Saturday, November 30, 2019

Quebec awards a disabled plaintiff when a stand-up comedian jokes about him, and Twitter fumbles letting the story get out


The Post Millennial, an apparently conservative website in Canada, reports on a case were comedian Mike Ward was ordered to pay $35000 (Canada) to a boy with a non-terminal disability, by the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal, for joking about it and possibly spreading false medical information about the plaintiff between 2010 and 2013.  The judge regarded Ward’s comments as discriminatory and infringing on the plaintiff’s ability to achieve equality, which sounds like an illogical statement if it were in the US, mixing apples and oranges. 
  
Some observers expressed concern that stand up comedy could come to an end in Canada, or at least Quebec (which uses a Roman rather than English common law system).
  
The comment, read at face value, sounds tasteless and probably would not be acceptable at most legitimate comedy clubs.
  
The plaintiff is said to have a facial deformity, which is not apparent from the photograph in the article.
  

I found this article in my Twitter feed and it disappeared before I could retweet it.  I tried to tweet the article and Twitter would loop.  I tried to send a tweet to the channel for the publication and it would loop. Today it worked.

The publication has another article claiming that Quebec is considering a human rights law making obesity a protected class and offering a particularly graphic picture of someone.
  
It might be that Twitter considers even linking to articles like this gratuitous behavior, even though the stories have news value.  

On July 27, I walked past the Canadian Supreme Court near the parliament building in Ottawa (which is a much bigger city than I had thought) late on a Saturday night.  

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