Update -Done Like Dinner:
Damien I am hoist by my own petard I suspect. I will have to concede this matter to you.
I came across this little snippet in a pdf outlining The Settlement Process. Assuming,and I have no reason to doubt it, that this remains current policy then a settlement essentially absolves the BCHRT of responsibilty.
D. Enforcement of Agreements
The Tribunal does not approve or enforce settlements. (Ouch)
The parties to the settlement are responsible for the resolution of problems arising from the settlement or the settlement agreement. Section 30 of the Human rights Code addresses enforcement of settlement agreements.
This lets the BCHRT off the hook, and Damien (AKA Babbling Brooks) too, I stand corrected. Aw Crap. Honesty may pay, but it doesn't always feel good;)
Babbling Brooks in his post "Steyn gets it wrong" suggests the BCHRT is not to blame but rather the litigants for reaching a settlement prior to the scheduled hearing, the implication being that the settlement was reached outside the auspices of BCHRT and was in fact a private agreement between the parties concerned, affecting no one beyond The Blind Individual, The Driver & The North Shore Cab Company. Wrong.
The BCHRT is actively involved in the settlement process. Settlements are a formal alternative dispute resolution mechanism offered to all parties by the BCHRT. Settlements are mediated by BCHRT members.
Settlement Meeting Options
The tribunal will offer settlement meetings for the purpose of assisting the parties to achieve resolution of all or part of the complaint, using any of the following approaches or any combination of them:
interest-based mediation, where the parties meet with a mediator to discuss their interests and objectives;
early evaluation or rights-based mediation, where a mediator reviews the facts with the parties, provides the parties with an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the complaint and advises the parties of an appropriate remedy that would be expected should the matter proceed to hearing and receive a positive determination;
structured negotiations, where the tribunal provides a meeting place for the parties and a mediator who may provide limited assistance to the parties to negotiate their own settlement;
final determination of the merits of all or part of the complaint by the member mediating the complaint, if settlement is not achieved and the parties consent.
Update: Settlements vs. Rulings
BC Ministry of the Attorney General 2004/2005 Annual Service Plan Report. Page 64.
British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal
The Tribunal is responsible for accepting, screening, mediating and adjudicating complaints under the Human Rights Code. The Tribunal provides parties the opportunity to resolve complaints through mediation. Complaints that are not resolved through mediation proceed to a hearing before the Tribunal. The Tribunal is accountable to the legislature through the Attorney General and functions independently of government on all matters related to adjudication of complaints. Orders of the Tribunal are enforceable in the British Columbia Supreme Court.
For more information on this organization, please go to: http://www.bchrt.bc.ca/ *
What the Attorney Generals report suggests to me is that the only difference between a Settlement and a Ruling is that a Settlement is simply a complaint that was resolved without having to proceed to adjudication by the BCHRT.
I hold to the my position that the BCHRT are culpable in this matter that a Settlement and a Ruling are 2 sides to the same coin and that the BCHRT have effectively issued their stamp of approval to this settlement. The BCHRT would not, issue nor enforce a settlement they do not approve.
A BCHRT mediated Settlement like a BCHRT Ruling are both enforcable by Law:
Settlements are enforced by law:
Rule 23 - Enforcement of Settlement Agreements Section 30(1) of the Code provides that, if there has been a breach of the terms of a settlement agreement, a party to the settlement agreement may apply to the British Columbia Supreme Court to enforce the settlement agreement to the extent that the terms of the settlement agreement could have been ordered by the tribunal. Link Here.
The settlement is binding only to the North Shore Cab Company in this instance. Note however that the settlement affects more than just the 3 parties directly involved in the complaint. North Shore Cab was mandated to implement the guide dog exemption for Muslims and Allergic Cab Drivers as part of a policy to accomodate future blind riders, therefore this is not a "private" settlement as was argued by Brooks.
It's a tough call on whether this will constitute a viable precedent in future complaints but none the less a precedent has been set. My concern is that because a BCHRT mediated settlement is enforcable by law then it does constitute legal precedent. The settlement process itself seems an ideal extra-judicial means to slyly implement an agenda. What's to stop the next Muslim Cabbie at another Taxi Company from asking for the same exemption from transporting guide dogs? How could he be denied in light of this "settlement"? Holy Creeping Islamofication Batman!
What may have occurred is that the BCHRT realized it had a hot potato on its hands and wanted a way out. The settlement process clearly allowed the BCHRT to avoid a ruling that may have been applicable province wide and if implemented drawn a great deal more heat. In this instance I would say all parties involved, including the public at large, were ill served. This was a messy stupid decision that has created the proverbial slippery slope. Both common sense and decency dictate that a visually impaired individual with a guide dog never be denied transport under any circumstances. The BCHRT in it's perverse cowardice thinks otherwise, all the more reason to crush this bastion of PC Bullshit.
I stand by my original post and my condemnation of the BCHRT Kangaroo Court. Oh and stop pickin on that Mark Steyn guy too Brooks;)
The Star - Taxi firm pays blind man after refusing ride
VANCOUVER – "A North Vancouver taxi company has agreed to pay a blind Vancouver man $2,500 after one of its drivers refused to pick up the man because he was accompanied by his guide dog. "
Here comes the Kick in the Teeth- as you'd expect from the BCHRT or any of our Human Rights Kangaroo Courts
"It's against the law for cab drivers not to transport blind people with guide dogs, but a settlement agreement between Gilmour and the taxi company says an exception to that law would be a Muslim driver refusing to transport a dog because of religious beliefs.
But the policy says the driver has to call dispatch for the next available cab and stay with the blind person and guide dog until that cab arrives."
Update from Vancouver Sun: Behzad Saidy is the Cab driver in question.
He said that as a Muslim, he cannot associate with dogs because they are considered impure.
Saidy said he often walks disabled people to their door or helps them into cabs and, in Gilmour's case, he called the dispatcher to order another cab to collect him and Arden."I felt for [Gilmour]. I'm sorry for him but I'll never be sorry for what I did because I try to help people all the time," he said."I have lots of customers who are blind or disabled...but I can't be close to the dog.
"In my own company they say if you don't take the dog you're going to be fired. This is torture for me."Saidy said he agreed to the settlement because his religion was finally respected and he was exempt from picking up guide dogs. But, he adds, he's not optimistic that's going to happen. "I don't trust anymore," he said.
Cripes! Get another Job Mr. Saidy
It is evident that the F&CKING ASSHOLES OF THE BCHRT are not in the business of Human Rights but instead in the business of PC Thuggery. In their make-believe world wrong is right.
I suggest we all buy large dogs, teach em to drink, and inform Cab companies in advance that we are our pets "Sober Companions"
From the comments- best suggestion yet!
"Ok, maybe then just carry a flask of booze everywhere, or bacon on a chain round your neck. You know, kind of like garlic & vampires."
You may register your complaint with the BCHRT using the on line form here.
Upperdate: Mark Steyn on the BCHRT Cabbie Craziness H/T SDA
"Canada's ghastly human rights commissions are an an ersatz-judicial abomination to enforce PC bullying. In recent years, they've ordered a Catholic school in Alberta to employ a practising homosexual, fined a Christian printer in Toronto for refusing to print a gay activist group's publicity material, used their powers to support the suspension without pay of a evangelical Christian school teacher who had written to his local paper expressing concern over pro-gay education programs. In all case, the human rights commissions operated on the more or less consistent principle that "religious belief" was fine as long as you kept it furtive and walled up inside your private home but it did not have the right to impact on who you employed, what clients you accepted*, or even what views you expressed in the newspaper.
Apparently, it's different for Islam.
(*The Toronto printer even did as that Muslim taxi driver was supposed to do, and found an alternative printer for the gay group.)
Upperdate No. 2: Mark Peters raises interesting points in Hyper Accomodation
"With respect to the Muslim-friendly spaces, the important question is whether Muslims are going to accommodate kuffar using the facilities. Are blind persons with seeing-eye dogs going to be allowed into the washrooms now that Muslim spaces have been set up? I have a sneaky suspicion they aren't, much in the same way Muslim cab drivers refuse to pick up or drive those with dogs.
Are Muslims cool with a transgendered person washing him/herself in the ablution space? I really don't know. Perhaps they are, but what if they aren't?
This type of "unidirectional multiculturalism," as Mark Steyn calls it, is a setup for anti-Muslim "discrimination" suits, especially since defilement of a Muslim sacred space is assumed by default to be motivated by hatred and not convenience or utility."
MEA CULPA: BCF wrongly identified the CHRC as the culprit, it is in fact the BCHRT, British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal - which is responsible. BCF wishes to thank the reader responsible for pointing this out.