Saturday, 19 March 2016
SASKATOON'S EVEN MORE RIDICULOUS ANTI-BULLYING BYLAW
I have earlier article on Regina’s anti-bullying by-law which I described as ridiculous. Saskatchewan’s other metropolis has done Regina one better with an anti-bullying bylaw which deserves unrelenting ridicule.
It starts with one of most far-reaching definition of bullying imaginable. Bullying is said to mean any unprovoked, repeated and inappropriate comment or conduct by a person which causes, which is intended to cause or which the person ought reasonably to know will cause harm, fear or physical or psychological distress to another person, including taunting, tormenting, name calling, ridiculing, insulting, mocking and directing slurs towards another person. kicking, pushing, hair pulling or pinching another person; and shunning, ostracizing, excluding another person and gossiping or rumour mongering about another person.
Lets distill this at its worse: Bullying is any ... conduct by a person ... which the person ought reasonably to know will cause ... psychological distress to another person, including ... name calling, ridiculing, insulting, mocking ... another person. At the time of considering this by-law there is an election going on in Saskatchewan. Better suspend that election in Saskatoon since any election in Saskatchewan involves a whole lot of ridiculing, insulting and mocking of another person.
Of course kicking, pushing, hair pulling and pinching all fall under one or more criminal offences and do not need to be nor should they be the subject of a municipal bylaw. As to a municipal by-law making it illegal to shun, ostracize or exclude another person - what can one reasonably say. People in Saskatoon will no longer be free to choose their friends and associates. This is a level of human relationship micro-management that would not even have been contemplated in the Soviet Union in the 1950's and 1960's. There is obviously no concern in this part of Canada about protecting free speech like in the United States with its First Amendment.
The ultimate absurdity is making gossiping illegal. Gossiping is a universal human social behavior - there have been estimates that it makes up forty per cent or more of human discourse. Of course to stop gossiping it will be necessary to have multiple microphones in all public places - one up on the omnipresent cameras in the U.K.
The definition of "public place" includes any place to which the public has access as of right or by express or implied invitation. In other words public place includes restaurants, bookstores, community halls, clubs, golf courses, churches, etc. as well as roads, streets, parks and other places traditionally considered public. A political rally would most likely be deemed to be taking place in a public place.
Retired Saskatoon police Sgt. Brian Trainor, a gentleman who is now making his living in the burgeoning anti-bullying industry, loves it. He says “I think it’s an intermediary tool that the police can use instead of a slap on the wrist or doing nothing.” What this really means is that police have another tool to push people around - bully them if you like. The bullying will invariably be directed at young people. If a police officer doesn’t like some young person’s attitude he or she will have an excuse to levy charge which can result in a significant fine.
The accused has the ability to participate in mediation to deal with charges as an alternative to the court process; this all sounds so nice and goodie, good but really it is just another way to interfere in a person’s life in what can be a most Kafkaesque manner.
If approved, the proposed effective date of the Bylaw is September 1, 2016, which will permit implementation of an awareness campaign and provide time for an appropriate mediation program to be developed to handle the diversion of matters from the court process. People who push these kind of laws like the notion of diversion from the court process - because what it really means is avoiding oversight from judges who might still have some vestigial appreciation of civil liberties
Posted by Juricana at 21:13