Bruce Pardy: B.C. courts asking for ‘correct pronouns’ is state-mandated identity politics

Bruce Pardy: B.C. courts asking for ‘correct pronouns’ is state-mandated identity politics

Author of the article:Bruce Pardy, Special to National PostPublishing date:Feb 09, 2021  •  2 hours ago  •  4 minute read

On December 16, the B.C. Supreme Court issued a practice direction that directs parties and counsel to provide their “correct pronouns” to be used in the proceeding. Photo by Arlen Redekop /PNG
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When courts issue practice directions, usually only litigation lawyers pay attention. No one else needs to know when counsel should wear gowns or how commissioners should be identified on affidavits. But recently, the British Columbia Supreme Court issued a direction like no other. Practice Direction 59, released on December 16, advises parties and their lawyers, when introducing themselves in court, to provide their “correct pronouns” to be used in the proceeding. People look to courts to protect their fundamental freedoms, but in B.C., the courts themselves now encroach upon freedom of speech by expecting litigants to use pronouns that their opponents prescribe.

The previous month, a judge of the Court gave a preview of the implications. The Court was hearing the case of a 17-year-old who wanted to transition from female to male. The father and provincial authorities supported a plan to have an operation to remove both of the teen’s breasts, but the mother had brought an action trying to prevent it. The mother regarded the teen as a girl, and it was the transition to male that was the very issue before the court. Yet the judge challenged the right of the mother and the mother’s counsel to refer to the teen as “her”. According to the transcript, the judge said, “there has been a request that counsel refer to (the youth) as he or him … are you refusing to do that?” Translation: You may be arguing that your client’s daughter should remain a girl, but please acknowledge that he is a boy.

The practice direction, along with an almost identical notice applicable to B.C. provincial courts, was the product of consultation with the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Community (SOGIC) of the Canadian Bar Association (B.C. chapter). One of its purposes, according to announcements, is to improve experiences within the legal system for gender diverse parties and lawyers. The direction does not merely clarify that parties and their counsel may advise the court of their pronouns — litigants were free to do that before the direction was issued — but that they may require other parties to comply. By making declared pronouns “correct”, the direction makes other pronouns, by default, incorrect.

Under the direction, correct pronouns are “to be used” in the courtroom. Even identifying your own pronouns is compulsory. Any parties or lawyers who decline to do so will be prompted by a court clerk. While practice directions do not constitute the law in the same sense as statutory enactments and regulations, they do reflect the Court’s expectations on practice and process. Besides, the last thing litigants wish to do is irritate their judge. For practical purposes, the practice direction is the law inside the courtrooms of British Columbia.

People are apt to believe that the law will protect them from the irrationality of mobs. They may think that courts are in the business of assessing evidence and applying laws to facts, and that they will be neutral in every dispute, insulated from the influence of politics. Instead, B.C. courts are insisting that litigants say things they may not believe. They validate subjective identities of parties by legitimizing the proposition that everyone must declare their own pronoun that other people must use.

When Jordan Peterson objected to the proposal to add “gender identity or expression” to the Canadian Human Rights Act in 2017 on the grounds that people could be required to use prescribed pronouns, he was ridiculed for scaremongering. Only a handful of lawyers agreed with him, or at least few said so publicly. We were derisively told that this and similar provisions in provincial human rights codes would have no effect upon free speech, notwithstanding the advice of the Ontario Human Rights Commission that “refusing to refer to a trans person by … a personal pronoun that matches their gender identity … will likely be discrimination” in employment, accommodation, and education. Now prescribed pronouns have become compulsory in British Columbia courts too.

Proponents of the practice direction argue that using a person’s personal pronoun is merely to treat that person with respect, and that doing so should be regarded as part of a lawyer’s professional responsibility to be civil in the courtroom. However, when courts enforce prescribed pronouns, they are not merely requiring civility but taking sides in a legal, political, and philosophical dispute. To compel pronouns is to insist that people can own and control how others regard them, and to force them to reflect a particular view of reality.

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The agenda is to force social change by making dissent illegitimate. Last week, when Canadian Lawyer Magazine published an opinion piece by B.C. lawyer Shahdin Farsai critical of the direction, an enraged mob of social justice lawyers descended, threatening over social media to boycott the magazine and demanding retraction. The editors obliged, removing the article and pleading that it “did not reflect the views” of the magazine, as though that has ever been the criterion for publishing op-eds. Such is the present state of open debate on these issues within B.C.’s legal community.

Free people make their own choices. Women are at liberty to have their breasts removed and identify themselves as men if that is what they want. But true freedom is universal and reciprocal, and other people are not bound to go along. They may express their reactions in their own words and refer to others as “him” or “her” as they see fit. No one should be obligated to affirm someone else’s self-image.

Reciprocal freedom is not now what we have. Today’s “human rights” put words in the mouths of some for the benefit of others. The Supreme Court’s practice direction represents state-mandated identity politics on the road to perdition. Social justice activism has captured the courts of British Columbia.

Bruce Pardy is professor of law at Queen’s University

Canada’s Cultural Marxist Courts Strike Another Blow Against Property Rights and Freedom of Speech and Belief

Canada’s Cultural Marxist Courts Strike Another Blow Against Property Rights and Freedom of Speech and Belief

 
Canada’s increasingly culturally Marxist and interventionist courts have just struck another blow against property rights, freedom of speech and freedom of belief. Apparently, by public policy, Canada is homosexual and anti-White. If you don’t buy into this revolutionary ideology, you may not be able to leave money to advance the views you do believe in.
 
The National Post (February 22, 2016) reports: “An Ontario judge has struck down a deceased doctor’s attempt to set up university scholarships exclusively for white, single and heterosexual students, ruling the unusual stipulations clash with ‘public policy.’ Dr. Victor Priebe’s trustee should ignore the discriminatory directions his will set out for the proposed bursary, said the Superior Court of Justice decision. ‘Although it is not expressly stated by Dr. Priebe that he subscribed to white supremacist, homophobic and misogynistic views … (the will’s statements) leave no doubt as to Dr. Priebe’s views,’ said Justice Alissa Mitchell.

Despite the judge’s abusive verbiage, the late doctor seemed only to want to favour his own kind — White heterosexuals. There are all sorts of scholarships designated for Indians, Jews, Catholics, Blacks. Apparently, under the present judicial tyranny favouring one’s own kind — if you’re White and straight — with your own money is the only choice that is “contrary to public policy.”

The National Post article continues: “A 2014 ruling similarly halted a New Brunswick man’s bequest of $200,000 to an American neo-Nazi group, …But judges can curb Canadians’ freedom to direct their financial legacy only when the transgression is blatant, said Laura Cardiff, a Toronto lawyer who specializes in estate cases. …  ‘It’s the ‘safety’ of the state that (has to be) at risk, and it’s a universally recognized risk, not just that a few people might disagree with what this person is doing.'”

“The safety of the state at risk” if a few heterosexual Whites get bursaries to study science? It’s preposterous!

“Royal Trust Corp., the trustee, had asked the court for direction on whether it had to follow Priebe’s instructions. Its lawyer did not comment on the decision. Ontario’s Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee had intervened to urge that the will’s contentious parts be removed. One of the office’s roles is to oversee charitable gifts, and it’s well-established that those gifts cannot violate the Ontario Human Rights Code, said Brendan Crawley, a spokesman.

Priebe died a year ago at age 83, 20 years after he had retired as a radiologist at Windsor’s Hotel Dieu Hosptial. He was also a partner in Windsor Radiological Associates. Priebe’s will asked the trustee to set up bursaries for students planning studies in science, including medicine, genetics, biology, chemistry, physics and pharmacology.

It said one should be directed to ‘Caucasian (white), male, single, heterosexual students,’ while the other should be reserved for a ‘hard-working, single Caucasian white girl who is not feminist or lesbian.’

But Priebe may have gotten the last word. Another provision in his will said the bursaries would be cancelled if a court voided the controversial provisions.”

So, there will be no bursaries.

Sadly, we told you so. When CAFE intervened in the McCorkill case — misleadingly referred to in the National Post article, we warned that efforts to nullify Prof. McCorkill’s bequest to the  White Nationalist (not “neo-Nazi”) National Alliance as contrary to public policy was dangerous, an affront to property rights and freedom of belief and would open the door to further judicial meddling and second guessing. No, it was argued by the Attorney General of New Brunswick arguing for nullification,this would be a once in a generation event. Parroting the government party line, the judgement by the Court of Queen’s Bench said much the same thing.

But within months there was the Spence case in Ontario. “”A Newmarket, Ont., judge made legal history this week by overturning a man’s last will and testament because his deathbed pleas were overtly racist. Judge C.A. Gilmore overturned Jamaican-born Rector Emanuel (Eric) Spence’s will, because he had disinherited a daughter who gave birth to a white man’s child. It is the first known example of a judge nullifying an entire will on the grounds that the motivations of the dead offended ‘public policy.’ Mr. Spence, who died alone in 2013, disowned his daughter when he found out she was carrying the infant. Instead, he left $400,000 to another daughter whom he barely knew in the U.K., largely out of anger and spite.” (National Post, January 29 , 2015) The Post was wrong. Seven months earlier, Mr. Justice Grant in New Brunswick had nullified the bequest of Robert McCorkill to the U.S.-based National Alliance as being “contrary to public policy”!

If You Believe in A Peron’s Rights To Bequeath His Money According to Their Beliefs, CAFE Needs Your Help!

Now, more than ever, we need your help. CAFE has sought leave to appeal the McCorkill decision to the Supreme Court of Canada. This is ferociously expensive. The case has already cost us over $60,000. We urgently need your help

Check out CAFE’s website http://cafe.nfshost.com. You can e-mail a credit card donation to me paul@paulfromm.com or send a cheque or credit card particulars to:

CAFE,

P.O. Box 332,

Rexdale, ON.,

M9W 5L3,

CANADA.

Paul Fromm.

Director

CANADIAN ASSOCIATION FOR FREE EXPRESSION.

 

National Post

Dr. Victor Priebe in an undated photo.

HandoutDr. Victor Priebe in an undated photo.

An Ontario judge has struck down a deceased doctor’s attempt to set up university scholarships exclusively for white, single and heterosexual students, ruling the unusual stipulations clash with “public policy.”

Dr. Victor Priebe’s trustee should ignore the discriminatory directions his will set out for the proposed bursary, said the Superior Court of Justice decision.

“Although it is not expressly stated by Dr. Priebe that he subscribed to white supremacist, homophobic and misogynistic views … (the will’s statements) leave no doubt as to Dr. Priebe’s views,” said Justice Alissa Mitchell.

Her decision invoked a little-known legal principle — stemming from an 80-year-old Supreme Court of Canada judgment — that allows courts to quash people’s final wishes if they clearly offend the interests of the state.

People are allowed to be eccentric

A 2014 ruling similarly halted a New Brunswick man’s bequest of $200,000 to an American neo-Nazi group, while a 2009 Nova Scotia judgment blocked a will that said the deceased’s property could be sold only to Anglicans or Presbyterians.

But judges can curb Canadians’ freedom to direct their financial legacy only when the transgression is blatant, said Laura Cardiff, a Toronto lawyer who specializes in estate cases.

“People are allowed to be eccentric,” she said. “It’s fairly stringent, these requirements. It’s the ‘safety’ of the state that (has to be) at risk, and it’s a universally recognized risk, not just that a few people might disagree with what this person is doing.”

Royal Trust Corp., the trustee, had asked the court for direction on whether it had to follow Priebe’s instructions. Its lawyer did not comment on the decision.

Ontario’s Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee had intervened to urge that the will’s contentious parts be removed. One of the office’s roles is to oversee charitable gifts, and it’s well-established that those gifts cannot violate the Ontario Human Rights Code, said Brendan Crawley, a spokesman.

Priebe died a year ago at age 83, 20 years after he had retired as a radiologist at Windsor’s Hotel Dieu Hosptial. He was also a partner in Windsor Radiological Associates.

Priebe’s will asked the trustee to set up bursaries for students planning studies in science, including medicine, genetics, biology, chemistry, physics and pharmacology.

It said one should be directed to “Caucasian (white), male, single, heterosexual students,” while the other should be reserved for a “hard-working, single Caucasian white girl who is not feminist or lesbian.”

Administrators of the scholarship should make sure yearly that the students remained single, said the will.

He had a rather unique personality

There were other odd stipulations, too, such as that the male bursary should not go to anyone who plays inter-collegiate sports, and that the recipient should ideally demonstrate “they are not afraid of hard manual work in their selection of summer employment.”

In ruling last week that those specifications contravened public policy, Justice Mitchell cited a 1990 case where a bequeathed scholarship available only to white people of British origin was successfully challenged as discriminatory.

But Priebe may have gotten the last word. Another provision in his will said the bursaries would be cancelled if a court voided the controversial provisions.

One long-time acquaintance said she was “a little bit surprised” at the bigotry in his final testament.

“But he had a rather unique personality,” said the acquaintance, who asked not to be quoted by name because of the “awkward” situation. “He certainly was a strong-minded individual.”

Priebe’s obituary in the Windsor Star makes no mention of any spouse or children, saying he was predeceased by his parents and sister, had founded a photography club and enjoyed spending time in local public libraries.

One of his cousins said in a brief email exchange that she had only met Priebe once, in 1960 at her own father’s funeral, and exchanged the odd Christmas card.

“I don’t know anything about him, his friends or acquaintances,” she said.

The underlying case law that doomed Priebe’s posthumous plans dates from 1938, when the Supreme Court was asked to rule on a will that set up a sort of “baby derby,” bequeathing money to the woman who had the most babies within a certain period of time. The judges approved that idea, but said courts could step in when provisions were clearly offensive to public interests, said Ms. Cardiff.

Letter-to-the-Editor re: Tyranny of Ontario Human Rights Commission & Nepean Redskins

Letter-to-the-Editor re: Tyranny of Ontario  Human Rights Commission & Nepean Redskins
Canadian Association for Free Expression

Box 332,

Rexdale, Ontario, M9W 5L3

Ph: 905-566-4455; FAX: 905-566-4820

Website: http://cafe.nfshost.com

Paul Fromm, B.Ed, M.A. Director

September 21, 2013

 

The Editor,

The Globe and Mail.

 

Dear Sir:

 

 Re: “Ottawa football club agrees to drop Redskin name”(Globe and Mail, September 21, 2013).

 

Whatever use they might have served in the distant past, human rights commissions have outlived their purpose. They provide privileged minorities a tool to harass and blackmail the majority. In a move that may well cost $100,000, the Nepean Redskins will change their name. One Ottawa Indian, musician Ian Campeau, found the name “offensive” and, when the team wouldn’t budge, filed a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

 It cost him nothing but a letter. The Commission will do the legal work for him, If he loses, he pays no costs or penalty. From the get-go, all the costs are on the team. They must hire a lawyer, present a case, answer motions and correspondence and, eventually, appear before a tribunal. Even if they, win, they are out thousands, likely several tens of thousands of dollars. Human rights tribunal members are often highly biased in favour of minorities. They are part of the human rights industry. The odds are stacked against the victims. .

The threat of burying an amateur team for children with legal costs gives an unfair blackmail hammer to privileged minorities.

Your report notes: “About 550 kids and volunteers run the flag, tackle, touch and cheer programmes with the club. … It left the youth football club facing an expensive transition or a lengthy, high-profile legal battle.” (Globe and Mail, September 21, 2013)

The time has come to rid the province of this meddling and unfair institution. Ontario Progressive Conservative Party leader Tim Hudak promised to do just that when he was running for his party’s leadership in 2009. So, too, did one of his rivals, and eventual ally in the final vote, MPP Randy Hillier.

 Regrettably, as soon as he’d clutched the leadership prize, Hudak, apparently, heard from the Big Boys and shelved his promise. It’s time, in light of this latest outrag4e, for him to pledge himself to purging this Province of the bullying institution.

 Paul Fromm

Nepean Redskins to Change Their Name After Rights Complaint Blackmail — Come On Hudak: Promise to Abolish the Ontario Human Rights Commission

Nepean Redskins to Change Their Name After Rights Complaint Blackmail — Come On Hudak: Promise to Abolish the Ontario Human Rights Commission

 

Whatever use they might have served in the distant past — and I question that — human rights commissions have outlived their purpose. They provide privileged minorities a tool to harass and blackmail the majority. In a move that may well cost $100,000, the Nepean Redskins will change their name. One Ottawa Indian, musician Ian Campeau, found the name “offensive” and, when the team wouldn’t budge, filed a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

 

It cost him nothing but a letter. The Commission will do the legal work for him, If he loses, he pays no costs or penalty. From the get-go, all the costs are on the tream,. They must hire a lawyer, present a case, answer motions and correspondence and, eventually, appear before a tribunal. Even if they, win, they are out thousands, likely several tens of thousands of dollars. Human rights tribunal members are often highly biased in favour of minorities. They are part of the human rights industry. The odds are stacked against the victims.

 

The National Post (September 20, 2013) reports the latest victory for minority blackmail and bullying enabled by the skanky creature called the Ontario Human Rights Commission: ” An Ottawa amateur football club — the Nepean Redskins — is changing  its name and logo under mounting pressure from critics who say it’s a racist  reference to aboriginals. The team’s president Steve Dean said Thursday the change is voluntary and  will be officially announced Friday.The team “understands that the current name is offensive to some, and thus  divisive to our community,” he said in a statement. …

Dave Chan for National Post/Files

The decision comes weeks after an Ottawa musician, Ian Campeau of the band A  Tribe Called Red, filed a human rights complaint alleging the name is  racist. Campeau hailed the news Thursday, posting a triumphant “WE DID IT!!!” on  Twitter.

 

Not all were on board with the switch, with a few on social media accusing  the team of giving into political correctness. Dean said the club will choose a new name, logo and colours at the end of the  football season in November. Parents, players and volunteers will be consulted,  he said. The full transformation is expected to cost more than US$100,000 and ‘may  take a number of years to complete,’ he said.”

An earlier National Post story (September 3, 2013) explained: “Arguing that the name of the Nepean Redskins, an Ontario amateur football  club, is ‘offensive, non-inclusive and dehumanizing,’ an Ottawa man announced  Tuesday he is approaching the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal to force a name  change. …  Ian Campeau, a member of the Nippissing First Nation  and a DJ with the aboriginal electronic music group A Tribe Called Red.” He had led a two year campaign of e-mails and media agitation to try to force the name change.”

Incidentally, doesn’t Campeau’s group’s name “A Tribe Called Red” call attention to race and seem, well, uh, a little bit racist.?

 

The September 3 National Post story, but not the version still on-line, made extensive reference to local Ottawa Indian groups who had no problem with the name “Redskins” for the amateur football team, and saw no offence in in/ The Ottawa Citizen (September 3, 2013) report notes: “The National Capital Amateur Football Association has resisted the name change, claiming that it has consulted the native community and received support for continuing to use the name.

Association and Redskins president Steve Dean  said: ‘This is a small not-for-profit entity doing work in the community with a name that has been around for 30 years. It was never our intention or objective to offend anyone.’ The football league has aboriginal players and coaches, added Dean.”

 

 

The threat of burying an amateur team for children with legal costs gives an unfair blackmail hammer to privileged minorities.

“About 550 kids and volunteers run the flag, tackle, touch and cheer programmes with the club. … It left the youth football club facing an expensive transition or a lengthy, high-profile legal battle.” (Globe and Mail, September 21, 2013)

 

 

The time has come to rid the province of this meddling and unfair institution. Ontario Progressive Conservative Party leader Tim Hudak promised to do just that when he was running for his party’s leadership in 2009. So, too, did one of his rivals, and eventual ally in the final vote, MPP Randy Hillier.

 

 

The Toronto Star (September 21, 2009) reported: “Hudak, who has followed long-shot candidate Randy Hillier’s lead on calling for the rights body to be scrapped, …  emphasized Tories are profoundly concerned about the rights body, which has become a bête noire in conservative circles where it is perceived as infringing on individual and press liberties.

‘Everywhere I go in this province, speaking to PC members, they want to see changes to the human rights commission, because it doesn’t serve victims well nor those who have been accused,’ said the Niagara West-Glanbrook MPP.’When (Tories) see somebody like (chief human rights commissioner) Barbara Hall out championing for the ability to censor the media while those that have real cases of discrimination languish on waiting lists, they want to see changes,’ he said.”

 

Regrettably, as soon as he’d clutched the leadership prize, Hudak, apparently, heard from the Big Boys and shelved his promise. It’s time, in light of this latest outrage, for him to pledge himself to purging this Province of the bullying institution.

 

Paul Fromm

Director

CANADIAN ASSOCIATION FOR FREE EXPRESSION