human rights begin at home

Todd Hardy did a passable job representing his constituents in China this week. Hardy condemned human rights abuses in that country.

Todd Hardy did a passable job representing his constituents in China this week.

Hardy condemned human rights abuses in that country.

And he urged Premier Dennis Fentie to block shipments of Yukon tungsten bound for China unless it improves its human rights record.

Sounds good.

But Hardy can’t champion the rights of the Chinese and then suspend those same rights for his own constituents in Whitehorse.

And yet he has.

Since late 2006, 17 people have been forcibly evicted from their homes in Whitehorse under the territory’s Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods legislation. Some of them in Hardy’s neighbourhood.

Hardy’s been stone silent about this.

In fact, he had a hand in their evictions.

Hardy pushed for this law. He helped draft the document, which Canadian civil rights experts have called “Draconian.”

The loosely worded legislation allows government agents to spy on residents and evict them either through a court-issued community safety order or by “informal action,” which means simply asking a landlord to take action immediately.

Getting landlords to do the dirty work circumvents the territory’s one-month notice rule, permitting a tenant to be evicted within five days, even in the dead of winter.

Remember, these people have not been found guilty of anything. They haven’t even been charged with a crime.

They will not go to court. They simply lose their accommodation.

There’s no way for evictees to fight the order, unless they sue the government — something that most of these people, society’s most marginal citizens, lack the resources to do.

The evictees have no right to see the evidence gathered against them unless they go to court.

And the so-called SCAN law may violate the Constitution.

The NWT rejected the law after criticism from its human rights commission and the BC Civil Liberties Association.

“There are problems with having a proceeding where you’re very adversely affected and you haven’t been heard,” Winnipeg defence lawyer Josh Weinstein said in an interview shortly after the Yukon law came into effect.

The BC Civil Liberties Association’s Murray Mollard condemned the law, calling it flawed and “breathtaking in terms of its power.”

It also promotes vigilantism, he said.

And, according to Toronto defence lawyer Clayton Ruby, it may violate Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Hardy supports this law, even while chastising the Chinese.

Which just shows it’s easy to champion the rights of faceless people who live halfway around the planet.

It makes a fellow look righteous. Better yet, there’s no local political downside.

But, it’s much harder to champion human rights when those being abused live on the fringe of your own community —when they’re people society suspects might be addicts, prostitutes, bootleggers or drug pushers.

Standing up for them comes at a political price. Hardy isn’t willing to pay it.

The Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods law demonstrates Hardy is willing to suspend human rights when it suits him.

To clean up the city, he’s willing to have government agents force suspected troublemakers out of their apartments.

China does it to make way for Olympic stadiums — to modernize and improve Beijing.

In the end, there’s little difference.

You either respect human rights. Or you don’t. (RM)

Just Posted

Willow Brewster, a paramedic helping in the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre, holds a swab used for the COVID-19 test moments before using it on Nov. 24. The Yukon government is reopening the drive-thru option on June 18. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Drive-up COVID-19 testing opening June 18 in Whitehorse

The drive-up testing will be open from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. everyday and increase testing capacity by 33 spots

A draft plan has been released by the Dawson Regional Use Planning commission on June 15. Julien Gignac/Yukon News
Draft plan released by the Dawson Regional Land Use Planning Commission

Dawson Regional Land Use Commission releases draft plan, Government of Yukon withdraws additional lands from mineral staking in the planning region

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Let them live in trailers

“I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city… Continue reading

X
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for June 18, 2021.… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Yukon News file)
Yukon logs nine new COVID-19 cases, 54 active cases

More CEMA enforcement officers have been recruited, officials say

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council at its June 14 meeting

Murray Arsenault sits in the drivers seat of his 1975 Bricklin SV1 in Whitehorse on June 16. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Bringing the 1975 Bricklin north

Murray Arsenault remembers his dad’s Bricklin, while now driving his own

A presumptive COVID case was found at Seabridge Gold’s 3 Aces project. (file photo)
Presumptive COVID-19 case reported at mine in southeast Yukon

A rapid antigen rest found a presumptive COVID case on an incoming individual arriving at the 3Aces project

Jonathan Antoine/Cabin Radio
Flooding in Fort Simpson on May 8.
Fort Simpson asked for military help. Two people showed up.

FORT SIMPSON—Residents of a flooded Northwest Territories village expected a helping hand… Continue reading

A woman was rescued from the Pioneer Ridge Trail in Alaska on June 16. (Photo courtesy/AllTrails)
Alaska hiker chased off trail by bears flags down help

ANCHORAGE (AP)—An Alaska hiker who reported needing help following bear encounters on… Continue reading

Two participants cross the finish line at the City of Whitehorse Kids Triathlon on June 12 with Mayor Dan Curtis on hand to present medals. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
2021 Kids’ Triathlon draws 76 young athletes

Youth ages five to 14 swim, run and bike their way to finish line

NDP MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq rises in the House of Commons, in Ottawa on May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Unacceptable’ that Inuk MP felt unsafe in House of Commons, Miller says

OTTAWA—It’s a “sad reflection” on Canada that an Inuk MP feels she’s… Continue reading

Lily Witten performs her Canadian Nationals beam routine on June 14. John Tonin/Yukon News
Three Yukon gymnasts break 20-year Nationals absence

Bianca Berko-Malvasio, Maude Molgat and Lily Witten competed at the Canadian Nationals – the first time in 20 years the Yukon’s been represented at the meet

Most Read