Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Corgis In A Kangaroo Court, Part 3

Having had some time to think over the events of the day, I do feel that the service chihuahua complaint may well be destined for the wrong side of history. However, it's hard to paint this as a good outcome for the Roubles, for natural justice or for common sense. Here's why:

First off, as Ezra Levant, Mark Steyn and others have repeatedly pointed out, the process is the punishment. Particularly in Ontario under the new Code, where complaints go straight to the tribunal and there is no filter to weed out the obviously bogus, defendants find themselves forced into hours of preparation, endless form filling, legal expenses, state sanctioned harassment and tremendous personal stress. (In a Kafka-esque moment in the hearing it became clear that despite submitting all documents to the Tribunal prior to the hearing, any document to be relied on at the hearing has to be submitted in hard copy again at the hearing itself. Of course, neither party had been made aware of this prior to the hearing).

Secondly, in this particular case, the issue has come down to Mr. Allarie's violent and aggressive behaviour and has nothing to do with the dog. On the plus side, this should make the 'least worst' outcome of a finding in the Roubles' favour more likely. On the downside, though, it does nothing to clarify the mish-mash of municipal and provincial regulations concerning what is or isn't a service animal. Ferrets on Ottawa buses, and chihuahuas hovering over the buffet in Carleton Place restaurants will continue, until some mechanism to sort out the mess is found. I love my corgis, but I wouldn't want to eat food they'd walked on. I know where they've been.

Thirdly, whatever the outcome of this hearing, that very failure to rule on the issue of the dog leaves every other business vulnerable to Mr. Allarie's whim. He can repeat exactly the same process with any new target he chooses, because there has been and will be no finding with respect to the pesky D-O-Gee. Mr. Allarie walks away knowing that the process is the punishment, that it doesn't cost him a dime to file and pursue a complaint, and that there is no consequence to filing unfounded complaints.

The tyranny of the Canadian Human Rights system gives Mr. Allarie and others like him a weapon they can turn at will on the unsuspecting, the innocent, the hard-working backbone of this country. You're paying for this, it's being done in your name and it has to stop.

Fire. Them. All.