Human-rights commissions on the defensive

Tom Flanagan – Globe & Mail

Both federal and provincial commissions are suffering blowback from their unsuccessful attempts to muzzle media gadflies Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant. Mr. Levant, in particular, has declared a jihad against the commissions, drawing attention to the one-sided nature of the legislation under which they operate. For example, commissions pay expenses for complainants but not respondents; successful respondents cannot sue complainants to recover costs; commissions allow complaints for the same alleged offence to be lodged in multiple jurisdictions, amounting to double jeopardy.

With luck, legislatures will correct some of these abuses; but even if progress is made in that direction, we should remember that the existence of the commissions is itself an abuse.

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