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Human Rights Day in Canada

December 11th, 2008

Mark Steyn had a piece yesterday on the UN’s Human Rights Day, and points out a bunch of human rights that Canadians celebrating this UN-est of days don’t want you to have:

Today is Human Rights Day, the day that commemorates the United Nations’ adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights exactly 60 years ago – December 10th 1948. To be honest, I had no great interest in a day dedicated to human rights until agencies of the Canadian state started trying to deprive me of mine, and any professed respect in this space for the UN Declaration is, frankly, largely tactical…

Article 6
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Not in Canada. Chief Commissar Barbara Hall of the Ontario “Human Rights” Commission pronounced Maclean’s and me guilty without troubling herself to hear from the accused or to allow us to appear before her “court”.

Article 7
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law.

Not in Canada. Under Section 13, wealthy lawyers such as Richard Pieman and lavishly endowed lobby groups can sue penniless nonentities unable to afford any legal representation at all, while the plaintiffs get their tab picked up by the taxpayers.

Article 8
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Not in Canada. There is no “effective remedy” for Section 13’s sustained violation of the supposed constitutional right to free expression.

Article 10
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal…

Not in Canada. The “human rights” tribunal is not impartial but a de facto subsidiary of the “human rights” commission, which is why there has never been a single Section 13 case to come before the Canadian “Human Rights” Tribunal in which the defendant has been acquitted.

Article 11
1. Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

Not in Canada. Under Section 13, there is no presumption of innocence. Indeed, there is a presumption of guilt, and truth is no defence. Nor has a defendant any of “the guarantees necessary for his defence”. There is no due process at all. The rules are arbitrary and, as I saw first-hand in Vancouver, improvised on the spot to favour the plaintiff.

Article 12
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Not in Canada. In Ontario, the law attacks your “honour and reputation”, as Commissar Hall did when, despite being too gutless to hold a trial, she declared me and Maclean’s to be racist and “Islamophobic”. Furthermore, under the new powers foolishly granted to her by the Government of Ontario, Commissar Hall’s stormtroopers have the right to enter your premises without a warrant, seize “any document or thing” (as the relevant legislation puts it), including correspondence, and hold it for as long as they want.

Article 18
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought…

Ha! Tell it to Reverend Stephen Boissoin, ordered by the Province of Alberta to make a public statement recanting his thoughts on homosexuality, and prevented by law from ever expressing them again even in private e-mails.

Article 19
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Not in Canada. You have the right to government-regulated opinion and expression, which isn’t the same thing at all.

Article 21
2. Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.

Not in Canada. The Dominion’s “human rights” regimes service a select number of favoured “stakeholders” and ignore those who don’t meet their approved criteria. In effect, the CHRC runs a restricted admission country club.

Article 27
2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Not in Canada. At the British Columbia “Human Rights” Tribunal, not only does the law not protect the “moral and material interests” of the author, it puts them on trial and accords itself the right, if necessary, to criminalize his work.

Got all that? That’s 11 fundamental human rights that Canada doesn’t enjoy. And whoops, didn’t he miss one?:

Article 17.

    (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.

    (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

I’ve been bitching about this one since Paul Martin started ranting about cherry picking human rights, i.e. you couldn’t deny the newly invented human right of gays to be married, but you could deny the fundamental human right, according to the UN, of owning private property. Or as I put it at the time:

Rights are fundamental and cannot be cherry-picked or they are not. Property rights has been clearly spelled out in international law, so why are you against it? And even if you are against it, why have you not legislated it? Why is it not one of your priorities? Why are you cherry-picking this fundamental right?

I imagine celebrations of human rights day was somewhat muted in Canada!

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