Extended Column on Free Speech
Posted Wed Jun 25th, 2008 9:52 pm CDT
Over the past few months, I have been following reports about
The fact that the RC
If the increasing number of questionable rulings is any indication, the federal CHRC and its provincial counterparts seem to decide what proper speech is and then punish the transgressor by ordering the defendant to pay thousands of dollars in damages. These damages, which are essentially a tax free gift to the person who filed the complaint, are often accompanied by some sort of “order” that curbs the defendant’s Charter rights to “freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression.”
I am a believer in inalienable human rights. I believe that inalienable rights like freedom of speech and freedom of religion, along with the rule of law, are fundamental to western democracies.
These basic rights, combined with the principles of representative and responsible government, have allowed
You may be wondering why if I am such a strong and emphatic believer in human rights, why I am also such a harsh critic of human rights commissions. It is because I believe that
Let me site some specific examples.
First by allowing the trivial to be viewed as rights, they have encouraged the use of human rights commissions as personal and political weapons. The recent situation concerning a marriage commissioner in
A homosexual couple wanted to be declared married by a marriage commissioner. They requested that their ceremony be performed by a marriage commissioner who had publicly stated his opposition to homosexual marriage.
When he inevitably refused their request, the gay couple took the marriage commissioner to the Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal. The Tribunal promptly fined him $2,500.
It didn’t matter that the commissioner offered the homosexual couple the name of another marriage commissioner who could perform the ceremony. No, because of a small, contrived inconvenience, the Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal used the coercive power of the state to punish a Canadian for refusing to abandon his religious beliefs.
For instance, University of Queensland Garrick Professor of Law James Allan went as far to say that the protection of fundamental freedoms in
“Here is a little known fact about
“I don't much like having to state the obvious, which is that
I am not sure if all of
Stop Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act
The list keeps growing and growing
Support a Repeal of Section 13
Liberal MP Dan McTeague [Video]
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (Rex Murphy)
B'nai Brith Jewish Tribune (John Mackenzie)