A right to special treatment

13 Mar 2012 A right to special treatment

Pamela Howson clearly knows how the human rights system works. First, claim membership of a “protected” group. In Ontario, their Human Rights Code includes protection on the basis of “family status”, which has been interpreted by the provincial tribunal as granting privileged status to mothers with children.

Ms. Howson has three children, so she qualifies.

Second, find a grievance and, by extension, a target. Any grievance will do, but it helps to target the type of individuals or organizations that the province’s Commission is currently scrutinizing for its next wave of human rights education. In this case, the OHRC is waging a campaign against zoning laws in municipalities across the province. Ms. Howson wants to park her car on her front lawn, in contravention to current zoning laws, so it appears to be a match made in human rights heaven.

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