well, both of those individuals were left battered and beaten emotionally at the roadside by the weight of the ridiculous accusations leveled against them by these pompous, arrogant popinjays.

However, not all unintended consequences work for the bad. Ezra Levant's book "Shakedown" is for all intents and purposes of your local HRC an unintended consequence, as is his diligent promotion of his intent to see the end of these institutions.

So, the question that I have to ask anyone out there who is listening is this: Who is going to hold the HRC's to account for the lives that they have ruined with their ceaseless and senseless pursuit of the unattainable? Trying to manage the thought lives of your fellow man is arrogant, and reprehensible, as well as a total waste of time, energy, and precious taxpayer dollars. This must be stopped.

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