Saturday, July 25, 2009

Terry Tremaine's Contempt of Court Case Adjourned Indefinitely: No Jail for Internet Dissident

Terry Tremaine's Contempt of Court Case Adjourned Indefinitely: No Jail for Internet Dissident

REGINA. They saw the quiet determination in Terry Tremaine's blue grey eyes and like certain soldiers seeing the cold steel glint of the bayonets, and fled the field of battle.

Internet dissident Terry Tremaine (Mathdoktor99 on Stormfront) had given up his apartment, moved his goods into storage, eaten a hearty last breakfast and removed all but some cash and his health card and headed off to Federal Court this morning fully believing he might eat a supper of slops in a local jail.

We arrived at the hearing. I spoke to a brief press conference and, then, Mr. Tremaine, reporter Barb Pacholik, and I headed up to Room 1600. It was locked. We were amazed.

We learned that the day before Federal Court had granted the Canadian Human Rights Commission an adjournment sine die; that is, an indefinite postponement.

Later in the day Paul Fromm contacted Canadian Human Rights Commission lawyer and prosecutor Daniel Poulin. He explained: "I truly do not want to put Mr. Tremaine in prison." However, he wants Mr. Tremaine to remove his National Socialist Party of Canada website.

Contacted later in the day, lawyer Douglas Christie hailed the adjournment as a "real victory."

Terry Tremaine had made it quite clear in discussions over the past month with Mr. Poulin that he was not afraid to go to jail. He does not want to knuckle under to Canada's Internet censorship. He welcomed an open court hearing where he could defend what he had posted and legitimate political commentary about urgent social and political issues.

What was really happening? We suspect that, with media from coast to coast calling for the repeal of Sec. 13 (the Internet censorship provisions of the Canadian Human Rights Act), the CHRC and its new public relations advisors may not have relished tossing a gentle, law-abiding academic into prison for the non-violent expression of his political views.

CAFE is pleased with the role we've played, reminding the media and all who'll listen that a CHRC prepared to jail a dissident, places Canada in the sordid company of tyrannies like Red China and Burma that jail people solely for the non-violent expression of their political views. -- Paul Fromm, Director

Contempt hearing for former University of Saskatchewan professor Terrence Cecil Tremaine postponed

By Barb Pacholik, Leader-Post July 23, 2009 8:01 PM

REGINA — A former University of Saskatchewan lecturer accused of spreading hate messages with his Internet postings was taken by surprise Thursday in Regina when he arrived at his contempt hearing to learn it had been postponed.

Terrence Cecil Tremaine showed up at the Federal Court hearing, along with a supporter who flew in from Ontario, only to learn it was not proceeding.

A Federal Court judge had adjourned the matter two days earlier following an application by the Canadian Human Rights Commission, which decided earlier this year to pursue a contempt charge against Tremaine.

“Bizarre,” said a frustrated Tremaine upon finding the locked hearing room. A new date has not been set.

Commission lawyer Daniel Poulin said e-mails alerting Tremaine to the change were sent Wednesday.

Poulin said his letter to the court seeking the adjournment indicated he “is presently in discussion with Mr. Tremaine, with possibilities of purging his contempt without going through with the procedure. I sincerely hope we can achieve this.”

In 2007 a human rights tribunal found Tremaine had violated the Canadian Human Rights Act by making racist Internet postings.

He was ordered to pay $4,000 and to halt such postings. At the time of the postings in 2004, Tremaine was working as a part-time university instructor in math and computer science. When the university became aware of the human rights complaint, Tremaine was terminated from his position in 2005.

In March this year the commission took the rare step of pursuing a contempt charge, alleging that Tremaine was still posting racist and hateful commentary.

Tremaine also faces a separate criminal charge in Regina of inciting hatred. That case is set for a preliminary hearing this fall.

Paul Fromm, director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression, came to Regina Thursday to lend his support to Tremaine. He assisted in Tremaine’s defence at the tribunal hearing.

Tremaine referred questions to Fromm, who argued free speech laws should be in interpreted broadly.

“What we have is government censorship of ideas where truth is not a defence (and) intent is not a defence,” he said. “People should not have to have a lawyer by their side before they can put their views on the Internet.”

The tribunal found Tremaine’s postings, on a white supremacist website, conveyed “extreme ill-will to the point of violence towards the targeted groups,” which included people of Jewish faith, blacks and other non-white minorities.




Leader-Post articles:



Contempt hearing for former University of Saskatchewan professor Terrence Cecil Tremaine postponed



Tremaine's court hearing postponed