Friday, August 29, 2008

OTTAWA CITIZEN: David Warren - The bullying continues

David Warren . The bullying continues


David Warren

The Ottawa Citizen

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


See also:  Freedom Watch from David Warren Online

Perhaps I wrote too soon, last Wednesday, in listing the "human rights" prosecutions against various "politically incorrect" journalists that had been dismissed recently by Canada's "human rights" kangaroo courts. A new round seems to be on the way.

Fresh from having one set of charges, filed against him by Islamists, dismissed by an Alberta kangaroo court, Ezra Levant has now been served with a fresh set through the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Rob Wells, the new complainant, is the same whose charges against Fr Alphonse de Valk and Catholic Insight were dismissed recently, after costing that small magazine a bundle. Nor was that his first use of the CHRC. Details and documents may be found through Ezra Levant's website.

That the CHRC does not wish, currently, to touch such cases, is clear enough. They are getting tarnished by very bad publicity, very well deserved. An investigator's recommendation that they not proceed appears on the covering page of the latest chargesheet. But a Kafkaesque bureaucracy is a Kafkaesque bureaucracy, and Mr. Levant is legally obliged to respond to the latest tawdry allegations, and be ground once more through the gears of the "resolution process," merely because a complaint has been made.

"Human rights commissions" are, alas, not unique, and the septic idea of policing public opinion has spread rapidly through many Canadian institutions, under tireless pressure from activists of various kinds -- feminist, homosexual, Islamist, and miscellaneous leftist -- who hold the notion of free speech in contempt. Their success depends on the obsequious response of our political class -- Conservatives and Liberals alike -- who tend to wet themselves at the first shrieking note from a radical lunatic.

I've received a personal taste. An Ottawa reader who already brought one complaint against me that was eventually dismissed by the Ontario Press Council, has recently brought another. In both cases the complaint struck me as completely bogus, but in both cases, both I and my senior editors are reduced to the time-consuming, and expensively chilling process of justifying my right to my opinions.

Dean Steacy, a leading apparatchik of the CHRC, was directly asked in an on-record exchange during one kangaroo court hearing, "What value do you give freedom of speech when you investigate one of these complaints?"

He replied: "Freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don't give it any value."

Quote this, as it has been frequently quoted, to members of Canada's political establishment, and you do not get a rise. Like many other "human rights" operators, Mr. Steacy plays on a seedy, knee-jerk anti-Americanism, to obliterate Canada's own deep tradition of intellectual freedom.

By chance, the American Political Science Association has an annual convention scheduled for Toronto next year. This prestigious academic organization is, by its own constitution, committed to neutrality on every political issue except that of academic freedom. A petition is now circulating among its members, expressing anxiety about the possibility of "human rights" complaints against individual members, while on Canadian soil. Search out the members' petition online, and you will find among its signatories many of the most prominent names in contemporary political science and philosophy.

By rumour, I'm aware that a similar anxiety has been expressed within the American Bar Association, which also sometimes holds conventions up here.

The APSA petition seeks Canadian national and local government assurances that those attending the convention will be secured against "human rights" prosecutions, even when they are discussing controversial topics, for the duration of their time in Canada.

So far as I can see, from my reading of the legislation that created our kangaroo court systems, no Canadian government can now answer such a query unambiguously. In theory, we could give assurances against prosecution for "thought crimes" by any foreign national in attendance, but not for the Canadians.

In other words, an American has rights guaranteed to him under the U.S. Constitution, even while abroad, but a Canadian is (to paraphrase Mr. Steacy's argument) a kind of prisoner who must submit to after-the-fact censorship by the thought police of the Canadian state. (The Chinese were able to give similar assurances over the Olympics: that, in effect, "We won't censor The New York Times, but what we do to our Tibetans and Falun Gong and Christians is strictly an internal matter.")

This is an appalling state of affairs.

Rest at:



It’s time to end the censorship of the extremist Canadian Human Rights Commission!



Stop Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act






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