Monday, January 26, 2009

ECP CENTRE: Parliament Must Repeal Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act

 

Parliament Must Repeal Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act

 

http://noapologies.ca/?p=1204

 

 

As Parliament prepares to sit again following the Throne Speech today, Christians must re-ignite their efforts for reform or abolition of the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

The absolute minimum reform required to protect fundamental liberties in Canada is the repeal of Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. This was the intent of Liberal MP Keith Martin's Private Member's Motion introduced in the last Parliament and which he reintroduced in the First Session of the current Parliament.

Section 13 is the censorship provision that Islamic activists attempted to use against Maclean's magazine over an excerpt that they published of Mark Steyn's book "America Alone".

Even Richard Moon, a University of Windsor law professor, who was commissioned by the CHRC itself, made the repeal of Section 13 his top recommendation. Freedom fighter Ezra Levant has noted that this recommendation humiliated the CHRC head Jennifer Lynch (interesting surname for the top official at the CHRC), but what's done is done. (Jennifer Lynch has also become an international embarrassment and must be fired immediately by the Justice Minister.)

It is clear more than ever today that only the most extreme state-ists support Section 13. Nobody with even a moderate love of freedom supports that outrageous provision.

Ezra Levant has just reported that the Justice Department has launched an internal review of section 13. This is good news, but it means that concerned Canadians need to use this opportunity to drive the review to the appropriate conclusion. We need to urge the government to follow through and we need to publicly support such a move instead of leaving the politicians to do the work - and face the flack - on their own.

For too long, the Conservative government refused to act on this issue, despite the expressions of concern made individually by many of their MPs. Even the party's membership expressed near unanimous support for repealing this provision at their policy convention late last year, yet the party leadership was silent.

Many people will argue that the government needs to focus on the economy today, so reform of the CHRA should not be a priority. Nonsense. Most people understand that adults have to juggle more than one ball at any given time. Don't let the Prime Minister or your own politician get away with this excuse.

In October, lawyer Gerry Chipeur urged those who attended the ECP Centre's Ignite Our Culture conference to contact the Prime Minister and other politicians to urge them to repeal Section 13. (Click here to watch the interview.) Mr. Chipeur understands the devastation of "human rights" commissions to fundamental liberties because he is the lawyer representing Alberta Christian leader Stephen Boissoin in one of the most militantly anti-Christian campaigns ever launched in Canada.

It seems these politicians are too distracted or cowardly to act without pressure from the voters, so we are urging you again to contact the Prime Minister, the Justice Minister, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Justice Minister, all the party leaders (Michael Ignatieff, Jack Layton, Gilles Duceppe), and your own MP to urge them to make the repeal of Section 13 a priority in the early days of this new Session of Parliament.

Ezra Levant reports that a positive aspect of an internal review is that it avoids the kind of procedural antics that bogged down the Justice Committee, preventing it from reviewing the CHRA in the last Parliament.

But a real concern he raises about an internal review is that it would only draw upon opinions within the government - which makes the investigation "not much more independent than the CHRC's token review undertaken by their hand-picked consultant, the well-paid Professor Richard Moon." Furthermore, Levant comments, "Another concern - my biggest, actually - is that the CHRC will mislead any Justice Department review, an no-one will be there to catch them. The CHRC has shown themselves untroubled by withholding key information, by breaching their own legal requirements as set out under their statute, and by breaching other laws, such as national privacy laws and access to information laws. They don't even have an internal ethics code. How do they feel about honesty over there? Put it this way: they hired a corrupt ex-cop, drummed out of her police force as bad news. In other words, besides the inherent bias in an internal review towards keeping section 13 (a bias one might expect from bureaucrats and lawyers who work for the government) there is a worry that the CHRC will misrepresent key facts about its conduct, and those misrepresentations will happen in private, and won't be detected by the reviewers."

So, your job and the ECP Centre's job is not to let up until the Conservative government has fulfilled this most elementary expression of democratic civility - the REPEAL of Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.

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For more information, please contact the ECP Centre at office@ecpcentre.org or at 613-482-1790.