Thursday, May 29, 2008

Attorney General Rob Nicholson opposes the intervention of the BC Civil Liberties Association in support of Constitutional Challenge of Internet censorship


Attorney General Rob Nicholson opposes the intervention of the BC Civil Liberties Association in support of Constitutional Challenge of Internet censorship


Conservative Attorney General of Canada Rob Nicholson is opposing the intervention of the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA), which is one of Canada’s leading defenders of free expression. The BCCLA applied for Interested Party status in support of the Lemire Constitutional Challenge of Section 13 - Canada's notorious thought crime / pre-crime provision.

In a letter dated May 27, 2008, Simon Fothergill speaking on behalf of Rob Nicholson, wrote that the Attorney General of Canada is opposed to the BCCLA's intervention on the grounds that "grounds advanced by the BCCLA in support of its late request to intervene are substantially the same as those advanced by the Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF)" [See full letter from the Attorney General]

The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal threw out the application of the Canadian Constitution Foundation, claiming they were making substantially the same arguments as Marc Lemire.  This is of course not true at all, but of course Truth doesn't bother the Tribunal in the least.

Journalist and Blogger Ezra Levant summed up the situation very well in a recent blog posting on his very popular blog located at

As I reported two weeks ago, the Canadian Constitution Foundation applied for intervenor status in Marc Lemire's constitutional challenge to section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, the thought crimes section.

It was a breakthrough: a highly-regarded, mainstream civil rights organization weighing in on behalf of Lemire. The CCF is a registered charity, with a sterling record of defending minority rights, ranging from Japanese-Canadian fishermen to a Nisga'a chief. Not only is the CCF comprised of true constitutional experts -- it even has Eugene Meehan, the former president of the Canadian Bar Association on its board of advisors -- but it is politically mainstream. It can't be sloughed off as some neo-Nazi front -- the opposite, in fact.

No wonder their application for intervenor status was summarily rejected.

Hadjis's brief ruling is a repulsive blend of arrogance, laziness and prejudice. Let's be honest: Hadjis is bored, and doesn't want to waste time going through the motions of a fair hearing, and the CCF means he potentially has hours of extra reading to do.

Throughout the March 25th hearing, Hadjis repeatedly sighed "we're done" -- even when the lawyers of the case weren't done. I wasn't there, so I don't know how many times Hadjis looked at the clock, but I'm sure it was in the dozens. But can you really blame Hadjis? The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has a 100% conviction rate for section 13 thought crimes. They're just going through the motions anyways. Can't they just hurry up, so he can declare Lemire guilty?

Hadjis's ruling is laughable, and the CCF should immediately appeal it to the Federal Court. Take paragraph 6:

The administration of this case has been to say the least, unwieldy and challenging.

Hadjis is right. He has run a mockery of a hearing. A dozen examples of his incompetence come to mind, ranging from the withholding of transcripts from the respondent, to Hadjis's continuing refusal to compel the prosecutors at the Canadian Human Rights Commission to hand over their document disclosure. The trial is done, and the respondent has yet to see the full case against him.

[Rest of Ezra Levants article at:]






The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal

Active and Past cases: 46  |  Cases the tribunal ruled on: 37


·         NOT A SINGLE respondent have ever won a section 13 case

·         98% of cases have poor or working class respondents

·         90.7% of respondents are not represented by lawyers

·         $99,000 has been awarded in fines and special compensation since 2003.

·         35 respondents have lifetime speech bans (Cease and Desist) orders and if not followed the victims could face up to 5 years in prison.




Groups, Writers and MPs that Support a Repeal of Section 13:


Liberal MP Keith Martin

Liberal MP Dan McTeague

Conservative MP James Rajotte

Conservative MP Bruce Stanton

Ezra Levant

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (Rex Murphy)

Catholic Insight Magazine

Catholic Register

Halifax Chronicle Herald (Paul Schneidereit)

PEN Canada

CDN Association of Journalists

Mark Steyn (Macleans Magazine)

Calgary Herald

Western Standard Magazine

London Free Press

B'nai Brith Jewish Tribune

Sask Leader-Post

Deborah Gyapong

Calgary AM770

Globe and Mail

National Post

David Warren (Ottawa Citizen)

Eye Magazine (Toronto)

Toronto Star

Toronto Sun

Interim Magazine

Sault Ste. Marie – SooToday

Winnipeg Free Press

Oak Bay News

Victoria News




Constitutional Challenge of Section 13