Source: National Post
More Canada-bashing at the anti-Canadian United Nations. They critisize our government for introducing Bill 78 which says that protests with more than 50 people must properly notify the police 8 hours ahead of time. This is hardly a “harsh” setback to “free association”. We need to stop sending money to this corrupt organization immediately.
For the second time in a week, a United Nations official has listed Canada alongside illiberal regimes as a prominent violator of basic rights and freedoms.
Speaking on Wednesday before the UN’s human rights council, UN special rapporteur Maina Kiai listed Canada — along with Belarus, Ethiopia, the Russian Federation and Jordan — as countries where “the laws are particularly harsh in terms of restricting the freedom of association.” Mr. Kiai was specifically referring to Quebec’s recently passed Bill 78. The law — passed last month in response to unruly, ongoing street marches protesting tuition increases — requires demonstrators to give police eight hours’ notice before a protest. Mr. Kiai also levelled criticism on the Swiss Canton of Geneva, where the UN’s human rights body is located. In March, following a referendum, Geneva enacted a law imposing fines of up to $107,000 on organizers who allow their protests to descend into violence.
The risk to freedom of expression “cuts right across the world and there’s no country exempt from them,” said Mr. Kiai, adding that “there’s no way I will pick and choose which countries I will pay attention to.” If the brutal and oppressive regime of Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko is equal to Canadian and Swiss democracy, people may conclude that maybe he’s not so bad after all. The comments came just two days after Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, addressing the same council, called the Quebec bill an “alarming” move to restrict freedom of assembly. That prompted condemnation from Quebec premier Jean Charest and Federal Foreign Minister John Baird. “Quebec is a very democratic place, subject to the rule of law,” said Mr. Baird, noting that Bill 78 can be challenged before a court.
By failing to do her “due diligence” on the Quebec situation, Ms. Pillay “wasted a valuable opportunity to further focus on true human rights abuses,” Elissa Golberg, Canada’s Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, told the UN Human Rights Council on Monday. “Too often at the UN, a doctrine of political correctness compounded by pressure from powerful blocs of states leads to jaywalkers being treated the same as rapists and murderers,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, in a statement Thursday. Targeting Quebec’s protest laws do not promote higher human rights standards, but the “opposite,” said the Montreal-born Mr. Neuer. “If the brutal and oppressive regime of Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko is equal to Canadian and Swiss democracy, people may conclude that maybe he’s not so bad after all,” he said.
Both Mr. Kiai and Ms. Pillay’s comments were made before a human rights council notorious for a rotating membership that includes prominent human rights abusers such as China, Cuba and Saudi Arabia. Since its creation in 2006, the Council has directed more than half of its resolutions against Israel. In May, the same UN Council sponsored a Canadian visit by Olivier De Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food. After an eleven-day tour of Canada — his first to a developed country — Mr. De Schutter said Canada should drop its “self-righteous” attitude and own up to a severe food insecurity problem. Speaking to Postmedia, the special rapporteur also blasted Canada’s “appallingly poor” record of taking UN human-rights bodies seriously.