That’s why the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a worthless piece of junk—because (at least according to the Supreme Court of Canada) it both licenses the Canadian state to restrain your basic liberties yet also exempts your (native) neighbour from those same restraints. Putting aside its other defects, no self-respecting citizen should take seriously a Charter that institutionalizes race-based discrimination as a constitutional principle. In this respect, the First Nations’ contempt for Canadian authority is most instructive. As Mohawk Grand Chief Mike Delisle explained to CTV, “We don’t consider ourselves Canadians.” Well, except for the purposes of federal welfare. And top billing at the Olympics ceremony.
Speaking of Canadian values, they sound so nice when you’re floating choreographically over the Prairies on a massive CanCon bender. But what do they boil down to on the ground? Mme Marise Myrand is a 389-lb. diabetic who lives in Ste-Marie-de-Beauce in la belle province. She asked her condo association to give her a parking space nearer the door of the building. The board responded that it wasn’t for them to take somebody else’s spot and transfer it to her, but suggested Mme Myrand ask the occupant of the other space directly. Mme Jocelyne Nolet is a short- order cook in her sixties with an injured shoulder, and declined to accommodate Mme Myrand. So the aggrieved wound up at the Quebec “Human Rights” Tribunal, which ordered the condo association to hand over the parking space to Mme Myrand by March 1 and, for good measure, fined all 35 of her co-owners a total of $10,000 to be given to the plaintiff in compensation.
It was reported that, in the course of her battle with her co-owners, Mme Myrand had been subject to “degrading remarks” about using her obesity to get a better parking space. In her judgment, Michèle Pauzé fined the association $3,000 in punitive damages because these remarks “heurtaient les valeurs d’inclusion promulguées dans notre société”—i.e., they conflict with the inclusive values promulgated by our society.
Oh, right. So privately expressing sentiments at odds with the state ideology may result in seizure of assets. Unless, of course, you’re a Mohawk who wants to kick out the lousy half-breed next door.
On March 29, the trial of Guy Earle opens at the British Columbia “Human Rights” Tribunal. Mr. Earle is a stand-up comic who late one night at a Vancouver comedy club put down some drunken hecklers. Alas for him, they were of the lesbian persuasion and so they hauled his homophobic ass into “human rights” court. Any Olympic tourists still in town may marvel at a country that prosecutes a comedian for his stand-up act, but no doubt Chief Commissar Heather MacNaughton, previously the presiding kangaroo of the Maclean’s show trial, will be more sympathetic to the notion that Mr. Earle’s jokes “heurtaient les valeurs d’inclusion promulguées dans notre société.”
Odd how the “inclusive values” hymned by Commissar Pauzé require more and more muscle to enforce them. The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation, unless you’re a Mohawk who’s getting overly inclusive in his horizontal outreach. But the state apparently has a place in comedy criticism and parking-lot conversations and on all the other ever-multiplying front lines of diversity. A genuinely free society has to be free to say rude things to the morbidly obese or the Sapphically soused, because the price of smoothing out all the rough edges is a bureaucracy with powers ever vaster and ever more whimsical. Real systemic provocations to “les valeurs d’inclusion”—whether on Mohawk reserves or in Montreal mosques—will be given a pass on cultural grounds, but the apparatchiks of ideological enforcements will pick on softer and softer targets, like Guy Earle, and destroy their lives.
Canada’s “human rights” circus is an alternative Olympics ceremony all of its own. What a cavalcade it would have made: Indians, Inuit, and the disabled? Big deal. Where was the pre-op transsexual who sued the London health club for being denied the right to flaunt her wedding tackle in the ladies’ shower? Like Joni Mitchell’s song says, she’s looked at life from both sides now. What about an opening scene where the Olympic cauldron is lit and stand-up comedians of insufﬁciently diverse orientation are thrown into the inferno to placate the Gods of Inclusion while Maritime step dancers perform a synchronized Quebec parking-lot dispute? Instead of the usual Cirque du So Lame, couldn’t we have a real, honest-to-goodness genuinely Canadian bizarro diversity celebration? After all, it’s more real than the official version.
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