Saturday, May 10, 2008

PUNDITA: Inside the Mad Kingdom of the Canadian Human Rights Commission's Section 13 department

 http://pundita.blogspot.com/2008/05/inside-mad-kingdom-of-canadian-human.html

 

Inside the Mad Kingdom of the Canadian Human Rights Commission's Section 13 department

(Note: Please see Saturday Update, which is posted after the footnotes.)

On April 2 I asked Marc Lemire to tell me when he removed the postings that Richard Warman cited in his 2003 Section 13 complaint against Marc's website, Freedomsite.

Marc's reply was that he shut down the website's message board on January 1, 2004 and added "I received the complaint in I think April or May, 2004. So everything was removed PRIOR to me even receiving or knowing about the complaint."

Marc was aware that my question had not been posed idly. He knew I was trying to help him make a public appeal to Canadians to support his appeal on behalf of his constitutional challenge to the Section 13 complaint against him

He also had to know that he was making the appeal to a public that was prejudiced against him as a person even though there was sympathy among 'FreeSpeechers' for his fight.

So it would be difficult to argue to the general public that he had shut down the message board without prodding from the Section 13 complaint -- particularly because he was asking people to believe that he didn't receive the complaint until about five months after it had been filed with CHRC.

Nonetheless I would not omit his reply when I published our email exchanges, which would form my appeal to the public on Marc's behalf. Readers who have seen my appeal know how I handled the time sequence. I did the best I could to address head-on a questionable point.

I published my appeal on Sunday at 6:20 AM, ET and immediately sent Marc notification. At 10:00 PM on Sunday I received an email from Marc, in which he corrected how my post had handled the question about the time sequence and supplied precise dates for when the CHRC had initially contacted him.(1)

The dates Marc provided showed that the CHRC had indeed waited months to notify him of the complaint -- and suggest that the CHRC had not sent him a copy of the actual complaint until 16 days after the date they had earlier told him he must respond to their questions about the complaint!

Marc's correction highlighted the irresponsible way the CHRC processes Section 13 complaints and mooted the question of his veracity with regard to the time-sequence issue. His reply also invalidated the argument I'd published with regard to the question of Marc's veracity; in other words, Marc's correction made me look like a fool in front of my readers.

I did not know, and wasn't sure I wanted to know, why Marc's memory of precise dates hadn't been jogged earlier. Perhaps I was the first person to have challenged him on the question of when he'd received notice from the CHRC, and maybe it had taken him all day to track down all the dates relating to the question after he read my post.

Yet given the importance of his appeal to the public, I found it disturbing that he hadn't troubled himself to give a precise answer to my question when I first posed it.

I controlled my irritation and replied to Marc that I would immediately update the post by publishing his correction, which I did. That would still leave the problem of alerting readers who had seen the post prior to the correction, which I told Marc I would deal with in a subsequent post.

An hour later, ping! another email from Lemire:

"Pundita: By the way, I thought you'd be interested in seeing a chronology of events prior to Richard Warman's complaint against me ...
Marc"

The chronology suggests that all of Marc Lemire's troubles with the Canadian Human Rights Commission were set in motion on November 11, 2003. That was the same day that a man named Paul Fromm lodged a formal complaint with CHRC to demand an investigation of the activities of a CHRC employee named Richard Warman.

As to how Marc Lemire was involved with Paul Fromm's complaint, thereby hangs a tale.(2) But right now I want to continue talking about me in a bad mood.

The second "By the Way" email further irritated me. I had been in contact with Marc since February, and with his agreement I'd published most of those email exchanges. Yet it had never once occurred to him to recount the chronology he'd just sent me, which was vital information.

When a family member asked why I was fuming I replied, "It's just someone who would have been a disaster as a forward observer. 'No general, I see no enemy activity outside the front gates. By the way, an hour ago I did notice siege machines being wheeled toward the back gates.'"

With that off my chest I replied to Marc's email: "HOLY COW MARC I WISH YOU WOULDN'T DRIBBLE ALL THIS STUFF OUT BIT BY BIT"

A few minutes later:

"Pundita:
It's funny that strikes a cord with you. By the way, the CHRC has done that with so many people now, it's just their standard MO. In FreeDominion's case, they received the letter and had one day to meet the imposed reply date by the CHRC.
Marc"

"Funny?" In all his exchanges with me Marc had seemed lucid but now I was beginning to wonder if there wasn't something a little strange about him. While pondering this I idly clicked on the link that accompanied the chronology he sent.

The link opened to Marc Lemire's "statement of particulars" in his defense to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. The statement contained not only the chronology he'd sent but also a numbered list of all the details of how his case had come about.

The statement had been on his website for years, although somewhat lost in the thicket of posts about his Section 13 case that had grown up over the years. Nothing was dribbled out in the statement of particulars; it was all there, methodically and lucidly set down.

The particulars reveal situations that would test the sanity of anyone who had to spend even a short time dealing with the CHRC Section 13 department. Marc had been forced to deal with the department for more than four years.

Suddenly the light dawned. The wording of Section 13 of Canada's Human Rights Act is insane -- a point I underscored in Canada's version of the Minority Report: precrime and presumption of guilt ... Yet when people first read the wording of the section they tend to assume it can't mean what it says because a literal interpretation would be insane. But Section 13 is interpreted literally under Canadian law.

This places those who administer the code, and those who are charged with a violation of it, roughly in the position of people who live in a kingdom ruled by an insane person. Such subjects find ways to adjust to the mad edicts of a mad king.

To an outsider, the adjustments might seem incomprehensible but they're just the way sane people learn to live with the whims of madness. The worst part is that after a time the sane get used to insanity.

It struck me that there was indeed something strange about Marc Lemire: he had been at the mercy of the CHRC's Section 13 department for so long that he'd adjusted to situations an outsider would find remarkable.

That could explain why it hadn't occurred to him on his own to provide me with exact dates regarding CHRC notices. Probably he'd assumed that everyone knew it could take the CHRC months to forward necessary data. It could also explain why he hadn't thought before to send me his statement of particulars.

Marc would agree that Section 13 was insane. But did he realize he'd gotten so used to the way it was administered that he no longer saw the extent of the madness?

I didn't know whether I should be the one to put the question but I didn't want any more "By the Way" emails. He needed to wrack his brain and tell me if there was anything else terribly strange about the way his Section 13 case was being handled, aside from all he'd posted at his website.

Moments after I delicately put the question came the reply:

"Pundita
Funny you mention that. I had a conversation with someone about 6 months ago, and they said the same thing. I am so used to dealing with this nutty situation, I don’t see anything as overtly odd about it.

Wait till you see what I am writing about now. How Section 13 is supposedly absolutely needed for the “psychological” well-being of Canadian Jews.

Welcome to the asylum.
Marc"

I knew enough about arguments in the Taylor Supreme Court case to realize that he wasn't joking about the psychological well-being angle.(3) But it wasn't until an hour later, when Marc sent me what he'd written, that the full import of the situation was revealed:

In April a member of the Canadian Jewish Congress, Bernie Farber, had gone on the public record to call for changes to Section 13. What the public did not know was that the CJC applied for "interested party" status in Marc's constitutional challenge to Section 13 -- and was arguing that the present version of Section 13 be upheld partly on the basis of an argument about psychological well-being.

I left the computer, threw on a sweater and stepped into the night. I looked at the dark sky and whispered, "There were human rights commissions in Nazi Germany."

Surely, every Jew involved with Canada's human rights commissions knows about those infamous Nazi commissions. And surely they know that all those commissions accomplished was to engender even greater prejudice in Germany against the country's Jews.

Marc Lemire spoke to the central issue in his constitutional challenge to Section 13:

Hate laws are the end of dialogue, a repudiation of communication, the exchange of ideas and the responsibility to try to understand the other, which is the basis of democracy. Such laws only instill fear, anger and hatred through their coercive measures. Hate is totally subjective as it is an emotion. It cannot be controlled through law.

When I returned to the computer I saw that another email had arrived from Lemire. It forwarded a copy of a May 5 motion by his phlegmatic attorney, Barbara Kulaszka, in which she patiently explained to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal that it really wasn't very nice for the CHRC to pile her with 400 pages plus 2 CDs and additional faxed information of critically important documents that should have been turned over two years before, and which contained so many blacked-out and whited-out passages that the documents were unreadable in many cases.

Given that the tribunal expected Ms Kulaszka to make closing written arguments this May one can see her point. Especially because the tardy delivery of documents meant, among other things, that she had been unable to properly question CHRC employee Dean Steacy about his use of the "Jadewarr" screen name.

At that point I said, "I can't take anymore," and went to bed. Lucky me; I can walk away from CHRC Department 13; Marc Lemire can't.
************************
This morning Marc Lemire forwarded news of the latest doings in the mad kingdom regarding his case, and also some good news.
************************

1) Marc Lemire's correction:

"The CRHC not forwarding the complaint to me for months is a typical thing they do. They did a similar thing to Freedominion. Here are the dates:

November 24, 2003
Initial Complaint laid by Warman against Marc Lemire and “The Freedomsite”

February 13, 2004
CHRC (from Suzanne Best) sends a letter to me informing me of complaint against Marc Lemire and “The Freedomsite”. Assigned Hannya Rizk as the investigator. Gives me until March 9, 2004 to respond.

March 24, 2004
I receive the registered letter from CHRC.

March 26, 2004
Call the CHRC and get an extension to April 26, 2004 to retain a lawyer to respond to their letter."

 

1) Chronology of Events prior to Richard Warman filing Section 13 complaint against Marc Lemire, from Marc Lemire's Statement of Particulars in his defense before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. (The "A" and "@" symbols enclosing certain words show up throughout the entire statement, and are clearly meant to be quotation marks.)

 

53. In September of 2003, several messages were posted on freedomsite.org written by Paul Fromm, Director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression, which set out the activities of Mr. Warman in laying a complaint against a London man named T. Winnicki and Bell Canada and his libel action against a group called Northern Alliance. These messages and the others detailed in the paragraphs following also were sent out on the Freedomsite mailing list, of which Mr. Warman was a subscriber.

54. In October of 2003, a message was posted on freedomsite.org announcing a protest which was being organized by the Canadian Association of Free Expression against the government funding of ACensorship Advocates@, in Victoria, British Columbia. A second message was posted on October 28, 2003 giving an account of the protest where Mr. Warman and Mr. Adler of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre spoke about the Internet.

55. On October 29, 2003, a message was posted on freedomsite.org which announced that CAFÉ would be holding a protest of the actions of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, including one of its employees, Richard Warman, in “suppressing free speech on the Internet.”

56. On October 31, 2003, a message was posted on freedomsite.org which provided a summary of a press conference given in the Parliamentary Press Gallery in Ottawa by Paul Fromm regarding the what it termed the Aextensive campaign of harassment against dissident websites by the Canadian Human Rights Commission and by one of its lawyers, Richard Warman...@ Two men, Tom Kennedy and Jason Oewendyk, appeared with Mr. Fromm at the press conference and were described in the summary as Avictims of Richard Warman.@ The message outlined various activities of Mr. Warman in attempting to shut down meetings and websites.

57. On Nov. 2, 2003, a message was posted on freedomsite.org entitled AWarman on the Warpath - Threatens CAFÉ@ which stated that Richard Warman had served Paul Fromm and CAFÉ with a Notice under the Libel and Slander Act of Ontario alleging that words defamatory of Mr. Warman had been posted on the freedomsite.org. The notice demanded that a retraction be published on the freedomsite.org and on the freedomsite email announcement list.

58. On Nov. 2, 2003, a message was posted on the freedomsite.org which was the text of the CAFÉ press conference in Ottawa in the Parliamentary Press Gallery on Internet censorship.

59. On Nov. 12, 2003, a message was posted on freedomsite.org entitled ACAFÉ complaint against CHRC lawyer Richard Warman.@ The message set out a letter which Paul Fromm, director of CAFÉ, had sent to Chief Commissioner Mary Gusella by fax on Nov. 11, 2003 in which Mr. Fromm lodged a formal complaint against Mr. Warman who worked as a lawyer for the Commission. The complaint alleged that Mr. Warman was abusing his position at the Commission to carry on an ideological vendetta against people whose views he disagrees with...@ Mr. Fromm listed Mr. Warman=s recent activities and demanded an investigation of his behaviour which he stated harmed the integrity of the Commission.

60. On Nov. 11, 2003, the same day Mr. Fromm faxed his letter of complaint to the Commission, Mr. Warman visited the Freedomsite website message board, looking for and finding messages which he would include in the present complaint. He returned to the site on November 15 and 23, 2003 to find further matters to include in the complaint. He filed the [...] complaint on November 24, 2003.

 

3) From the Taylor Supreme Court Case regarding psychological well-being:

Parliament's concern that the dissemination of hate propaganda is antithetical to the general aim of the Canadian Human Rights Act is not misplaced. The serious harm caused by messages of hatred was identified by the Special Committee on Hate Propaganda in Canada, commonly known as the Cohen Committee, in 1966.

The Cohen Committee noted that individuals subjected to racial or religious hatred may suffer substantial psychological distress, the damaging consequences including a loss of self-esteem, feelings of anger and outrage and strong pressure to renounce cultural differences that mark them as distinct.

This intensely painful reaction undoubtedly detracts from an individual's ability to, in the words of s. 2 of the Act, "make for himself or herself the life that he or she is able and wishes to have."


******************************************************
SATURDAY UPDATE
"Pundita:
Thanks for your Mad Kingdom post. An interesting read. BY THE WAY (LOL), did you know I called an expert witness to directly challenge the claims you quote from the Cohen Commission?

The Cohen Commission gave the justification for "hate laws" in Canada based on the 'findings' of Harry Kaufmann, who was an assistant professor at the University of Toronto. After he presented his crazy findings, he left Canada and set up shop in New York.

In response I called one of the top neuroscientists in Canada, Dr. Michael Persinger. The enemies of free speech sat in silence while he demolished Kaufman's garbage All the 'interested parties' refused to cross-examine Dr. Persinger; there was nothing they could say.

Let me send you the stuff. It will blow your mind and make you question the very basis of "hate laws, and the absurd claim that speech can cause mental issues in people.
Marc"

Marc:
For once I'm not taken by surprise. Remember? Back in February, when you first wrote me, it was to dispute some points I made in my Jurassic Park post, which mentioned the Cohen Commission. You told me about Persinger. When I published our discussion, I linked to your file on expert witnesses, which contains a link to his report.

To refresh your memory, the post is titled Marc Lemire gives Pundita a tour of the Section 13 maze, and that was followed by more of our discussion on Section 13 issues.

You really must try to escape from the Mad Kingdom for a few hours, to give yourself a break. But I'm glad you brought up Persinger again. This would be a good place to link directly to his report, which is titled The Anachronism of Policies and Laws for Hate Speech in Modern Canada: The Current Negative Cultural Impact of Legal Punishment upon Extreme Verbal Behaviour. And here again is the link to the expert witnesses.

Hang in there, Marc; the calvary is on the way. The CHRC Department 13 has been abusing their power for so long they forgot where the line was. Now they've been caught red-handed in an incident external to a Section 13 hearing. For readers who are not aware of what happened, last night Ezra Levant blew the lid off. He has detailed the incident and publicly accused the CHRC of corruption.

Deborah Gyapong called for a Royal Commission in February and she's so appalled by Ezra's revelations that she's calling for it again. This time, I think people will heed her call.

 

# posted by Pundita : 5/09/2008 06:39:00 AM