Saturday, May 31, 2008

BREAKING: Government to launch inquiry into CHRC "investigative techniques", section 13


The Conservative government has introduced a motion to Parliament's Justice Committee proposing an investigation into the abusive, corrupt practises of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. The motion specifically refers to public "concerns" about the CHRC's "investigative techniques" and their "interpretation and application" of the section 13 thought crimes provision.

The resolution, which you can read here in both official languages, was put forward by Rick Dykstra (pictured at left), the Conservative MP from St. Catherines, Ontario, with the knowledge and approval of the Justice Minister, Rob Nicholson. Here is an e-mail from Nicholson, sent to a voter just today, in which you can read his change of approach. An excerpt from Nicholson's letter:

I would like to inform you that my caucus colleague Mr. Rick Dykstra has tabled a motion that the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights examine and make recommendations with respect to the CHRC, including its mandate, operations, and interpretation and application of provisions relating to section 13 of the CHRA, which addresses hate messages. I look forward to that review.

Jason Kenney, the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism, was also instrumental in getting this issue onto the government's agenda.

Here's the text of it:

Whereas concerns have been raised regarding the investigative techniques of the Canadian Human Rights Commission (the "Commission") and the interpretation and application of section 13 of the Canada Human Rights Act (the "Act"); and

Whereas the Commission operates independently and reports to Parliament;

Be it resolved that the Justice and Human Rights Committee examine and make recommendations with respect to the Canadian Human Rights Commission and in particular:

a) review the mandate and operations of the Commission;
b) review the Commission's application and interpretation of section 13 of the Act;
c) Solicit and consider oral submissions from the Chief Commissioner and oral or written submissions from other interested persons or organizations;
d) Submit a report, including any proposed amendments to the Canadian Human Rights Act arising out of the results of the Committee's inquiry.

The government's proposed inquiry comes on top of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada's announcement last month that she is investigating the corrupt and abusive conduct of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. And earlier this month, Ottawa police referred a criminal complaint about the CHRC to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who are now conducting a criminal investigation.


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