Thursday, August 13, 2009

Racial Profiling

The Pot Calls the Kettle Black

I woke up this morning angry, not of course with the beautiful vision lying next to me (that would be my wife), but because over night it had dawned on me.

When I was a younger man, after I qualified as a Chartered Accountant, I worked for a time in the National Tax Department of one of the large Big 8 then firms of CAs in their Toronto main office. I worked on the 42nd floor of the Royal Trust Tower. In those days you could see the Island airport, and in those particular days I saw them put the needle on top of the CN Tower with a giant Sikorsky helicopter. That was pretty cool, but note my point, just a reminiscence that shows how old I am.

Anyway, I worked for a man, Bill Goodlet, who had spent many years with the then Department of National Revenue, and had been one of the bright minds involved in a very significant reform of our taxing system in Canada in 1971. He taught me only one thing that I particularly remember and value in my bag of tricks to this day.

It was the articulation of his Repugnancy Index. We were a National Tax Department so it was our duty to review trends and bumpf and to find ways for clients of the firm across Canada to save tax dollars. Essentially, we shovelled clouds many days. But, in our shovelling, we looked at tax savings ideas as we came across them. In looking at these ideas, schemes really, I learned about the Repugnancy Index.

He taught me to step back from my planning on tax savings and reviews of other tax plans and look at it from all angles and see if it had a figurative smell to it by trying to look at it as others would do, if they were ordinary people, without our specialised training, and also how our peers and detractors would view our plans. If we detected a mental aroma, we had to determine if the aroma were one of decaying flesh (dead - get rid of it), disease (see if it can be healed) or newborn fresh skin. I have carried that with me for about 30 years, and wish I had opened that pocket in my trick bag a few more times over the years.

But, the Repugnancy Index buzzer went off for me over night, which is why I awoke angry this morning.

The Ontario HRC has accused Constable Michael Shaw of racial profiling as I blogged here, and of course as written about elsewhere by many. If Constable Michael Shaw was black, and Mr. Phipps was white, and if the black Constable Shaw had asked Mr. Phipps for ID, this case would never have occurred in the first case, even if the white Mr. Phipps had filed a Form 1 complaint with the HRC. First off, the white Mr. Phipps would know better than to even try to file a complaint.

Why you ask? Because the Ontario HRC has a mandate like all CASHRA members seem to, to do racial profiling in case selection, and case follow up. That's why I am so angry this morning. We are being had on this issue among many, by an organisation purporting to be working for our good, doing exactly what it is accusing police officers of doing, and they are getting away with it, which is the most galling thing of all.

I have known for a few days that something about the Michael Shaw case wasn't sitting well with me, and I thought that it just was that it was a lousy decision, and that Kaye Joachim really had no background or real world experience for drawing such a conclusion. Then, I put it all together.

No matter what anyone tells you in this fair province, as long as the Ontario HRC keeps running as it does, there are not equal rights for all Ontarians, and I don't think it is any better anywhere else in this land, or under J. Ly's umbrella.

I am looking at how Barb Hall took the one case of a blind person on the TTC, and turned that into call outs on the TTC and then on all of the transit systems in Ontario, at great cost to all of us as taxpayers, and is now nagging through her own HRC the last 3 who are struggling to comply. You might look at my blog post here that included that topic.

In the mean time, she is set to take on the Chief of Police of the Toronto PD, Bill Blair in September about racial profiling, having dinged his Constable Shaw. She is going in the same direction with this one, folks. She, the queen of profiling is going to claim that police, who actually have crime statistics on their side to assist them in predicting behaviours, is going to blame Toronto's Police Chief for systemic profiling in his force. If she wins this case, and she has a good track record of winning these ridiculous decisions, this does not bode well for police forces all around Ontario.

Someone needs to use Freedom of Information access to get data on the Ontario Human Rights Commission handling of complaints for a period of time to analyse their statistics and find out beyond their self serving annual report the truth of their activities. You want to see profiling. You'll find it there.

How long can this absurdity continue?


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, Trudeau gave the state a free pass to racially profile at will in the Charter, section 15(2), but the rest of us regular people aren't allowed to decide that for ourselves.

mbrandon8026 said...

Good catch, Will. This deserves a blog entry (or 2), because it is part of the sickening feeling I have in the pit of my stomache that I have to get rid of somehow.

Anonymous said...

I just might beat you to it :)

mbrandon8026 said...

Go for it. As I said, it deserves a blog entry or 2. I didn't mean I had to write them. If you write one, I would gladly cross post it for you, but I think I will do one too.

I am on the verge of apoplexy, or maybe it's just bad gas.

I was about to make a comment like you are so lucky to live in BC, but then you have your own freakish HRC out there, and we all have the J Ly umbrella over our heads here in beautiful Canuckistan or Trudeaupia.

Anonymous said...

Thankfully, the provincial Liberal government here abolished the HRC back in 2001(?) so there's no government agency who is agitating for complaints. That being said, the HRT that is accepting jurisdiction over complaints that other provincial HRTs won't touch (like the McLean's/Steyn case) and is a favorite destination for complaint-shoppers.

Rebekah H. said...

Linkback from

Does the Ontario HRT really want to make it illegal for any cop to arrest and/or question any person who belongs to a different race? Actually do they want to make it illegal for people of different races to talk to each other? Because it seems to me that that would be the only way you could be sure that you weren't violating the HRT racism standard. Although not talking to anyone of a different race would also be racist. This would also prohibit communication between the sexes (good luck with that one people, last I heard even abstinence was considered impractical by lefties). And prohibit non-communication between the sexes. And people of different religions (don't even mention the evangelism word) On pain of we will ruin your life by branding you a bigot. Hermit-hood never sounded so good....
Although as Freedom Through Truth would say, my reference to people of different races/sexes/religions/you name it not being able to communicate is heavily euphemistic, since we all know that the HRT is engaged in massive racial/sexist/religious profiling themselves and that only some people would get into trouble....