The week in nutty news


What an interesting week.

In Alberta, a man successfully fights a traffic ticket for an illegal turn because it was written only in English.

The case goes to the Supreme Court, where judges side with the wacky driver demanding the province spend a small fortune in legal costs to ensure the driver can continue his legal battle so people who break driving laws can read about their crimes in two official languages.

Judges and lawyers don’t come cheap, so the whole thing will cost hundreds of thousands of tax dollars. But it’s all worth it, of course, because bilingualism keeps this nation together. Apart from in Quebec, where asking the police for English language services will lead to all sorts of fun.

Further east in Toronto, a university study — more public money — concludes that young people need to wear head gear, balls need to be deflated and goal posts padded because of the frequency of head injuries in soccer. Sure enough, we’ve all read of the thousands of Canadian children decapitated each year by heading soccer balls, so the academics involved must be correct.

Then, just a few days later, we heard about the case of the woman who, for various reasons, fired an employee who wore strict Islamic dress, and was ordered by a human rights tribunal to pay $36,000.

The lady who lost her job was only employed for a few weeks, and her boss was hardly allowed to even make her case.

Even so, the tribunal had spoken.

And spoken loudly.

If the nasty boss refuses to pay up, they said, we will seize and sell her home. She may be living on the streets, but at least justice would be done.

A real court found the ruling to be bizarre, illegal and illogical. This will not, however, stop the tribunal from pursuing their case and providing free legal representation to the complainant.

To round off the week, two NDP MPs stepped forward to insist if the CRTC relaxes its control of our airwaves, American-style hatred will fill Canadian television screens and radio stations. What these fellows really mean is they will be forced to tolerate more people who do not like the NDP. There are, after all, tens of millions of such sensible Canadians out there.

All of this occurred as I was re-reading Susanna Moodie’s Roughing It in the Bush and how this extraordinary woman sailed 3,000 miles to settle in Canada, and battled extremes of weather, the threat of violent death, hunger, and the most appalling conditions to carve out a life in a brave new world.

What she found most worrying, though, was the idea her children might hurt themselves playing tomahawk throwing, the town crier spoke only in English, it might hurt her feelings if she was fired from the maple syrup job, and the village newssheet contained opinions with which she disagreed.

When did the neurotics, the special-interest obsessives and the control fanatics take over in this great land, and is it too late to use them for soccer practice? Answers please in both languages and have them vetted by the NDP.