The rumour mill has it that former Canadian Jewish Congress leader and Ontario Liberal candidate Bernie Farber is a contender to replace Hall. True or false, it’s worth contemplating. Farber is something of an expert on human rights and hate crime matters. He also seems to be auditioning for the part via his Huffington Post blog, where he is billed as a “Human Rights Advocate”.
Here’s the opening of his May 28 column:
“I never really liked the word “tolerance.” It suggests the bare minimum. Simply tolerating each other is far from accepting or, better yet, celebrating each other. In the end “tolerance” is not much of a value statement.”
While later in the column, Farber makes it clear that he’s not suggesting any legislation to enforce “celebrating each other”, this is still an eerie column.
To have someone muse on their Facebook page about this is one thing. To hear it from someone who has clout in the shaping of public opinion, and could end up being the head of an agency that thinks it can force us to celebrate each other, is another.
There are many special interest groups who I have zero interest in celebrating. In fact – get ready to call the cops on this one – in the company of friends I even speak poorly of some. And I suspect there are others who do the same about me. That’s the great thing about a free society though, the government doesn’t tell you who you must like.