We have created a human rights monster

As Mr. Warawa and 165 of his Conservative colleagues return to Parliament Hill with a strong mandate, now is the time to take a good look at our Canadian Human Rights Commission and Tribunal (CHRC).


As Mr. Warawa and 165 of his Conservative colleagues return to Parliament Hill with a strong mandate, now is the time to take a good look at our Canadian Human Rights Commission and Tribunal (CHRC). All sides of the political spectrum agree that this quasi-judicial body has deviated far from its original mandate.

The following facts speak loudly.

The tribunal doesn’t have to abide by the standard rules of justice that are the norm in the courts. Hurt feelings are enough to find someone guilty of a crime. Regular legal defences of truth, fair comment, and lack of intent to harm don?t apply to the CHRC. As a result, for 32 years the CHRC had a 100% conviction rate for cases pertaining to Section 13 of the human rights code (hate messages).

Activists love the federal and provincial HRCs because they can launch a complaint, have all their expenses paid, while the person they complain about has to cover their own expenses and get their own legal help (thousands of dollars), regardless of their innocence or the outcome. It is a punishment just to be subject to a complaint. To add to all of this, the CHRC continues to lobby Parliament to create more rights over which it can have jurisdiction. And if someone has a concern with how it is operating, there is no complaint mechanism by which the commission or tribunal can be held accountable.

After incredible public opposition, the CHRC hired their own expert and gave him $50,000 to review their practices. Even he concluded that the censorship powers of the CHRC had to be removed. Yet nothing has been done. In the last Parliament, former Liberal MP Keith Martin brought forward a private member?s motion to reform the CHRC. The Conservative Party voted overwhelmingly to do the same at their last policy convention. Yet still nothing has happened. The CHRC continues to undermine the fundamental freedoms of Canadians.

With a Conservative majority government and with incredible public support, now is the time to reform, or even remove, the Canadian Human Rights Commission and Tribunal.

Mark Penninga, Langley

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