Monday, May 5, 2008

Canadian Jewish organizations claim that Section 13 is needed for their "psychological security"


On April 18, 2008, Bernie Farber of the Canadian Jewish Congress, wrote a letter to the Toronto Star in which he stated that

  “The [Canadian Human Rights] commission's investigation of Steyn shows it has lost sight of the legislation's original purpose and the narrow fence it establishes against truly discriminatory speech. Such speech violates core Canadian values and has been upheld as a reasonable limitation of free expression precisely because of that incompatibility.

So by all means, let's tweak the law to eliminate some of its discretionary elements. Amendments could call for an ombudsperson to adjudicate objectively if the complaints meet the high threshold for action, or cost consequences for applicants who bring frivolous complaints.”

But the real truth is that Mr. Farber’s organization, the Canadian Jewish Congress is right now an Interested Party in the Marc Lemire constitutional challenge, and they are seeking to uphold the current version of Section 13.  A section they claim is needed for the “psychological security” of the Canadian Jewish community.


B’nai Brith, Canadian Jewish Congress and Friends of Simon Wiesenthal desperately want to keep the Internet censorship bonanza going

In written submissions filed by Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, the Canadian Jewish Congress, League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith Canada and the Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust Studies applied for and received, Interested Party status in the Marc Lemire constitutional challenge of Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.  They support Section 13 – the notorious censorship provision that has been used to target dozens of Canadians including: Macleans Magazine, The Radical Press and the Christian Heritage Party, just to name a few.

The documents from the self-proclaimed representatives of the “Canadian Jewish community” can be found here: 


Some key points:


4: The Applicants represent a group that is a frequent target of hate propaganda.  Members of minority groups including the Canadian Jewish community rely heavily on anti hate-speech legislation, such as Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, for their physical and psychological security.

[ Motion to Intervene (emphasis added)]


6 (e): The objective of section 13(1) of the CHRA is sufficiently important to warrant overriding a constitutionally protected right.

6 (g): The impugned legislative measures are carefully circumscribed to appropriately balance freedom of expression and the societal interest in suppressing hate propaganda

7: The Interested Parties seek an order dismissing the constitutional challenge brought on behalf of the Respondent, Marc Lemire.

[Statement of Particulars]