Monday, April 19, 2010

Another "Proud to be a Saskatchewinner" moment...

National Post editorial board: From Saskatchewan, a great idea on human rights

It is good to see the province leading the pack on dismantling a government institution rather than continue to fund it perpetually because it would be politically incorrect to shut it down.

In this case, the province is making the right call. There should be some semblance of fairness put back into the "Human Rights" industry as it sits right now. Don't get me wrong, there are some situations where people are clearly violating a person's rights and should be mediated into treating all people equally, however there are a lot of times when the "Human Rights" industry clearly went too far.

When you force a restaurant to hire someone who can not wash their hands as often as necessary, you've gone too far. When you punish a restaurant for asking someone smoking pot right outside their front door to move away from the door, even if it is medical marijuana. When you punish a condo association for not giving into the demands of a 400 lb woman who wanted to shorten the distance from the door to her vehicle. When you punish a stand up comedian for firing back at a lesbian couple who was heckling him. When you punish a publisher for publishing a politically incorrect article about a certain religion who invites criticism. When you do all of these things, there should be some check or balance to say "you've overstepped your boundaries".

In this, the Saskatchewan government is absolutely right. To be quite frank, I'm surprised that this wasn't the original solution when mediation does not result in a satisfactory solution. With this change, more than just due process comes into play. The ability for costs to be awarded to the defendant in the event that the prosecution loses takes away all "the process is the punishment" ability because it allows the defendant to recoup any costs they may have otherwise had to sink into this endeavor.

And that is the true benefit to shuffling the process into the court system after an agreement can not be reached through mediation. Kudos to Saskatchewan.

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