The stifling menace that has been unleashed on Canadian civic life over the last couple decades by those federal and provincial tribunals known as human rights commissions is finally being dragged into the full glare of public scrutiny with the highest profile cases of their kind yet to be heard.
Originally formed as a means to prevent discrimination against minorities in matters of employment and housing, since the 1985 signing into law of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (and the subsequent broadening of provincial codes), the HRCs have increasingly been preoccupied with Charter challenges.
HRC hearings are notoriously unbalanced. Ottawa Citizen columnist David Warren characterizes them as "kangaroo courts, in which the defendant's right to due process is withdrawn." Because these are only "hearings" and not full trials, hearsay evidence is permitted, the accused does not get an opportunity to cross-examine his accusers and the lack of intent to offend someone is not considered a defence.
Warren also notes that with the commissions' penchant for interpreting law in the light of the Charter, "they reach judgments on the basis of no fixed law. Moreover, 'the process is the punishment' in these star chambers -- for simply by agreeing to hear a case, they tie up the defendant in bureaucracy and paperwork, and bleed him for the cost of lawyers, while the person who brings the complaint, however frivolous, stands to lose nothing."
Isn't that Liberal Fascism? Read it all!
See also: Victims of the Revolution by David Warren