Fixing our rights system

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Krishan D. Uppal – February 18, 2012

Re: Former NRC scientist abandons lawsuit, Feb. 5.

Chander Grover's decision to abandon his human rights case after fighting for justice for 25 years reminds us of Chief Joseph's historic words - "I will not fight no more forever" - when he surrendered to the United States army.

Grover has proven racial discrimination before a tribunal whose landmark ruling stands out as the harshest condemnation of the actions of National Research Council management. The NRC did not defeat Grover or his case. It has simply defeated the Canadian human rights system.

Grover's marathon struggle has convincingly proven that the human rights guaranteed under the Canadian legislation exist on paper only and are, in reality, inaccessible to ordinary Canadians.

There are no winners in this sordid matter, just losers. NRC management is a loser because it is perceived as the worst offender of its employee's human rights and it chose to trounce the laws instead of reforming its approach of handling human rights issues, after the tribunal's ruling. The Mulroney, Campbell, Chrétien, Martin and Conservative governments are losers, too.

They gave the NRC access to unlimited public funds to block justice instead of admonishing the NRC untouchables who were found liable by the tribunal.

The Canadian Human Rights Commission is a loser because it continues to follow an outdated flawed system involving incompetent investigations despite repeated disapproval by the UN Human Rights Council. But the biggest loser of all is the Canadian taxpayer who did not hold the NRC accountable for spending untold millions of tax dollars in its vindictive fight against Grover.

It is time Prime Minister Stephen Harper appoints a public inquiry into the Grover matter and use its findings to reform the human rights system in Canada.

Krishan D. Uppal, Ottawa President, Canadian Alliance for Visible Minorities

Original article on Ottawa Citizen website