HAT Forum, OISE, 11 am, October 23 - Human Rights Commissions

Location: OISE, 252 Bloor Street West, 11am-1pm
Facilitator: Rob Thistle
Topic: Do Human Rights Commissions Serve a Useful Purpose?

Federal & Provincial Human Rights Commissions (HRC’s) were established with noble goals – to ensure that members of minority groups were not discriminated against by those in positions of power. However, many feel that HRC’s have themselves become oppressive wielders of state power. Critics have claimed that HRC’s are unchecked and unrestrained, and that HRC bureaucrats pursue ideological agendas, with the full power of government behind them. They are accused of championing frivolous and undemocratic claims, while true violations of human rights sit in enormous case backlogs.

1. Should HRC’s have the ability to designate certain speech as illegal?
2. Should defendants in HRC complaints be granted the same access to free legal resources as complainants?
3. Is there a better way for legitimate violations of Human Rights to be addressed?

All are welcome