Friday, July 4, 2008

BREAKING: CHRC Drops case against Catholic Insight


The CHRC has blinked once against and now dropped the hate complaint against Catholic Insight, under Section 13 – the notorious thought crimes provision.


This comes on the heels of a similar complaint being dropped against Macleans Magazine in a storm of media controversy, highlighted by investigations by the Privacy Office, the RCMP and a call in the House of Commons to repeal Section 13.


Small victory for the small Toronto magazine that has spent up to $20,000 in legal fees to defend itself against the “hate” charges.


The only way to fix the out of control “Human Right” Commission is to hold Section 13 unconstitutional.



Stop Section 13 now.





Human Rights Case Dropped Against Catholic Insight
By Fr. Alphonse de Valk
Issue: July/August 2008


On July 4, 2008, Catholic Insight received the following letter from the Canadian Human Rights Commission in Ottawa:

"Dear Sir,

"I am writing to inform you of the decision taken by the Canadian Human Rights Commission in the complaint (20070410) of Rob Wells against Catholic Insight.

"Before rendering their decision, the members of the Commission reviewed the report disclosed to you previously and any submission(s) filed in response to the report. After examining this information, the Commission decided, pursuant to paragraph 44(3)(b) of the Canadian Human Rights Act, to dismiss the complaint because the material is not likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt based on sexual orientation.

"Accordingly, the file on this matter has now been closed.

"For your information, either party to a complaint can ask the Federal Court to review a Commission decision under subsection 18(1) of the Federal Courts Act. The application to the Court must normally be filed within 30 days of receipt of the Commission’s decision."

Is this the end of the persecution of C.I.?

It might be. It might not be. Judicial review of the Commission’s decision is still possible. The complainant has 30 days to bring an application in the Federal Court to review the Commission’s decision.

Fundamental freedoms of religion, expression, and the press are supposedly guaranteed by our Constitution, yet provincial and federal Human Rights Commissions have taken it upon themselves to judge what qualifies as “acceptable” public discourse. This is thanks principally to the vague “hate speech” provision contained in the Canadian Human Rights Act – Subsection 13(1) and subsequent jurisprudence, which makes it a “discriminatory practice” for individuals or groups to communicate messages that are “likely to expose a person to hatred or contempt.”

Subscribers and receivers of our email newsletter will know that this is the pretext used by Rob Wells, an Edmonton-based homosexual activist, to launch a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission in February 2007 over Catholic Insight’s coverage of the homosexual agenda. Rob Wells’s action comes in tandem with a series of unsuccessful attempts by a Toronto-based homosexual activist to have us stripped of financial subsidies available through Heritage Canada’s Publications Assistance Program. As well, the same individual has been haranguing the Privacy Commissioner of Canada over alleged breaches of privacy regulations by Catholic Insight.

Although none of these attacks against us have been successful, as Ezra Levant has so correctly noted, “the process is the punishment” and our magazine of modest budget has already been burdened to date by legal fees in excess of $20,000. All of the complainants’ expenses, of course, have been covered by public funds, whether those complaints are justified or not.

We are grateful, and heartened, by the support of our subscribers and others from within and outside Canada to this point in time. This has gone a long way toward easing our financial pressures. Even at this stage, however, we would still like to remind you of our appeal to contribute to our Legal Defence Fund, which has been set up to defray the expenses of defending ourselves against these attacks. For making a contribution, simply go to our webpage:

Today, July 4, 2008, we were informed about what might be the conclusion of a process that started in February 2007. Let us recall a few facts.

On April 16, 2008, I received word that the investigation into the complaint filed by Rob Wells against the magazine and myself had been completed. The CHRC’s investigator, Sandy Kozak, concluded her 8-page report by recommending “pursuant to subsection 44(3)(b) of the Canadian Human Rights Act,” that “the Commission dismiss the complaint because the material is not likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt based on sexual orientation.”

That was not the end of the affair. The complainant, Rob Wells, had the right of reply. He submitted another lengthy accusation received by us on May 9, 2008. This, in turn, required a detailed legal refutation from Catholic Insight, which we submitted to the Commission on May 23. Our nine page response buttressed the main findings of the investigator, while also challenging some unsubstantiated observations in the investigator’s Report.

Rob Wells, the complainant, is a member of the homosexual “Pride Centre”, Edmonton. Some years ago, for a number of weeks, he used a spray-painted vehicle to circle around Edmonton’s St. Joseph’s Cathedral at the Sunday afternoon Mass. The slogans compared the Catholic Church to Nazism. No charges were laid against him.

He then turned to the Canadian Human Rights Commission to pursue his advocacy after Ottawa had given it jurisdiction over the Internet (2001). Our magazine had opposed the agenda of homosexual activists for legal reforms since our start in 1993; we countered arguments put forward by their activists both inside and outside the courts as well as without and within the Christian community. We used news reports and analyses, research papers, specialized articles on medical, psychological, legal, and sociological consequences. We used scientific data, refuting particular arguments (e.g. that 10% of the population is comprised of homosexuals, or that all homosexuals are born that way, etc.). Above all, we communicated the theological reasoning of the Catholic Church which opposes the homosexual way of life as contrary to the will of God the Creator, and, therefore, sinful. Eventually some 108 articles and reports made it onto our website.

The designation of homosexual activity as a sin opened the road to claims of “discrimination”, “bigotry” and “hatred” by Rob Wells, on the basis of section 13(1) of the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Where do we stand now? It is clear that the Human Rights Act, related provincial legislation, and the Commissions themselves must be reformed if there is to be a reasonable prospect of peaceful debate on controversial issues, and in particular, issues related to sexual morality.

The struggle, therefore, is still in its beginning stages. The outrages committed against Chris Kempling in B.C., Stephen Boissoin in Alberta, Christian Horizons service organization in Ontario, and many others, must be undone. The demands of people like Rob Wells that everyone must affirm homosexual activity and bow to their demands is intolerable. The promotion of homosexual behaviour through enforced curricula changes in many provinces needs to be reversed. So let us pursue this struggle with vigour.

Catholic Insight appreciates the support of so many Canadians in this struggle, and in particular the efforts of many supporters, especially those of modest means, who have contributed to our legal defence fund. While the findings of the investigator and the Commission’s recent announcement are good news, Catholic Insight is aware that an appeal of the Commission’s decision could cause this matter to escalate to another level and become a continuing burden on our small publication. We shall keep you, our supporters, informed.

© Copyright 1997-2006 Catholic Insight
    Updated: Jul 4th, 2008 - 16:37:37