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Poll: Breast feeding in public (186 member(s) have cast votes)

Should women be allowed to breast feed in public?

  1. Voted Yes, unconditionally (77 votes [41.62%])

    Percentage of vote: 41.62%

  2. Yes but they should cover up (89 votes [48.11%])

    Percentage of vote: 48.11%

  3. Yes but in separated rooms (8 votes [4.32%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.32%

  4. No (9 votes [4.86%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.86%

  5. Other (2 votes [1.08%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.08%

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#301 ronthecivil

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 04:18 PM

I passed my drivers test, so until I break the law and they say that I can't anymore, it is my right. But I guess that could be a privilege. so in that sense so is life if I commit a crime they can take that from me too.



There's actually a fairly elaborate system of rules in place and failure to comply with them can and will result in your driving PRIVELEGE being revoked.
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#302 Glen Carrig

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 04:19 PM

PM me when you start that one. I'll be sure to call you out for your 'N Sync fetish.

I would say infatuation's the better word.
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#303 Wetcoaster

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 04:19 PM

I know there not! I just think they should be! I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I understand how and why things are, and they have a point. I just don't think that long term it's a good way of doing things in the long term.

It's impossible to know how much exposure a nursing women intends to be displaying since it's illegal to ask. The wardrobe malfuction may indeed be intentional, but you don't get to know.

The law thinks that even putting a women in a position to say "the wardrobe malfunction is intentional" is over the line. Doesn't really say much about the ability of a women to stand up for herself. Kind of a 1950's looking out for the little lady way of thinking for me.

The US tried the all rights are equal doctrine - the Bakke case resulted and they have yet to sort that mess out. Fortunately we learned from their error.

Why should it even interest you since the intention is to feed a child?
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#304 Sharpshooter

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 04:32 PM

I passed my drivers test, so until I break the law and they say that I can't anymore, it is my right. But I guess that could be a privilege. so in that sense so is life if I commit a crime they can take that from me too.



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#305 ronthecivil

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 04:39 PM

The US tried the all rights are equal doctrine - the Bakke case resulted and they have yet to sort that mess out. Fortunately we learned from their error.

Why should it even interest you since the intention is to feed a child?


I feel that the human rights tribunal is rife for abuse (See SFU sports coach, public destruction of) and as such the rules that can get you in there should be fully explored.

I don't know about the Bakke case I just feel that long term the rules have to be the same for everyone, and just because laywers can't figure something out doesn't mean I am going to abonded my philosophy. The fact that it doesn't actually match our governments philosophy is within my rights.

How it interested me was the fact that someone was in danger of being dragged into a human rights tribunal for what he thought, rightly or wrongly, was a wardrobe error/malfunction. I can understand refusing service or a job or badgering until you get your way as a legitimate way to get in trouble but a simple request counting as harrassement is over the top, unequal, and rife for abuse. It's not the 1950s, I am fairly certain women can stand up for themselves without having to have big brother government step in on their behalf. I don't think that's a radical position.

However, I agree it is what it is, and it's not like they don't figure it out on their own. After all, if the baby is on the right, you would be looking centre left. However, if the left fails, and suddenly your looking way right, there going to wonder what's going on. Typically they figure it out and fix it on their own.

Now if they are a free spirit going all out, I probably won't be talking to them in the first place (unless required to as a work function but the odds of seeing a women let along a nursing women let along a free spirit nursing women are so incredibly remote that I would almost have to talk to her if only for the sheer amazement factor).
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#306 JoeyJoeJoeJr. Shabadoo

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 04:42 PM

I think it's within your rights to tell people engaged in a PDA to get a room. After all, how would we know the saying if nobody did?



I'll field this one if you don't mind

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3JulFmtvgM

The Simpsons, responsible for the moral decline of North America since 1989
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#307 Wetcoaster

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 04:45 PM

I'm going to go ahead and answer your questions.

1. Not saying the baby can't would just like some discretion used for the comfort of the other patrons.

2. I don't think they should feed in a bathroom or even a different room just using a suitable amount of coverage, blanket if the child will use it or just not lifting your shirt up beyond what's necessary.

3. Why is it offensive? It's not offensive, it's just inappropriate in public. Sure the law says it's fine but the law doesn't need to take in account for common courtesy. I don't have to get out of my seat for an elderly or disable person but I do. Why? It's just common courtesy the same courtesy that I'd like when a mother is feeding her child. Why does it have to be an issue? I'm sure there's lots of things other people do that are perfectly legal that make you uncomfortable. Does that mean that you shouldn't be allowed to ask them to stop doing it or maybe find another way to accomplish it in which makes it more comfortable for you?

Honestly, the complete and utter lack of any courtesy to the people who find it uncomfortable from you is utterly ridiculous. You act as if you're being told to feed formula and hang your head in shame for you're disgusting acts.

In your subjective opinion it is inappropriate.

Society speaking through our laws disagrees. This is one of the things that we have identified as a right so the question of inappropriate has already been dealt with.

So in this case asking someone to do something that is their right is not allowed - it is discrimination and it is prohibited.

If it offends your delicate sensibilities - too bad so sad. If you choose to open your mouth and complain then can be consequences.

There are people uncomfortable with mixed race couples - I know as my significant other is Chinese and I have encountered such bigots. However this is also a protected right since it involves race.

Several years back when we were shopping a store cashier made a derogatory remark towards her about "sticking to her own kind" - huge mistake. The cashier, the store and the company never knew what hit them.

I made certain to extract a personal apology, an apology from the President on behalf of the company, an undertaking for sensitivity training for staff and a nice gift card. The option was going to be a blizzard of adverse publicity, a Human Rights Tribunal hearing and a civil damage claim. The company chose to to comply with my demands - and then they fired the employee as I also demanded. Sometimes a nuclear deterrent is the best option and I look on it as an educational tool for bigots.

Feel free to practise discrimination - just recognize that one day you may well make a mistake as to time and place as well as taking on the wrong person that could end up costing you.
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#308 Wetcoaster

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 04:50 PM

I passed my drivers test, so until I break the law and they say that I can't anymore, it is my right. But I guess that could be a privilege. so in that sense so is life if I commit a crime they can take that from me too.

Having a driver's license is not a right - a mother choosing to breast feed a child in public is a right and it is a protected right under the law.

Interfering with that right breaks the law.
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#309 Sharpshooter

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 04:51 PM

In your subjective opinion it is inappropriate.

Society speaking through our laws disagrees. This is one of the things that we have identified as a right so the question of inappropriate has already been dealt with.

So in this case asking someone to do something that is their right is not allowed - it is discrimination and it is prohibited.

If it offends your delicate sensibilities - too bad so sad. If you choose to open your mouth and complain then can be consequences.

There are people uncomfortable with mixed race couples - I know as my significant other is Chinese and I have encountered such bigots. However this is also a protected right since it involves race.

Several years back when we were shopping a store cashier made a derogatory remark towards her about "sticking to her own kind" - huge mistake. The cashier, the store and the company never knew what hit them.

I made certain to extract a personal apology, an apology from the President on behalf of the company, an undertaking for sensitivity training for staff and a nice gift card. The option was going to be a blizzard of adverse publicity, a Human Rights Tribunal hearing and a civil damage claim. The company chose to to comply with my demands - and then they fired the employee as I also demanded. Sometimes a nuclear deterrent is the best option and I look on it as an educational tool for bigots.

Feel free to practise discrimination - just recognize that one day you may well make a mistake as to time and place as well as taking on the wrong person that could end up costing you.



Well done! Good for you and your significant other. Maybe this will be a lesson for those that feel the need to "say something" because they think they have the 'right' to do so.

Bigots Beware.
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#310 CanuckinEdm

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 04:53 PM

There's actually a fairly elaborate system of rules in place and failure to comply with them can and will result in your driving PRIVELEGE being revoked.

There's actually a fairly elaborate system of rules in place and failure to comply with them can and will result in your (insert word here) PRIVILEGE being revoked.

Life, children , blah blah
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#311 Wetcoaster

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 04:56 PM

LOL. You're absolutely hopeless.

How is public courtesy forcing my opinion on others? You know what, f@ck everyone else. I'll do whatever I want, whenever what I want, without considering those around me.

I'm not the type that would ask people to stop kissing people in public or breast feeding, I for one have no issue with it whatsoever. I'm arguing for principle, logic, rational, and now it looks like I'm also arguing for sanity.

I don't even want the laws changed to make courtesy mandatory, if you've read my previous post, though it should be obvious to everyone that courtesy isn't a discriminatory nor human rights issue nor a legality issue just as how one wouldn't talk loudly while riding a bus.

The real slippery slope is how something as simple and universal as public courtesy is now somehow a violation of your rights in this province.


Cue the violinists! or maybe the fiddlers this time!

You are advocating committing a discriminatory act. It has nothing to do with common sense, public courtesy or anything else like that.

Courtesy is not mandatory - you can be as discourteous as you please. What you cannot be is discriminatory.

The law says a women nursing a child has certain rights - you do not get to tell her how to exercise those rights. Why? Because the state through our laws have told you you are not permitted to do so. In a nutshell this is the law:

Nursing mothers have the right to breastfeed their children in a public area, and it is discriminatory to ask them to cover up or breastfeed somewhere else.


Pretty simple.

Edited by Wetcoaster, 11 August 2010 - 04:58 PM.

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#312 Wetcoaster

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 05:05 PM

I feel that the human rights tribunal is rife for abuse (See SFU sports coach, public destruction of) and as such the rules that can get you in there should be fully explored.

I don't know about the Bakke case I just feel that long term the rules have to be the same for everyone, and just because laywers can't figure something out doesn't mean I am going to abonded my philosophy. The fact that it doesn't actually match our governments philosophy is within my rights.

How it interested me was the fact that someone was in danger of being dragged into a human rights tribunal for what he thought, rightly or wrongly, was a wardrobe error/malfunction. I can understand refusing service or a job or badgering until you get your way as a legitimate way to get in trouble but a simple request counting as harrassement is over the top, unequal, and rife for abuse. It's not the 1950s, I am fairly certain women can stand up for themselves without having to have big brother government step in on their behalf. I don't think that's a radical position.

However, I agree it is what it is, and it's not like they don't figure it out on their own. After all, if the baby is on the right, you would be looking centre left. However, if the left fails, and suddenly your looking way right, there going to wonder what's going on. Typically they figure it out and fix it on their own.

Now if they are a free spirit going all out, I probably won't be talking to them in the first place (unless required to as a work function but the odds of seeing a women let along a nursing women let along a free spirit nursing women are so incredibly remote that I would almost have to talk to her if only for the sheer amazement factor).

The rules cannot be the same for everyone because people are different. I am not female and I will not be in a position to breast feed a child so those rights will not impact me individually.

The Human Rights Code has identified certain personal and group characteristics which the provincial legislature has deemed worthy of protection - in other words you cannot discriminate against or harass persons based on those enumerated characteristics. They apply to some individuals and groups and not others. Such is life.
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#313 ronthecivil

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 05:12 PM

The rules cannot be the same for everyone because people are different. I am not female and I will not be in a position to breast feed a child so those rights will not impact me individually.

The Human Rights Code has identified certain personal and group characteristics which the provincial legislature has deemed worthy of protection - in other words you cannot discriminate against or harass persons based on those enumerated characteristics. They apply to some individuals and groups and not others. Such is life.


I think the rules can allow for differences without going straight to nuclear on the slightest dissent, as much as that option is apparently popular with you. I know life isn't fair but that doesn't mean we should strive for it to be that way.

Do you not find it troubling that as you mention voicing an opinion that is not consistant with this policy to the government can get you into trouble? Doesn't sound like the work of an open and honest democracy to me.

Do past explotation of the human rights tribunal as a nuclear option against innocent parties not disturb you at all?
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#314 Wetcoaster

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 05:53 PM

I think the rules can allow for differences without going straight to nuclear on the slightest dissent, as much as that option is apparently popular with you. I know life isn't fair but that doesn't mean we should strive for it to be that way.

Do you not find it troubling that as you mention voicing an opinion that is not consistant with this policy to the government can get you into trouble? Doesn't sound like the work of an open and honest democracy to me.

Do past explotation of the human rights tribunal as a nuclear option against innocent parties not disturb you at all?

There is no dissent here. If you tell a nursing mother to not nurse in public, cover her baby while nursing or go somewhere else then you have committed a discriminatory act.

Fairness in my lexicon means not acting in a discriminatory manner - and in this case the law clearly tells you what is discriminatory in your dealing with particular individuals. YMMV.

You are free to voice your opinion, lobby the government for change, write a letter to the editor, or even post on CDC. etc. Start a website, blog, etc. No one is stopping you from expressing an opinion at large subject to laws of general application such as defamation.

What you cannot do however is tell a nursing mother not to nurse in public, cover her baby while nursing or go somewhere else to nurse because that is discrimination directed at person who has protected rights (and it could rise to the level of harassment depending on the circumstances) and that discriminatory act is prohibited by law.

It bothers me when an innocent person is convicted in a court of law, it bothers me when civil courts are abused and it bothers me when the Human Rights Tribunal exercises its jurisdiction improperly or exceeds its jurisdiction. However we have appeal courts to deal with the former two and in BC the superior courts under Judicial Review Procedure Act to deal with the latter. Such is the nature of the Rule of Law and our system of courts and tribunals to set up to adjudicate disputes, make findings of fact and law and impose penalties where warranted.
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Never try to teach a pig to sing - it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

#315 Likewise

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 06:09 PM

No, I don't kiss my mother with this mouth but I did kiss.....

Oooooh.....That was too easy of an opening Ron...i'll let you go unscathed this time.

Let it not be said that I am not above exercising restraint!


That's actually what I said to your mother last night :bigblush:
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#316 ronthecivil

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 06:13 PM

There is no dissent here. If you tell a nursing mother to not nurse in public, cover her baby while nursing or go somewhere else then you have committed a discriminatory act.

Fairness in my lexicon means not acting in a discriminatory manner - and in this case the law clearly tells you what is discriminatory in your dealing with particular individuals. YMMV.

You are free to voice your opinion, lobby the government for change, write a letter to the editor, or even post on CDC. etc. Start a website, blog, etc. No one is stopping you from expressing an opinion at large subject to laws of general application such as defamation.

What you cannot do however is tell a nursing mother not to nurse in public, cover her baby while nursing or go somewhere else to nurse because that is discrimination directed at person who has protected rights (and it could rise to the level of harassment depending on the circumstances) and that discriminatory act is prohibited by law.

It bothers me when an innocent person is convicted in a court of law, it bothers me when civil courts are abused and it bothers me when the Human Rights Tribunal exercises its jurisdiction improperly or exceeds its jurisdiction. However we have appeal courts to deal with the former two and in BC the superior courts under Judicial Review Procedure Act to deal with the latter. Such is the nature of the Rule of Law and our system of courts and tribunals to set up to adjudicate disputes, make findings of fact and law and impose penalties where warranted.


Fair enough. You must have interpreted my statements about complaining as being directed towards a nursing mother as opposed to the government earlier when you mentioned the consequences of doing so. I was kind of wondering how thinking the new law (as in the law itself) prohibiting mentioning anything with regards to covering being automatic discimination and grounds for a human rights tribunal as being heavy handed could someone be problematic, last I checked I am allowed to disagree with a law. I could see harrassing random mothers about my political beef as being problematic. Granted I asked some pretty dangerous what ifs but it's was more in the interest of seeing what the boundaries of the law were as opposed to going out and actually practicing them.

I stand by my belief that this law is rife for abuse and regardless of the higher courts ability to "fix" the problem once you get dragged into the human rights tribunal the nuclear option is predeployed and no amount of fixing can bring it back to the way it was. Only a lawyer would actually think more court cases are a fix....

I prefer the common courtesy, common sense, and no courts option myself. To each his own I guess.
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#317 SAMCROringal

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 06:16 PM

<br />They both can. Heck, the women can take her shirt off just cuz she feels like it. It's not against the law.<br />

<br /><br /><br />

Yes, I understand that but it is not socially accepted for a female to walk around without anything on her upperbody but for a man it is tottatly normal. While this is just simply a woman feeding her child they should obviously cover up just so everyone feels comfortable because really you got eat when you got to eat.
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#318 Wetcoaster

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 07:12 PM

Fair enough. You must have interpreted my statements about complaining as being directed towards a nursing mother as opposed to the government earlier when you mentioned the consequences of doing so. I was kind of wondering how thinking the new law (as in the law itself) prohibiting mentioning anything with regards to covering being automatic discimination and grounds for a human rights tribunal as being heavy handed could someone be problematic, last I checked I am allowed to disagree with a law. I could see harrassing random mothers about my political beef as being problematic. Granted I asked some pretty dangerous what ifs but it's was more in the interest of seeing what the boundaries of the law were as opposed to going out and actually practicing them.

I stand by my belief that this law is rife for abuse and regardless of the higher courts ability to "fix" the problem once you get dragged into the human rights tribunal the nuclear option is predeployed and no amount of fixing can bring it back to the way it was. Only a lawyer would actually think more court cases are a fix....

I prefer the common courtesy, common sense, and no courts option myself. To each his own I guess.

The BC superior courts provide supervisory jurisdiction to lower courts and to administrative tribunals. That is our system. On the whole it works quite well when you consider how many cases pass through the courts and various tribunals on an on-going basis. the anomalies and sensational cases tend to be reported and the vast majority of cases that are mundane every day proceeding are pretty much ignored.

It is always open to the provincial legislature to change a particular decision or interpretation of the Human Rights Code or amend it if need be (subject of course as always of the Charter as it is the supreme law of Canada).

It is fine to have common courtesy and common sense however it has been my experience that those particular things are often quite uncommon these days. While you cannot for the most part legislate common sense and common courtesy you can legislate against discriminatory behaviour.

Courts and tribunals exist to enforce laws, ensure compliance with laws and where necessary impose penalties. In the example of a nursing mother they may come into play when someone commits a discriminatory act. Sometimes the possibility of a hearing is sufficient to obtain compliance as has occurred in the instant case of the Victoria mother and the bus driver. The media obviously played a role in the settlement in that case. The case also serves as tool to educate other people both within BC Transit and in other organizations that serve the public.

The result was obtained without the need for a tribunal hearing, much like the issue with my partner and myself was resolved. But without the Human Rights Code and the potential hammer of a tribunal hearing (and its attendant unfavourable publicity - and I can assure there would have been a good deal of unfavourable publicity had it been necessary to push ahead), it is unlikely corrective action would have been applied.

Part of the function of the Human Rights Tribunal is education, shaping behaviour to comply with the law and to a certain extent deterrence of discriminatory acts and behaviour.
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#319 Sharpshooter

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 07:14 PM

That's actually what I said to your mother last night :bigblush:



Yeah I know the feeling..The B.C. Lions O-line and I were thinking the same thing as we awoke this morning inside your cavernous mother.

:bigblush:
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#320 ronthecivil

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 11:27 PM

The BC superior courts provide supervisory jurisdiction to lower courts and to administrative tribunals. That is our system. On the whole it works quite well when you consider how many cases pass through the courts and various tribunals on an on-going basis. the anomalies and sensational cases tend to be reported and the vast majority of cases that are mundane every day proceeding are pretty much ignored.

It is always open to the provincial legislature to change a particular decision or interpretation of the Human Rights Code or amend it if need be (subject of course as always of the Charter as it is the supreme law of Canada).

It is fine to have common courtesy and common sense however it has been my experience that those particular things are often quite uncommon these days. While you cannot for the most part legislate common sense and common courtesy you can legislate against discriminatory behaviour.

Courts and tribunals exist to enforce laws, ensure compliance with laws and where necessary impose penalties. In the example of a nursing mother they may come into play when someone commits a discriminatory act. Sometimes the possibility of a hearing is sufficient to obtain compliance as has occurred in the instant case of the Victoria mother and the bus driver. The media obviously played a role in the settlement in that case. The case also serves as tool to educate other people both within BC Transit and in other organizations that serve the public.

The result was obtained without the need for a tribunal hearing, much like the issue with my partner and myself was resolved. But without the Human Rights Code and the potential hammer of a tribunal hearing (and its attendant unfavourable publicity - and I can assure there would have been a good deal of unfavourable publicity had it been necessary to push ahead), it is unlikely corrective action would have been applied.

Part of the function of the Human Rights Tribunal is education, shaping behaviour to comply with the law and to a certain extent deterrence of discriminatory acts and behaviour.


That story didn't make me feel any better about the process. I can see buddy getting fired. But you getting payment? The store as a whole having to issue an apology? Wasting the CEO's time? Every person in the company now gets the pleasure of going through sensitivity training all because of one idiot? The threat of worse because of one bigoted remark?

I imagine a female you breastfeeding on the bus with little regard to anything, just lift the whole shirt off. After all, it's a hot summer day, and it's way hot, so you figure it's your right why not?

In my world, someone would ask "Do you mind covering up a little bit?" and the response is "Sorry, but I can't, it's far too hot for my baby if I do". With the understandng we sympathise with the mother, and even feel a little bad for asking. If someone goes overboard and starts berating her about it, and she is highly disturbed by it, then ya, maybe you do need some sensitivity training. Of course that's a fantasy would with common courtesy and common sense.

In your world (and unfortunately our world) all we need in the same situation is for some old lady to say "You know young lady, in my day we didn't allow ourselves to be seen like that" and the women will respond "Well in MY day we will see you at the human rights tribunal" and before you know it there's a suit against the driver for not controlling the situation and the bus company for allowing it to happen to boot.

In both your and the women on the buses situation though you didn't go nuclear it was only to your discretion and satisfaction that all the people you felt are responsible had payed their dues that you decided to not go forward with a tribunal. Some people would call that settling out of court, but frankly it looks like extortion to me. You might feel that doing these things might compel people to not hold these discriminatory beleifs but for every convert your going to get someone digging in, refusing to change their beleifs, and loosing respect for the court system. Especially one that already has a history of being used as a tool to damage another person (our friend at SFU) with little to no evidience that in the end turned out to be false far after the accusee was wrung thouragly and hung out to drive. A milion well written paragraphs about the oversight and beauty of the system will not unnuclear a nuclear ruling.
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#321 Wetcoaster

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 08:49 AM

That story didn't make me feel any better about the process. I can see buddy getting fired. But you getting payment? The store as a whole having to issue an apology? Wasting the CEO's time? Every person in the company now gets the pleasure of going through sensitivity training all because of one idiot? The threat of worse because of one bigoted remark?

I imagine a female you breastfeeding on the bus with little regard to anything, just lift the whole shirt off. After all, it's a hot summer day, and it's way hot, so you figure it's your right why not?

In my world, someone would ask "Do you mind covering up a little bit?" and the response is "Sorry, but I can't, it's far too hot for my baby if I do". With the understandng we sympathise with the mother, and even feel a little bad for asking. If someone goes overboard and starts berating her about it, and she is highly disturbed by it, then ya, maybe you do need some sensitivity training. Of course that's a fantasy would with common courtesy and common sense.

In your world (and unfortunately our world) all we need in the same situation is for some old lady to say "You know young lady, in my day we didn't allow ourselves to be seen like that" and the women will respond "Well in MY day we will see you at the human rights tribunal" and before you know it there's a suit against the driver for not controlling the situation and the bus company for allowing it to happen to boot.

In both your and the women on the buses situation though you didn't go nuclear it was only to your discretion and satisfaction that all the people you felt are responsible had payed their dues that you decided to not go forward with a tribunal. Some people would call that settling out of court, but frankly it looks like extortion to me. You might feel that doing these things might compel people to not hold these discriminatory beleifs but for every convert your going to get someone digging in, refusing to change their beleifs, and loosing respect for the court system. Especially one that already has a history of being used as a tool to damage another person (our friend at SFU) with little to no evidience that in the end turned out to be false far after the accusee was wrung thouragly and hung out to drive. A milion well written paragraphs about the oversight and beauty of the system will not unnuclear a nuclear ruling.

In the real world just asking the mother to cover up is discrimination - depending upon the circumstances it may also be harassment.

The case with my partner was not extortion - consider it a needed lesson for both the ex-employee (who learned that there are consequences for her actions) and the employer who hopefully learned to make better hiring decisions and/or provide proper training to staff.

The gift card was simply another species of compensatory damages - just like the bus passes given to the woman from the Victoria bus incident. It is a recognized civil remedy as were the apologies. Getting this bigot fired was more for my personal satisfaction than anything else. And I take issue with the quote "Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord". I prefer to claim ownership of it myself.

As one of my former law partners once observed - "I would never want to tick you off. You are like a pit bull, you never stop until the other person is on the ground broken and bleeding. And then you continue the attack." As counsel it was a good reputation to have since I was always taken seriously.

I always operate under the principle - Do not get mad... get even and make the **** pay.

Employers are generally responsible for their employees - even the idiots - it is known as vicarious liability. One would hope that the trouble and expense of training current staff would cause the company to change its orientation and training - a good thing IMHO.

Threatening legal action if a matter is not settled is not extortion - if it was debt collection agents would be overflowing the prison system. Perhaps not a bad thing? :lol:

I assume your reference is to the Rachel Marsden sexual harassment complaint against SFU swim coach Liam Donnelly. I am quite familiar with the case and have used it as teaching case in administrative law class.

Rachel Marsden seems to be a seriously disturbed individual IMHO who seems to have some sociopathic personality features - she lies incredibly convincingly.

Both parties made counter accusations of sexual harassment and in fact Donnelly reported his allegations of stalking to the police who declined to lay charges against Marsden due to lack of evidence. Remeber at the time sexual harassment policies were still being developed and hearing procedures were in their infancy.

On advice of counsel Donnelly withdrew his claim and declined to participate in the three person internal SFU review panel hearing Marsden's claim - that advice by his counsel was pretty clearly bad advice. Donnelly was notified both verbally and in writing of the possible consequences of his decision to not appear. NOTE - it was not a BC Human Rights tribunal hearing but much less formal and without well formulated rules of procedure at the time.

In the result Marsden's uncontroverted testimony was the only evidence before the internal panel. The panel delivered its report to SFU President John Stubbs which found that Donnelly had violated both section one (general harassment) and section two (sexual harassment) of the policy. The committee recommended dismissal. As required by policy, Stubbs circulated the report to both parties and asked for "submissions."

Donnelly then attempted to present new information to the President, but it was not considered on the advice of the university's lawyer, Anita Braha, who argued that such information had not been provided under oath and had not been subject to examination as had evidence supporting Marsden's complaint. At the same time, Donnelly sought to re-submit the complaint which he had earlier filed, and then withdrew, against Marsden. His request to re-submit came approximately 13 months after his original complaint was filed.

Donnelly's request to re-submit was turned down by the harassment office because it exceeded the policy's time limit which requires that complaints be filed "within six months" of the date of the last alleged incident. Donnelly then appealed to the president for a time waiver, but Stubbs ruled that Donnelly "did not have a reasonable and bona fide cause" for the delay and that such a waiver would not be in the "best interests of justice."

After terminating Donnelly, Stubbs then authorized the payment of $12,000 to Marsden as compensation for the harassment.

Donnelly then discharged his previous lawyer and hired new counsel (Lorly Russell) who immediately moved to challenge the way in which the hearing had been conducted and the manner in which the decision was reached. Questions were raised about the competence of the panel and the fairness of the procedures as well as the secrecy of the proceedings. The internal panel was advised on legal matters by university lawyer Anita Braha, but she was also advising the sexual harassment coordinator, Dr. Patricia O'Hagan. This led to complaints of conflict of interest from several members of the British Columbia legal community who argued that it was wrong for Ms. Braha to advise the investigator (O'Hagan) the internal panel (hearing tribunal) and the President since the President was acting as a single person appeals board in regard to a decision of the panel. The whole process was rife with problems.

An independent mediation and arbitration board, chaired by well-known lawyer and arbitrator Stephen Kelleher, was established to review the dismissal. SFU policy provided for the establishment of such a board in dismissal cases to review "whether the president has exercised reasonable judgement" in formulating his decision. The board's decision would be final and binding on all parties. This was the appeal authority established for such a case.

In the midst of this President Stubbs took a leave of absence. The acting President of the University, Dr Gagan then dropped a bombshell stating publicly that the sexual harassment coordinator, Dr. Patricia O'Hagan had developed a friendship with the complainant, and that Ms. Marsden had been shown the judgment by Dr. O'Hagan before it had been seen by President Stubbs. YIKES.

In addition to Steve Kelleher as chair, the arbitration panel consisted of Fran Watters (nominated by SFU) and Sandra Bannister (nominated by Donnelly). I happen to know all three and they are excellent lawyers, mediators and arbitrators. Marsden was invited to participate, but declined to do so. Given the evidence that Donnelly had assembled to support his case included (according to Mr. Donnelly) explicit photographs and e-mail sent by Ms. Marsden as part of her campaign of harassment, that would not be a surprising decision since I am certain she would not have wanted to be subjected to searching cross-examination.

As a first step the panel was charged to informally try to mediate a settlement under the SFU policy. Donnelly filed his evidence. The arbitration panel reviewed it along with the report of the internal panel, the role of Anita Braha and the actions of President John Stubbs. The arbitration panel found them seriously deficient and said so to the SFU Board of Governors. In the result a hearing was not needed. As a consequence the Board of Governors reversed the decision to fire Mr. Donnelly, gave him his full back pay, and paid his legal bills (up to $60,000). It also agreed to expunge the case from his file and admitted that there were flaws in its procedures.

Dr. Gagan said that "the university regrets what Mr. Donnelly and others have gone through. If we were convinced Mr. Donnelly was guilty of sexual harassment, we would not have reinstated him. We cannot hide the fact that this has done damage to the university's public profile."

The administrative fallout was substantial; SFU President Stubbs resigned after taking medical leave for severe deprtession that developed against the backdrop of the case. The sexual harassment coordinator, Dr. Patricia O'Hagan also resigned. And the entire harassment policy and hearing mechanisms were revised in accordance with the issues and deficiencies that the arbitration panel identified and most Canadian universities followed the lead of SFU changing their policies.

The policies were substantially revised in the wake of the Marsden-Donnelly incident – defines the role of the director of human rights and equity, outlines that person’s duties and responsibilities to the complainant and the respondent, clarifies the need to remain impartial, and sets out strict rules around maintaining confidentiality of information. Here is the current policy:
http://www.sfu.ca/po...eneral/gp18.htm

Interestingly the former sexual harassment coordinator, Dr. Patricia O'Hagan would later allege that Marsden had harassed her, claiming to reporters that the student had called her more than 400 times, tracked her down after she'd changed her number, and signed letters, "love from your daughter who loves you a lot." Marsden responded in kind, claiming that she referred to O'Hagan as mother to "set boundaries" with the older woman, who she said had repeatedly hugged and kissed her. "I felt strange," Marsden told the press, "and wondered what her intentions were." O'Hagan's lawyers told the press she "vehemently denie[d]" that she had had "any type of physical relationship" with Marsden.

Clearly the system can be manipulated and Rachel Marsden appears to be a master manipulator but that is no reason to jettison hearing panels and Human Rights tribunals.

To me it seems the system worked - the review authority did what it was intended to do. Part of the problem was Donnelly was withdrawing his complaint not participating in the case against him.

There are very few sexual harassment hearings any longer at SFU. Improved policies, which place an emphasis on mediation or internal processes for resolving complaints, is one explanation. Better education for faculty, staff and students, and a general awareness of where “the line” is when it comes to sexual harassment are also factors. And the fact that more women hold positions of power in universities today has also had an impact.

As always a hearing before a panel or tribunal should be a last resort but it must remain an option in such cases.
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#322 ronthecivil

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 09:09 AM

The case with my partner was not extortion - consider it a needed lesson for both the ex-employee (who learned that there are consequences for her actions) and the employer who hopefully learned to make better hiring decisions and/or provide proper training to staff.

The gift card was simply another species of compensatory damages - just like the bus passes given to the woman from the Victoria bus incident. It is a recognized civil remedy as were the apologies. Getting this bigot fired was more for my personal satisfaction than anything else. And I take issue with the quote "Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord". I prefer to claim ownership of it myself.

As one of my former law partners once observed - "I would never want to tick you off. You are like a pit bull, you never stop until the other person is on the ground broken and bleeding. And then you continue the attack." As counsel it was a good reputation to have since I was always taken seriously.

I always operate under the principle - Do not get mad... get even and make the **** pay.

Employers are generally responsible for their employees - even the idiots - it is known as vicarious liability. One would hope that the trouble and expense of training current staff would cause the company to change its orientation and training - a good thing IMHO.

Threatening legal action if a matter is not settled is not extortion - if it was debt collection agents would be overflowing the prison system. Perhaps not a bad thing? :lol:


That's the problem. In effect, your basically granted the power of judge jury and executioner. The threat of the human rights tribunal is enough to make them cower in fear and give in to your demands. That's not democracy in practice, that's facism in practice.

This wasn't about changing attitudes, it was about feeding egos. Think about for a second, your pretty boastful about the whole thing aren't you? Perhaps they should call it the petty vengeance tribunal.

Comments about covering up are indeed discimination under the (overzelous) law.If you want to use the informal poll here, they are also a widely held public opinion, and unless someone has scoured this thread or the link on the BC government (fun reading we all usually enjoy but easy to miss something) there's a very good chance they wouldn't even know this was verboten speach.

What are the odds that sooner or later some vengeful Rachel Mardstenesque women is going to use this as a way to gain vengeance, fame, make a political point, or who knows what personal motive sooner or later.

Incidentily, you might disagree, but a quick dictionary search gives....

World English Dictionary extortion (ɪkˈstɔːʃən) Posted Imagen the act of securing money, favours, etc by intimidation or violence; blackmail
Unless you think that threating legal action isn't intimidating I think it's fair to call a spade a spade.
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#323 Wetcoaster

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 10:11 AM

That's the problem. In effect, your basically granted the power of judge jury and executioner. The threat of the human rights tribunal is enough to make them cower in fear and give in to your demands. That's not democracy in practice, that's facism in practice.

This wasn't about changing attitudes, it was about feeding egos. Think about for a second, your pretty boastful about the whole thing aren't you? Perhaps they should call it the petty vengeance tribunal.

Comments about covering up are indeed discimination under the (overzelous) law.If you want to use the informal poll here, they are also a widely held public opinion, and unless someone has scoured this thread or the link on the BC government (fun reading we all usually enjoy but easy to miss something) there's a very good chance they wouldn't even know this was verboten speach.

What are the odds that sooner or later some vengeful Rachel Mardstenesque women is going to use this as a way to gain vengeance, fame, make a political point, or who knows what personal motive sooner or later.

Incidentily, you might disagree, but a quick dictionary search gives....

World English Dictionary extortion (ɪkˈstɔːʃən) Posted Imagen the act of securing money, favours, etc by intimidation or violence; blackmail
Unless you think that threating legal action isn't intimidating I think it's fair to call a spade a spade.

Nope, not fascism - just the Rule of Law. Extortion is illegal - what I did is quite legal. Just using the legal tools that are available to secure the desired result.

The courts and tribunals are part and parcel of our system - rather than beat each other to death with swords to settle disputes we have established independent arbiters. One of the functions in our system is for the law and the courts to act as a deterrent - I simply deterred as is my right. Another function is to channel vengeance into socially acceptable forms.

The fundamental purpose of courts and tribunals is to contribute to respect for the law and the maintenance of a just, peaceful and safe society by imposing sanctions that have one or more of the following objectives:

* to denounce unlawful conduct;
* the deter the offender and other persons from committing offences;
* to provide compensation for harm done to victims or the community; and,
* to promote a sense of responsibility in offenders, and acknowledgement of the harm done.

Perhaps if the woman had not committed a discriminatory act then there was no need to be fearful? The solution? Do not discriminate where the law reaches. Has she learnt her lesson? One would hope so. If not then the lesson can be repeated as necessary. The company certainly will have learned its lesson one would think.

So there are consequences for one's unlawful actions. And sometimes the question "Do you have clue who you are dealing with?" really does mean something. And it most certainly does in my case.

Simply because the system could be abused by a Rachel Marsden is no reason to toss out the baby with the nursing mother.

BTW Marsden was convicted in Vancouver of harassing radio personality Michael Morgan in 2004. According to the statement of facts in the case, Marsden and Morgan met in 2001; soon after, he called the police when Marsden sent a teddy bear and flowers to his home. Marsden was warned to stay away from Morgan. But according to court documents, contact resumed and the two began a consensual sexual relationship several months later. When Marsden traveled to the U.S. in 2002, Morgan began dating another woman. According to the court summary of events, this didn't go over well with Marsden, and she began calling and e-mailing him repeatedly, also contacting his new girlfriend, his sister, his son and his business partner, and waiting for him outside his apartment. Police investigated at Morgan's house, where they listened to several phone messages from Marsden described in court documents as "vindictive and threatening." Morgan turned over 38 e-mails sent by Marsden between Sept. 20 and Oct. 10, 2002. According to the court, Marsden also rigged Morgan's computer to send her blind copies of every e-mail he sent to anyone.

In May 2004, Marsden pleaded guilty to the criminal harassment charges. Judge J.W. Kitchen of the criminal division of the Provincial Court of British Columbia sentenced Marsden to conditional discharge and one year of probation.
http://thetyee.ca/Me...04/05/RMarsden/

Teaching people to stand up for and assert their lawful rights is something to be proud of IMHO. Too often people do not know their rights nor how to assert them. If my cautionary tale helps then my work here is done.
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#324 Sultan of Sarcasm

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 10:19 AM

I almost can't believe you guys are still talking about this. I had to come see for myself.
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#325 Shift-4

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 10:21 AM

I almost can't believe you guys are still talking about this. I had to come see for myself.


Yeah, what a bunch of boobs, eh?
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#326 Sultan of Sarcasm

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 10:23 AM

Yeah, what a bunch of boobs, eh?


I seriously would have hit the red button on that one if I could have.
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#327 Shift-4

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 10:25 AM

I seriously would have hit the red button on that one if I could have.


I hit the green button.

We'll call it even.
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#328 ronthecivil

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 10:36 AM

Nope, not fascism - just the Rule of Law. Extortion is illegal - what I did is quite legal. Just using the legal tools that are available to secure the desired result.

The courts and tribunals are part and parcel of our system - rather than beat each other to death with swords to settle disputes we have established independent arbiters. One of the functions in our system is for the law and the courts to act as a deterrent - I simply deterred as is my right. Another function is to channel vengeance into socially acceptable forms.

The fundamental purpose of courts and tribunals is to contribute to respect for the law and the maintenance of a just, peaceful and safe society by imposing sanctions that have one or more of the following objectives:

* to denounce unlawful conduct;
* the deter the offender and other persons from committing offences;
* to provide compensation for harm done to victims or the community; and,
* to promote a sense of responsibility in offenders, and acknowledgement of the harm done.

Perhaps if the woman had not committed a discriminatory act then there was no need to be fearful? The solution? Do not discriminate where the law reaches. Has she learnt her lesson? One would hope so. If not then the lesson can be repeated as necessary. The company certainly will have learned its lesson one would think.

So there are consequences for one's unlawful actions. And sometimes the question "Do you have clue who you are dealing with?" really does mean something. And it most certainly does in my case.

Simply because the system could be abused by a Rachel Marsden is no reason to toss out the baby with the nursing mother.

BTW Marsden was convicted in Vancouver of harassing radio personality Michael Morgan in 2004. According to the statement of facts in the case, Marsden and Morgan met in 2001; soon after, he called the police when Marsden sent a teddy bear and flowers to his home. Marsden was warned to stay away from Morgan. But according to court documents, contact resumed and the two began a consensual sexual relationship several months later. When Marsden traveled to the U.S. in 2002, Morgan began dating another woman. According to the court summary of events, this didn't go over well with Marsden, and she began calling and e-mailing him repeatedly, also contacting his new girlfriend, his sister, his son and his business partner, and waiting for him outside his apartment. Police investigated at Morgan's house, where they listened to several phone messages from Marsden described in court documents as "vindictive and threatening." Morgan turned over 38 e-mails sent by Marsden between Sept. 20 and Oct. 10, 2002. According to the court, Marsden also rigged Morgan's computer to send her blind copies of every e-mail he sent to anyone.

In May 2004, Marsden pleaded guilty to the criminal harassment charges. Judge J.W. Kitchen of the criminal division of the Provincial Court of British Columbia sentenced Marsden to conditional discharge and one year of probation.
http://thetyee.ca/Me...04/05/RMarsden/

Teaching people to stand up for and assert their lawful rights is something to be proud of IMHO. Too often people do not know their rights nor how to assert them. If my cautionary tale helps then my work here is done.
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Well, perhaps we need a word for "legal extortion". It's defined as paying up rather than face the time, humility, and costs of going to court under threat of going to court.

We're quite used to it here in the engineering proffession. Any time there's a threat of a court case between an owner/contractor/the public about anything, no matter how much due diligence engineering put in, and how absolutely nothing we could have changed could have prevented it, we still end up on the hook for 10-20% of the settlement just because the lawyers know that it's cheaper for us to settle rather than go to court and it helps fil the pot to make the settlement happen. Were just a money supply. Neat eh?

That's where I get my "legal extortion" from. Sure it's legal, but it's still extortion. Not under the law, but under the dictionairy and common sense.

And why not do it? After all, there's very little risk in things going wrong. Did Rachel every have to pay back the $12k? Issue an apology? Get charged (for her lies and the subsequent damage in that case)? Pay for damages for the public raking through the coals? Those are a lot more harmful than any comment that can be uttered.

Which by the way, given your history of being a cop and lawyer, you have probably already heard every possible demeaning thing that has been invented and even more than that, so I don't think you suffered emotional distress from one comment from the idiot in the store, but rather used it to be the self apointed sword of political correctness. You might be content with it, but it's still facism to me.

Now, I agree the human rights tribunal can have it's uses. I was reading yesterday about how some recent African migrants might have been treated signficantly worse while doing some tree planting. Maybe it's true, maybe it's not, but if it is true than they have a legitimate gripe.

However, that doesn't mean it's not wide open for personal gain and abuse. That needs to be fixed. Atomic bombs dropped over a few stupid words is a punishment that doesn't fit the crime.
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#329 Sharpshooter

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 11:42 AM

For the love of Jehovah, Allah and Baby Jesus...Ron..., would you please stop with your asinine arguments and obstinate desire to argue everything that Wetcoaster says...jeez...the guy has taken you out back behind the shed and legally, factually, logically, definitionally, put you and your arguments out of your misery with his 12 guage knowledge, intellect and experience. It's painfully clear to everyone he has. Let it go...

Use that 'common sense' you've been highly touting and learn to let things go. There's a time and a length to that, where playing devil's advocate is sometimes constructive and needed, but Ron, that time's over and long gone....let it go...it's embarassing watching you flounder about against Wetcoaster. Everytime he lays waste to your comments with reason, logic and legal fact, you re-tune the band and start playing a revised version of the same crapty song....enough please...

Wetcoaster has you boxed in on every angle you're arguing...i mean you took this thread from common sense cover up of breastfeeding women to fascism and legal extortion and god know where else....shut it down...and spend less time engineering riduculous arguments and spend a bit more time fine tuning those desgins and schematics that your company seems to be having to pay out settlements for, it might be beneficial to your company and be one less thing you'll come and belly ache to us about....god willing.

Obstinantely Asinine....stop being one of those.

Edited by Sharpshooter, 12 August 2010 - 11:44 AM.

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#330 Wetcoaster

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 11:50 AM

Well, perhaps we need a word for "legal extortion". It's defined as paying up rather than face the time, humility, and costs of going to court under threat of going to court.

We're quite used to it here in the engineering proffession. Any time there's a threat of a court case between an owner/contractor/the public about anything, no matter how much due diligence engineering put in, and how absolutely nothing we could have changed could have prevented it, we still end up on the hook for 10-20% of the settlement just because the lawyers know that it's cheaper for us to settle rather than go to court and it helps fil the pot to make the settlement happen. Were just a money supply. Neat eh?

That's where I get my "legal extortion" from. Sure it's legal, but it's still extortion. Not under the law, but under the dictionairy and common sense.

And why not do it? After all, there's very little risk in things going wrong. Did Rachel every have to pay back the $12k? Issue an apology? Get charged (for her lies and the subsequent damage in that case)? Pay for damages for the public raking through the coals? Those are a lot more harmful than any comment that can be uttered.

Which by the way, given your history of being a cop and lawyer, you have probably already heard every possible demeaning thing that has been invented and even more than that, so I don't think you suffered emotional distress from one comment from the idiot in the store, but rather used it to be the self apointed sword of political correctness. You might be content with it, but it's still facism to me.

Now, I agree the human rights tribunal can have it's uses. I was reading yesterday about how some recent African migrants might have been treated signficantly worse while doing some tree planting. Maybe it's true, maybe it's not, but if it is true than they have a legitimate gripe.

However, that doesn't mean it's not wide open for personal gain and abuse. That needs to be fixed. Atomic bombs dropped over a few stupid words is a punishment that doesn't fit the crime.

Legal extortion is an oxymoron. It is not in my dictionary, legal, common sense or otherwise.

Yes, I have been verbally abused, spat on, assaulted, etc. - all a part of the job.

However I do not in my personal capacity, and more to the point my partner does not, have to put up with racist bigots in the setting in which the incident occurred. Hopefully the public nature of the manner in which this bigot was slapped down will have a salutary effect on her future behaviour and hopefully it will have an effect on the company and other employees. I consider the punishment meted out to be commensurate with the offence. I take such things very seriously. YMMV

Rachel Marsden is an anomaly and the system ultimately worked for Mr. Donnelly albeit with significant pain and discomfort. Such is life. It was also open to Mr. Donnelly to sue Marsden for the damage that she caused - since she spoke of the details publicly in the media there is no qualified privilege that might attach to court or tribunal pleadings.

The oft-quoted phrase although said in relation to criminal law has application to such a situation:

Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer. - The English jurist William Blackstone in his Commentaries on the Laws of England, published in the 1760s

When you can design a legal or quasi-legal system that is 100% fool proof and incapable of mistakes, you should patent it as you will make a fortune. Until then we must use the best tools we have at hand.

And as to the underlying sentiment of so what, not my rights or not really all that important - I commend the words of Pastor Martin Niemöller to you:

"THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

THEN THEY CAME for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up."

The rights and freedoms enumerated in the Human Rights Code (and the Charter) are important - they are IMHO fundamental and worthy not only of protection but also strict enforcement. They are not a function of "being politically correct". Parliament, the provincial legislature the courts and tribunals charged with their protection think so as well. If you do not that is you prerogative as it is to try to change the laws should you wish.
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Illegitimi non carborundum.

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