“on the recommendation of activists who said that there needed to be a cost-free informal court system where vulnerable people like immigrants could seek redress in cases of discrimination in matters of employment, services and accommodation.
“The legislation bringing them into existence gives them permission to disregard the usual rules of legal procedures meant to protect defendants’ rights such as rules of evidence, presumption of innocence, bias of witnesses or representation. Its officers and adjudicators do not have to have legal training but are political appointees, commonly representatives of special interest groups.
“The HRC’s have been used most effectively by organisations on the far left, especially homosexual lobbyists, to impose restrictions on members of religious groups and other conservatives. The defendant in all HRC proceedings must cover his own legal expenses but the state does not charge the complainant.
“This system, many have said, leaves the HRC’s wide open to abuse as a completely taxpayer paid (for the complainant only) weapon in political battles that would be prohibitively expensive in the legitimate court system.
“The Chilliwack Times’ John Martin, a criminologist at the University College of the Fraser Valley, wrote, ‘[T]hese commissions have become little more than support groups for those who would censor and deny any speech they disagree with. It’s ironic that they’re referred to as “human rights” commissions when, in fact, they have become the champions of groups who insist others are not entitled to differing opinions, voices or expressions.'”