It truly makes me grateful to live in Canada when I read Shakedown by Ezra Levant which exposes how far the pendulum has swung in the so called name of human rights. The government’s Human Rights Commission ruled that a restaurant employee had her human rights abused because her feelings were hurt by the kitchen staff’s music (she put in her complaint four years later). The Human Rights Commission also ruled against the owner of a hairdressing salon because of the horrendous human rights abuse suffered in that Dickenson workhouse where a male hairdresser was called “Loser” by the other staff. If these are human rights abuses, Canada is a mighty fine country. But organizations like Human Rights Watch who fight against violence in other countires, must be aghast at the hijacking of the words “human rights” by the HRC who, as Ezra Levant points out in his book, are making a mockery of those very words.
Ezra opens by describing his own situation as the owner of a business accused of human rights abuse but, to his credit, quickly puts that aside and tackles a full blown investigation of the HRC cases – a human rights audit if you like. Even if he has cherry-picked the vexatious cases, there are too many, and I was particularly disturbed by the cash payment rulings against small business owners. Ask any tax accountant, most small business owners do not have a great deal of cash and often go without a monthly salary or contribution to a pension just to keep going – unlike HRC agents with their salary (many over $100,000), indexed pensions and benefits.
Using his education in law, Ezra unpacks case after case illustrating the imbalance between the person making the human right’s complaint and the business owner. The complainant gets a lawyer (funded by tax payers), does not need to face the business owner they are accusing, may get a cash payment ($50,000 has been paid), may get a written apology even published in the paper.
Now, when was the last time you saw an embezzler’s letter of apology to a business owner in the newspaper?
If the complainant’s case is dismissed, they are not required to cover the costs to the business owner as a real court case dismissal would require. It gets worse: the HRC can enter your work and home, seize any property they want without a warrant – good Lord, is this Zimbabwe?
For all of us non-lawyers, Ezra illustrates how hundreds of years of legal framework and code of conduct gets swept aside by these HRC agents pursuing frivoulous complaints. Is there not enough salt in the soup at your company’s canteen? Gee, file a human rights complaint to your local HRC and you could end up with some cash.
I wondered if the HRC had industrial relations or business expertise. Ezra fills us in. The head of the BC HRC’s education is nursing. Well, that explains it. She’s got Head Matron Syndrome: she thinks she’s thundering down sterilized, scrubbed halls of a hospital, patients tucked meekly between starched sheets, nurses and orderlies all bowing their heads obediently in fear. That head nurse has real power – that’s for sure.
The deadliest part of Ezra Levant’s book is his description of his own interrogation. The HRC government agent does not have the slightest clue about the damage she is inflicting on a business owner or on the future well-being of our society. She does not realize how these claims will tarnish the very good work done by so many government employees.
As Mark Steyn explains in the foreword, “Go to YouTube and look at the videos of Ezra Levant’s interrogation, you will not find some jackbooted thug prowling a torture chamber but a dull bureaucrat asking soft spoken questions in a boring office. Nevertheless, she is engaged in a totalitarian act.”
Of course, I would not want to call that HRC agent a “Loser” for fear of hurting her feelings. Then she could complain her human rights were abused and I will be dragged through five years of court proceedings, fined and forced to write a letter of apology printed on the pages here in The Women’s Post.
As these crazy Human Rights case rulings become public with the help of Ezra, the repercussions for our business community will be chilling. These human rights cases make entrepreneurs feel angry and downtrodden. Why take the risk, stress and responsibility to run a restaurant or hairdressing salon when you can get slapped with a human rights case that can cost you your business? Heck, let’s all become government employees because as Ezra Levant makes very clear in his book, Shakedown, just like Rodney Dangerfield, business owners don’t get no respect.