Wednesday, July 09, 2008

OHRC On a Roll

You know, I'm getting the impression that--far from thinking them public relations catastrophes, as would anyone with a braincell--Babs Hall sees her various recent bollocksings-up of the sane order of things as, somehow, publicity coups. All eyes are upon us--her reasoning seems to run (to Thunder and Blazes, obviously)--let's not disappoint them!

To ask whether this is deeply stupid of her, or whether it is deeply sinister, is a vexed question. It is deeply (I might venture to add: deeply!) stupid ... But while sinisterness may not have succeeded in being the cause here, it still manages to be the effect.

... I am alluding of course to this:
A new report from the Ontario Human Rights Commission makes a case for considering housing as not only a need but also a right, guaranteed by international agreements that Canada has signed.
A good examination of the implications of this absurd interpretation of rights can be found here, (via BCF). And be sure to keep your eye on the distinction between making the Canadian public as a whole accountable for the homeless, and singling out only landlords to bear that burden.

But I just love this:
The commission conducted interviews with tenants across the province and found a variety of reasons for discrimination in rental housing, including race, poverty and mental illness.
Speaking as a person who believes that the poor and mentally ill deserve much from those who fare better, it still seems to me that it is reasonable for a person who earns his livelihood by renting out his property to show preference to those who are most likely able to pay their rent. This is discriminatory to the extent that all good business practice is discriminatory. You may as well pillory Loblaws for not handing out sandwiches to anyone who asks.

But race?! Somebody claims that they didn't get an apartment for as scandalous a reason as racial prejudice, and we're expected to buy it? Just like that?! Were the accused consulted for their side of the story, I wonder? Something tells me they weren't.

Show me the landlord who would actually admit to a prospective tenant--under any circumstances--that he refused them based on their race, and I'll show you a man stupid enough to believe that he is responsible for homelessness.