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Commentary

Competing Human Rights . . . Where is the Limit?

Tue, March 14, 2017   |   Author: Jim Enos   |   Volume 24    Issue 11   

The farther Canadian Society moves away from individual rights balanced with responsibilities and toward individual and group rights without limits, the more uncomfortable or even dangerous our days will become. Motion 103, which seeks to outlaw “Islamophobia,” is a prime example. Should M-103 become a bill and then a law, Islam, and its associated Sharia Law, will be protected from public scrutiny; How unsettling is that?

Why would an organization of any kind want to be sheltered from public scrutiny unless there is something the organization wants to hide? Personally, as a Christian, I do not want Christianity sheltered from public scrutiny. Quite the opposite! I want the public to be fully aware of Christianity and God’s intentions for those who will trust Him even though—sadly, in our day—many have rejected the Gospel.

How far do Human Rights extend? Is there a limit? The good news is, yes! There are Human Rights limits in Canada, at least up to this point in time. The Ontario Human Rights Commission is considered by some to be an agency often acting outside of the Law defined in the Ontario Human Rights Code. I concur with those “some.” Yet within Commission policies, which are not the Law and are often in contention with the Law, is the Competing Human Rights Policy, which contains the following statement:

“The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, provincial human rights legislation (including the Ontario Human Rights Code) and the courts recognize that no rights are absolute and no one right is more important than another right. Our laws guarantee rights such as freedom of expression as well as protection against discrimination and harassment based on gender, creed, sexual orientation and disability, among other grounds. They require we give all rights equal consideration. The law also recognizes that rights have limits in some situations where they substantially interfere with the rights of others.”

On Monday, March 6, the Hamilton Wentworth Family Action Council, ARPA and two local churches spoke in opposition to the City of Hamilton Draft Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Policy. This policy sought to allow males, who self-identify as female, to access public intimate female facilities such as washrooms, change rooms, and showers based simply on their misguided belief that they are females. In addition, the policy states that City staff would have no right to question their motives. Clearly, this is an invasion of the intimate privacy of females and substantially interferes with the rights of others. Thirty-six organizations spoke in favour of the policy.

You can view the five hour video here. If you want to view the 4 presentations opposing the draft protocol, they appear at the following times on the clip as follows:

Hamilton Wentworth Family Action Council - 9:30

Trinity Canadian Reformed Church - 33:00

ARPA - 53:00

Rehoboth United Reformed Church - 58:00

Two days following the presentations, the City Council voted unanimously in favour of the protocol. “Is this the end of the battle?”, we are often asked or, “Will this now head into the courts to right this wrong?” At this time, we do know what we would like to see happen next but we cannot say for certain what will happen. For myself, I will continue to seek opportunity to fight this injustice against the needs of females for intimate privacy but will not force open a door that Lord does not open. Some, no doubt, will call this a defeat and throw up their hands in forfeit, but often these are the same people who would have forfeited without a fight at all, which is a position without merit.

Consider this:

“To try to improve society is not worldliness but love. To wash your hands of society is not love but worldliness.” - Sir Frederick Catherwood

Setting good public policy, changing structures that cause casualties, improving society, these are all substantial reasons why CHP Canada should contend for the application of Christian world view principles in public policy and governance. Will every effort result in immediate victory? Not likely! I often say, “Doing something is not a guarantee of success; however, doing nothing has a predictable outcome.” Perhaps, an active vibrant church would move more people to seek information about this life-changing gospel.

We urge you to continue to work with CHP Canada for the glory of God and for the betterment of society, through the application of Christian worldview principles in public policy and governance. The need for the restoration and preservation of these principles has never been greater. Evidence indicates, and obedience dictates, we cannot leave this task for others. If not us, then who? How do we expect to reap where we do not sow?

Join CHP Canada and make a stand for Canada’s historic Christian heritage.

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