in Right Edition

Comedian fined for Jokes – Canada Facts – Crooked Politicians

A ruling that could carry implications for comedy clubs across Canada, the Supreme Court of British Columbia has upheld the right of a bar patron to receive five-figures in damages from a comedian whose performance she alleges gave her post-traumatic stress disorder.

In 2011, Toronto comedian Guy Earle was ordered by the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal to pay $15,000 to Lorna Pardy, a homosexual woman who said she suffered “lasting physical and psychological effect” after Mr. Earle directed a string of lesbian slurs at her during a 2007 Vancouver open mic night.

On Wednesday, the B.C. court ruled against Mr. Earle’s assertion that comedy clubs should remain special places devoted to the “fearless pursuit of free speech” and that the Tribunal’s decision would have a “chilling effect on performances and artists in British Columbia.”

Offensive, irreverent and inappropriate . Rather, ruled Justice Jon Sigurdson, while comedy clubs may swirl with “offensive, irreverent and inappropriate” language they are not operating in “zones of absolute immunity from human rights legislation.”

In May of 2007, Lorna Pardy and a girlfriend were at Zesty’s, a Vancouver restaurant with largely gay clientele, when an open mic night hosted by Mr. Earle kicked off. The two women decided to stay and watch the show.

According to the later findings of the Human Rights Tribunal, during the show Ms. Pardy’s girlfriend had merely pecked her on the cheek when Mr. Earle told the crowd “Don’t mind that inconsiderate dyke table over there. You know lesbians are always ruining it for everybody.”

Part of the reason for this is the frankly disastrous state of Charest’s government. In the past two years, the government has lurched from one scandal to the next, from political financing to favouritism in the provincial daycare system to the matter of Charest’s own (long undisclosed) $75,000 stipend, paid to him by his own party, to corruption in the construction industry. Charest has stymied repeated opposition calls for an investigation into the latter, prompting many to wonder whether the Liberals, who have long-standing ties to Quebec’s construction companies, have something to hide. (Regardless, this much is true: it costs Quebec taxpayers roughly 30 per cent more to build a stretch of road than anywhere else in the country, according to Transport Canada figures.) Quebecers want to believe Bellemare, it seems, because what he says is closest to what they themselves believe about their government.

This slew of dodgy business is only the most recent in a long line of made-in-Quebec corruption that has affected the province’s political culture at every level. We all recall the sponsorship scandal, in which businessmen associated with the Liberal Party of Canada siphoned off roughly $100 million from a fund effectively designed to stamp the Canadian flag on all things Québécois, cost (or oversight) be damned. “I am deeply disturbed that such practices were allowed to happen,” wrote Auditor General Sheila Fraser in 2004. Fraser’s report and the subsequent commission by Justice John Gomery, which saw the testimony of Liberal prime ministers Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin, wreaked havoc on Canada’s natural governing party from which it has yet to recover.