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Human rights meets bizarro Canada

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Canada is on the global map this week, and not for a good reason. Long known as a champion of human rights, our nation is now being celebrated as a champion of human idiocy. Canada is the place – so far the only place – where a human-rights tribunal is actually holding a hearing to determine whether a transgender woman’s rights have been violated because she couldn’t get her testicles waxed.

If you’re late to this bizarre tale, here’s a summary. The complainant, Jessica Yaniv, was born a man who now identifies as a woman. She asserts that because she identifies as a woman, she deserves the same right to service as any woman – even though her genitalia are in an unaltered state. In this case, the service she wants is a groin wax, also known as a Brazilian – which amounts to full hair removal in the genital area. Never mind that Ms. Yaniv’s genitals consist of a penis and testicles. So long as she identifies as a woman, she maintains, that should make no difference.

To pursue her groundbreaking case, Ms. Yaniv – who likes to dress up in tiaras and fairy princess gowns – has lodged human-rights complaints against more than a dozen small businesses after they declined to wax her private parts. Many of these services, as described in the human rights tribunal documents, are operated by immigrant women with limited English who want to make a few extra dollars to support their families. Some of them hold religious beliefs that prohibit contact with the genitalia of an unrelated male. As Sukhi Hehar Gill, a practising Sikh, explained in her response to the complaint, providing service to someone who is biologically male is “contrary to my faith.”

There’s also a practical reason why Ms. Yaniv might be turned away. Waxing a scrotum calls for a special technique, requiring skills that most salon workers don’t possess and probably have no interest in acquiring.

Imagine being a recent immigrant living in Surrey, trying to make ends meet. The next thing you know – wham! You’re slapped with a human-rights complaint you can’t understand from a quasi-judicial body you’ve never heard of. Welcome to Canada.

Jay Cameron, a lawyer with the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, is acting for Ms. Gill and several other respondents. “The impact on their lives has been profound,” he told me in an interview. “One woman went to 16 different lawyers before she found us. She said they wouldn’t take her case because they were afraid of the optics or afraid they’d be accused of transphobia.”

Until this month, the British Columbia human-rights tribunal had granted Ms. Yaniv a publication ban so that she could pursue her cause in blissful anonymity. The tribunal finally allowed her name to be published because her presence on social media is so ubiquitous that anonymity is not possible. Meanwhile, her targets have been publicly branded as bigots and transphobes.

Ms. Yaniv is hardly the ideal complainant. She has come under fire for online comments she has made about South Asians. The human-rights tribunal stated that it was “troubled” with some of her messages, which suggest she “holds stereotypical and negative views about immigrants to Canada.” It’s too bad the human-rights tribunal didn’t do a background check before it took her on, because she has probably set the cause of trans rights back by many years.

In the hierarchy of victimhood, transgender rights are suddenly at the very top. And the tribunal wants you to know that its decision was far from frivolous. In one recent ruling, the tribunal expressed its concern about the “rights” of transgender women to access “gender affirming” care such as waxing, which it describes as “critical.” It stated that Ms. Yaniv has a “genuine grievance” about “pervasive discrimination against transgender women,” and this “is the reason that the Tribunal exists.”

Absurd as it seems, the case of the unwaxed testicles is simply the logical outcome of current gender ideology, which holds that you are who you say you are and physiology is irrelevant. It is the reason why trans women have been sent to women’s prisons. It’s why teenagers who identify as girls are allowed in some places to compete against biological girls (with predictable results). It is also the reason why the Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter – Canada’s oldest women’s shelter – was stripped of city funding because it refuses to accept transgender women. It argues that women who’ve been traumatized by men do not welcome the presence of trans women. Trans activists say the centre is guilty of “supporting transphobia.”

It’s one thing to agree – as most of us do – that in our free and open society, people should have the right to to self-identify in whatever way they wish. But it’s another thing entirely to compel others to validate that self-identity. Human-rights tribunals don’t seem to care about this distinction. And as long as they embrace causes that seem ludicrous to the general public, the farther they will fall into disrepute. If they knew what’s good for them, they’d stop harassing salon workers before it’s too late.

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Liberals block ethics commissioner from testifying about SNC-Lavalin report

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The Liberal majority on the House ethics committee voted down an opposition motion to have Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion testify about his report which found that Justin Trudeau violated the Conflict of Interest Act over the SNC-Lavalin affair. Vassy Kapelos gets reaction from MPs on the committee. Plus, the Power Panel breaks down the Ford government’s changes to Ontario’s sex-education curriculum.

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Joshua Boyle worried about what his wife might tell police

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Joshua Boyle

After calling 911 to report that his wife was missing and suicidal, Joshua Boyle told an Ottawa police sergeant that he was also worried what she might tell authorities when she was found.

“He told me he was concerned, as any husband would be, with what Caitlan (Coleman) would say to us when we found her,” Sgt. Shane Henderson told court Tuesday.

Henderson was one of the first officers to respond to Boyle’s 911 emergency call late on the night of Dec. 30, 2017. A recording of that call was played in court Tuesday.

The 911 call was made at 11:47 p.m. from a Centretown address.

Boyle told the dispatcher that his wife was threatening to kill herself. He said she was alone in her room then ran outside, and was “screaming at the top of her lungs that she was going to kill herself.”

He said she had borderline personality disorder, PTSD, “extreme mental instability” and other issues.

“I am very worried for her right now,” he said in the telephone recording, played in court.

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Boyle told police his wife was wearing a hijab scarf on her head, but did not have a coat and may not have shoes.

Before she left the apartment, Boyle said they had an argument that “turned into rabid self-loathing, a panic attack, something, I’m not sure.”

“I had asked her to stay in her room,” he said.

“It shouldn’t be long,” the dispatcher told Boyle. “We’ll get some officers to see you there, OK?”

“OK,” Boyle replied. “Just try to be gentle with her: She is really going through a rough time.”

Sgt. Henderson was the first officer on scene, and went to Boyle’s apartment at 12:05 a.m.

Boyle repeated what he had told the dispatcher, and said his wife had initially raced up the stairs towards another apartment in the three-storey apartment block. Henderson testified: “He told me that he did not want to drag Caitlan back into the apartment or did not want to hit her.”

Henderson and another officer went to the second apartment and interviewed the young man who lived there. The tenant said he had heard someone banging on his back door 20 minutes earlier, but did not answer it.

Court heard that the officers searched the back staircase and yard but could not locate Coleman so they returned to Boyle’s apartment for more information.

According to Henderson, Boyle said Coleman was particularly stressed because her mother was in town, and she was worried about the state of their apartment. They had also argued, Boyle told Henderson, about drawing on walls and “Caitlan, as a wife, not performing her roles and responsibilities as a mother.”

Boyle told Henderson that he wanted Coleman to stay in her room and calm down. “He told me he kept the door open and at no time prevented her from leaving,” Henderson testified.

“He said he offered to have sex with Caitlan if she wanted to.”

When Henderson asked if Coleman had a cellphone, Boyle reached on top of the fridge and retrieved a flip phone.

Henderson asked what it was doing there. “Boyle said he took the phone away to make sure she did not break the phone as she had broken phones in the past,” Henderson testified.

Boyle is on trial on 19 charges, including assault, sexual assault and forcible confinement.

His wife Caitlan Coleman, with whom he was held hostage in Afghanistan, is the principal complainant in the case. She’s expected to testify Wednesday.

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Tanker crash kills one, injures nine near Cereal Alberta

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Tanker crash

“One of the semi trucks was hauling fuel and that fuel ignited,” said RCMP Cpl. Laurel Scott. “So, that caused other vehicles in the collision to catch fire. A second semi was hauling butane and that’s caused a concern.”

A release from RCMP also confirmed the collision area is “consumed with flames.”

As a result of the second truck hauling butane, a preliminary evacuation order had been issued for the hamlet of Chinook.

By 9:00 pm, Alberta Emergency Alert officially rescinded the evacuation order for the community.

STARS Air Ambulance has flown one person to hospital in Calgary in serious, potentially life-threatening condition while HALO transported another individual in serious condition.

Brideaux also confirmed to Global News that six people have been treated at the scene and are likely to be released.

RCMP are also reaching out to anyone who was a part of or was witness to the domino crash, asking them to meet with officers in nearby Oyen.

“We’re asking those people to attend the Legion in Oyen,” said Scott. “Right now the Legion has been opened, food is available at the Legion, our Victims Services Unit members are at the Legion, and we have an RCMP member or members at the Legion. So, anybody who was a part of this collision, witness or needing some assistance in relation to the collision, is asked to go to the Legion.”

There is no word yet on the original cause of the fatal crash, as Scott added it will be several hours before a collision analyst is able to attend the scene.

“We will have a collision analyst attending,” she said. “But, I can tell you that collision analyst is not able and has not been able to look at the scene to do any examination or investigation.”

Traffic has since been rerouted from Highway 9 to Highway 884 eastbound and Highway 41 westbound.

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