Thursday, April 08, 2010

Parochialism Is Alive And Well In Alberta

Apparently Minister Blackett hasn't bothered to read or understand the legislation that gives the AHRC its mandate.

The minister responsible for the Alberta Human Rights Commission says a complaint about an anti-gay letter to a Red Deer newspaper should never have gone before the commission.

"It's not there to mediate hurt feelings caused by some words or not," said Culture Minister Lindsay Blackett. "If it's hateful, then that's a hate crime. And that's something for the Crown attorneys and the police services to investigate.

"But the goal of the commission is to make sure people are protected against discrimination where they work, or access to accommodation, access to government services."

Uh huh. Sure Minister Blackett - checked the contents of the legislation? The part where it talks about publishing hate literature would be a good place to start.

"If it's hateful, then that's a hate crime. And that's something for the Crown attorneys and the police services to investigate.

Ah yes - but the amendments that included sexual orientation in our hate crimes laws federally didn't exist until well after 2002. So, what Mr. Blackett is in effect saying is that there should be no recourse whatsoever. I wonder what will happen if he tries to remove those clauses - which also protect other minorities who are regularly attacked by violent hatred?

Boissoin's letter was a thoughtless piece of drivel that called on society's worst elements to commit violence against GLBT people, and repeated many slanderous allegations about GLBT people that do not bear up to scrutiny.

Surely, the concept of freedom of speech doesn't grant someone the blanket right to make such claims without being held accountable for the consequences?


Anonymous said...

Why doesn't Stelmach tell Blackett to shut the F&*%-up.

The Human Rights Commission's panel is supposed to be independent and it's entirely inappropriate for the Minister responsible to interfere, especially when the matter is before the Court.

Stelmach should ship Blackett down to Alabama for some sensitivity training. What's the difference between lynching a black man in Alabama, or beating a gay man to death in Stanley Park? Hate messages like Boission's clearly increase the risk of discrimination against vulnerable minorities. Would you hire, or rent your basement suite to the kind of people attacked by the good ex-con Reverend Boission?

Time to sack Blackett.

Anonymous said...

You mean you actually think that Blackett is able to read???

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