Calgary Herald

No recourse left

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The Wildrose party wants to get rid of the Alberta Human Rights Commission. The Wildrose website says, “the commission and their tribunals have become something akin to ‘kangaroo courts,’ where rights are pitted against each other and interprete­d by individual­s who are often unqualifie­d to make judgments on the most foundation­al of protected rights in society.” On what basis are they saying these folks are “unqualifie­d”?

Let’s look at the facts. Last year, 95 per cent of the complaint files were settled through the resolution and settlement process. The commission works very hard to prevent cases from going to tribunal. Only five per cent were settled through a tribunal process. And the majority of complaints filed were on the basis of physical disability.

So if the Wildrose gets rid of the commission, the only option for people who have been discrimina­ted against is to hire a lawyer on their own dime and sue the organizati­on. Who can afford to do that? Getting rid of the commission is an attack on low-income earners who cannot afford a lawyer to help uphold their rights. Seems to me the Wildrose is also taking aim at the physically disabled. Why?

Susan Quinn, Calgary

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