I never knew how badly my rights have been oppressed over the years until I read this story this morning. A man in BC has been awarded just shy of $2,000 after the gym he was a member of told him he couldn’t wear his boots while exercising because there was a no boot rule.
See, over the years I’ve worked jobs where I have had to toil in a certain type of footwear and quite frankly it has often been uncomfortable and one might say cumbersome. You see on some jobs I was forced to wear work boots when I would have been more comfortable in shoes. Other times my feet hurt because of the type of shoe I had to wear as part of my uniform.
If only I had known about the right to wear whatever you wanted. I mean if you can scam money out of a gym over this while claiming your rights were oppressed then surely I could’ve gotten money out of employers whose draconian rules forced me to wear specific footwear for the job.
Now I wish I was making this all up, but I’m not.
Keith Wollenberg actually filed a complaint about this in April 2011 against the Platinum Athletic Club in Surrey, BC. He said that his physiotherapist recommended he wear hiking boots while doing lunges because his ankles needed more support.
The gym has a no boot policy, they said no, so he naturally took them to a human right commission. I mean, that’s the first thing adults do when they have disputes, right?
So Buddy takes his laughable complaint to a laughable body and of course he wins. He gets an award of $916 for lost wages and parking while pursuing the case and $1,000 for injury to his dignity, feelings and self-respect.
This is mind boggling that this case was even heard but Wollenberg convinced the good folks at the BC Human Rights Tribunal that he was discriminated on the basis of physical disability. Your poor little tendon injury is now a disability. Give me a break.
I shouldn’t be surprised though after all the BC human rights apparatchiks are not only the esteemed jurists who put Mark Steyn on trial for his book and magazine writings but these are also the people that ruled McDonald’s discriminated against an employee who worked with food but wouldn’t wash her hands. She claimed a skin condition. McDonald’s claimed company policy and health laws required hand washing. No matter, there is a human right in BC for food workers not to wash their hands after they go to the bathroom.
These organizations that make up fake rights need to be dismantled prefereably in one fell swoop or piece by piece if we need to.
Canada has a long history of respecting rights. Have there been mistakes along the way? Sure. But our common law heritage, our Parliamentary democracy and even our desperately flawed Charter of Rights and Freedoms give us the basis of protection for our real rights not these commissions which make stuff up or worse yet oppress the fundamental rights of some to grant rights to others.
Right now there is a bill before Parliament, a private member’s bill C-304. It will among other things repeal section 13.1 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. This is the hurt feelings on the internet provision.
The act says that it is an offence if anyone communicates electronically, “…any matter that is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt by reason of the fact that that person or those persons are identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.”
In this case you don’t even need to actually cause hatred or contempt – two emotions that can’t be regulated by law – you just have to do something that is likely to cause a favoured group to be exposed to hatred or contempt.
This is an overly broad law, the kind that needs to be pruned back. It’s a good first step, one that needs to be replicated in each and every province across Canada.
And that’s the Byline.