Thursday, September 3, 2009

STEYN: A landmark victory


A landmark victory

Steynposts Thursday, 03 September 2009



Yesterday's decision in the Marc Lemire case was a great day for the campaign to restore Canada's lost liberties. As Ezra Levant says:

"This is the first time in 32 years that anyone has been acquitted under the censorship provisions of the Canadian Human Rights Act," he said. "That's amazing - and to have the law declared unconstitutional is even more of a breakthrough."

Just so. As Joseph Brean says in The National Post, this is "the first major failure of Section 13(1)". Judge Hadjis not only let off a guy he would have thrown the book at two years ago - a judgment the defenders of this racket could easily put down to passing political expediency - but he stated explicitly that Section 13 is incompatible with a free society and that, whatever Commissar Lynch might say, he at least is out of the censorship game. When I watched him preside over the Lemire case in Ottawa, Judge Hadjis struck me as a conventional "human rights" pseudo-jurist, so his decision here is either a belated embrace of principle - or a recognition that the winds have shifted and he doesn't need Richard Warman and Bernie Farber in his life right now. This is an enormous tribute to the way Ezra and a few others have changed the terms of the debate. "Score one for free speech," says Rob Breakenridge. "We're winning," says Kathy Shaidle (who also has some good advice for those partial to overly lawyerly interpretations: the "law" is not why either Marc Lemire or I got off. Indeed, it's perfectly obvious that, under the BC "Human Rights" Code as written, Maclean's and I are guilty).

We should also salute Marc Lemire. It is not necessary to agree with his views on this or that - that, after all, is the point of this campaign: If you don't believe in free speech for people you disagree with, you don't believe in free speech at all - as Commissar Lynch and Bernie Farber most certainly don't. But it is also worth noting that many of the assumptions and characterizations made about Mr Lemire come from the now discredited dress-up Nazi Richard Warman. Your view of Marc Lemire's opinions is itself a matter of opinion. But that he has been greatly traduced by the Canadian "justice system" in his six-year legal battle is a matter of fact. A less dogged man would have thrown in the towel years ago. It is only because of Mr Lemire that we know of the astonishing procedural abuse at the CHRC and that Richard Warman and Dean Steacy are sad 007-wannabe fantasists spending their days posting undercover on neo-Nazi websites.

Sad to say that Bernie Farber's CJC (Canadian Jews for Censorship) is determined to go down with the ship. It would be too obvious to reprise Cromwell's words to the Long Parliament and tell him "you have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately... Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!" But if I were a CJC donor I would be wondering quite what the point of this organization is. The sole Internet post on which Mr Lemire was found "guilty" was one called "Aids secrets". It was seen by a total of eight people within the Dominion of Canada - or nought-point-eight of a Canadian per province, or 0.61538 if one includes territories. However, you've got to reckon that maybe two-to-three of those eight views were from Richard Warman trying to figure out how many thousands of bucks he could get by suing over it; another two views came from the Canadian "Human Rights" Commission; a couple more came from Bernie Farber's CJC and B'nai Brith; and maybe the sole remaining view came from Mr Lemire just after posting to check that it was formatted and displaying correctly.

In other words, no one in Canada saw this post. The only reason we know how "offensive" it is is because of the publicity given to it by Warman and the CHRC dress-up Nazis. Mr Lemire is not a threat to Canadians. Commissar Lynch and Richard Warman are.

As for Bernie Farber, for some reason he thinks an unread website is a threat to Jews in Canada, and not the ever swelling tide of daily, routine, widely accepted Jew hatred from what is a, ahem, non-white supremacist source. The "Official Jews" (in Ezra's designation) have proved not merely useless against the new anti-Semitism, but in their pursuit of irrelevances and distractions are actually abetting it. Jews of all people should be no fans of government censorship.

The Globe & Mail gives the last word to the discredited establishment censors. Elsewhere around the web:

~ An "astonishing upset," says Barrel Strength
~ The CHRC is "out of the censorship business," says Jay Currie
...but the decision raises lots of issues, says the SoCon
~ Put Commissar Lynch in the Order of Canada, says Denyse O'Leary
~ "Half a loaf," says Deborah Gyapong
~ More from the Canadian Press, The National Post's Full Comment, LifeSite, Free Mark Steyn!, Right Girl, and the Lynch Mob