Friday, January 30, 2009

Privacy Commissioner rules on CHRC WiFi Hacking Allegations after a shockingly poor investigation

Privacy Commissioner rules on CHRC WiFi Hacking Allegations after a shockingly poor investigation

 

 

http://www.freedomsite.org/legal/jan30-09_privacy_office_drops_complaint.html

 

 

 

On January 29, 2009, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada released their decision of a complaint filed by Nelly Hechme against the Canadian Human Rights Commission for hacking her internet account.  The decision of the Privacy Commissioner was that Mrs. Hechme’s complaint was “not well founded”. 

 

Summary of the PrivCom’s decision can be found at: http://www.privcom.gc.ca/cf-dc/pa/2008-09/pa_20090127_e.asp

 

Media Reports can be found at: 

·         Human rights body cleared of privacy breach National Post

·         Probe finds no evidence that rights agency hijacked woman's The Canadian Press

·         CHRC cleared of "hacking" allegation Western Standard

 

According to the summary provided by the Privacy Commissioner, they conducted “numerous on-site interviews with CHRC officials.”  While the Privacy Commissioner did interview the Canadian Human Rights Commission, they refused to accept close to 200 pages of documents filed by Marc Lemire which documented the allegations.  (See below for a copy of the letter to Lemire by Privacy Commissioner)

 

The Privacy Commissioner did not even once interview Marc Lemire, or any one else involved.

 

While, the victim in this matter, Nelly Hechme, did file the Privacy Act complaint,  she was not aware of all the facts and background which brought these allegations to light.   Mrs. Hechme, was simply targeted by the CHRC and as such she could not have provided all the evidence to the Privacy Office that Marc Lemire, Barbara Kulaszka or a handful of others could have.

 

This shows the complete lack of any real investigation, and calls into question any decision made by the Privacy Office.  How can the Privacy Commissioner make any reasonable determination of the facts, when they only spoke to one side and refused documentation from the other?

 

The Canadian Human Rights Commission has already shown, time and time again, they are willing to go to almost any lengths to conceal their activities.  In fact, the CHRC even went as far as claiming “National Security” to stop the subpoena of Bell Canada’s records for their activities.  At the Federal Court of Canada, the CHRC abandoned their claim so that the Federal Court could not rule on their objections.

 

The shockingly poor investigation by the Privacy Office is so pathetic, they could not bring forth a single piece of evidence to show that the allegations by Lemire were in any way incorrect. 

 

Instead they theorize that:

 

“Technological experts have indicated that, most likely, but without certainty, the association of the complainant’s IP address to the CHRC was simply a mismatch on the part of a third party, which could have occurred in a variety of ways not involving the CHRC”

 

Who are these technological experts?  And where is a single shred of proof that it was a mismatch?  Are they claiming that Bell Canada provided the wrong information?  If so, where is their evidence?   Alain Monfette, director of the law enforcement support team for Bell Canada swore under oath about the owner of the IP address.

 

 

The facts surrounding the allegations of WiFi hacking by CHRC staff are both compelling and comes mostly from testimony of CHRC employees themselves!

 

 

Particulars of WiFi Hacking Allegation:

 

December 8, 2006 at 3:29pm: Dean Steacy, an investigator at the Canadian Human Rights Commission logged onto the Stormfront.Org website using the pseudonym “Jadewarr” and printed off a post entitled “Italy for Italians”  This print out, showed the date of printing was December 8, 2006.  This document was entered into evidence by the CHRC at the Beaumont CHRT hearing on December 12, 2006.

 

March 25, 2007, Lemire accessed the Stormfront.Org member public profile for user “Jadewarr”. The user profile shows that the last activity (last logon) was 12-08-2006 03:29PM.  As well it showed the E-mail address jadewarr@yahoo.ca.

 

March, 2007, Don Black, the owner of Stormfront provided the IP address and e-mail address associated with the Stormfront member “Jadewarr” 

 

The IP address used to log into Stormfront.org on Dec 8, 2006 was:

·                    IP Address:  70.48.181.203

·                    Host Name: bas2-ottawa23-1177597387.dsl.bell.ca

 

March 3, 2008: the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal issued a subpoena of Bell Canada’s records for the “Jadewarr” information.

 

March 25, 2008, Alain Monfette, director of the law enforcement support team for Bell Canada , testified that the owner of the IP address 70.48.181.203 on December 8, 2006 at 3:29PM was:

 

Nelly Hechme

XXX Laurier Ave XX

Ottawa , Ontario

User ID: XXXXXXXX

Connection date and time: December 7, 2006 from 18:37:22 to December 8, 2006 at 21:35:56

 

March 25, 2008, Dean Steacy testified under oath that he used the “Jadewarr” account on Dec 8, 2006 and that he printed the webpage which was filed as evidence in the Beaumont case.  Dean Steacy also testified that: John Chamberlin, Sandy Kozak and his assistant also had the password to the “Jadewarr” account.  It was also possible that Richard Warman had the password, but Mr. Steacy did not give it to him.

 

March 26, 2008, the National Post newspaper reported:  “Reached by phone last night, Ms. Hechme, 26, told the National Post she has no connection to the tribunal, has never known any of the investigators, and has never accessed a Web site as Jadewarr. She said that in the relevant period in 2006 she did have a Bell Sympatico account with a wireless connection that was not password controlled, meaning anyone within range of her apartment could have accessed the Internet with it. “

 

(Mrs. Heckme’s home is a block away from the CHRC’s offices in Ottawa)

 

 

 

BACKGROUND OF HACKING COMPLAINT:

 

On April 18, 2008, Marc Lemire, the webmaster of the Freedomsite, filed a complaint under the Privacy Act.  

 

The complaint filed by Lemire alleged that:

 

On December 8, 2006 at 3:29pm (EST) Dean Steacy and/or John Chamberlin and/or Sandy Kozak, used the pseudonym “Jadewarr” to access the Stormfront.Org website.  In order to hide their identity, the respondents wilfully and with malicious intent connected to the unsecured wireless access point of Nelly Heckme, without her knowledge and/or approval, in violation of Canadian law and the Privacy Act.

 

Along with this complaint, Lemire sent copies of all the relevant transcripts, affidavits and other material.

 

All the material was returned by the Privacy Commissioner on April 23, 2008 with a letter that stated: 

 

 

Dear Mr. Lemire:

 

This is further to your correspondence of April 7, 2008, which was received in this Office on April 16, 2008.  Specifically, you advised of an incident in which it is alleged that the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) contravened the provisions of the Privacy Act (the Act) by accessing an individual’s wireless internet connection without that individuals authorization.

 

 

I note, however, that your concern pertains to another individual and does not constitute your personal information as defined in Section 3 of the Act.  As such, we are unable to respond to you further in this matter.

 

[signed]

Cathy Cannon

Manager, Inquires Unit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

LEVANT: Justice Department launches internal review of section 13

Justice Department launches internal review of section 13

 

http://ezralevant.com/2009/01/justice-department-launches-in.html

 

 

A week ago, a blog called Barrel Strength broke the news that Canada's Justice Department has struck an internal committee to review section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, the abusive censorship provision.

Here's what Barrel Strength wrote:

At the request of the Prime Minister, the Minister of Justice has created a departmental committee to examine section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. This is the section which bans hate messages distributed by the Internet. Members include lawyers from various branches of the department of Justice, including constitutional, human rights, criminal and Industry Canada branches.


I was excited by that news for a number of reasons, but the blog didn't cite any source for the news, not even indirectly. Although a number of other pro-freedom blogs ran with it, I wanted to confirm the news directly.

I'm pleased to say that I have received confirmation from a senior source at Justice that in fact such a review is underway. I understand that the report could be complete as soon as a month from now. It is unclear what will be done with the report -- whether it will simply be private advice to the Justice Minister and Prime Minister, or given to the Parliamentary Justice Committee for a public follow-up, or even form the basis of a bill.

There is good and bad news here.

The good news is bigger.

The good news is that the issue is still very much alive on Parliament Hill, and not just at the caucus level. Some skeptics had interpreted the Prime Minister's recent interview in Maclean's magazine as closing the door to reform of section 13, given his statement that he had "no plans" to reform it -- though in the same interview he denounced human rights commissions as "egregious", "abusive" and "out of balance". My interpretation of those remarks (which I wrote about here) was literal: that he had no plans at the moment, but that he wasn't ruling out getting such plans. And, given his distractions of late -- a global economic crisis, and an attempted Parliamentary putsch -- it seemed fair that the man focus on other priorities.

So I'm pleased with this news out of Justice -- it confirms that the momentum is still on our side, and that the PM's cautious way of speaking need not be interpreted in the most negative way possible.

There is another advantage to an internal review -- it is immune to the procedural shenanigans that have befuddled the Justice Committee. Like all other Parliamentary committees, the governing Conservatives have only a minority of seats on it. The problem wasn't that the Justice Committee members from other parties were hostile to reforming section 13; it's that the committee was so dysfunctional in general -- it had become a proxy battleground for disagreements between the government and opposition that, frankly, the opposition didn't want to turn into confidence matters in the House of Commons proper.

So, though Conservative Justice Committee member Rick Dykstra had indeed proposed his own review to that committee last fall, the committee never actually got around to dealing with it -- it was the victim of bickering that ground the committee to a halt.

An internal departmental review will avoid that problem.

But: an internal departmental review will only draw upon opinions within government. There are a diversity of views in the government, and the review seems to be drawing on different branches and different departments altogether. But that is not a full spectrum of opinion, including critical opinion by the people who have been abused by section 13. Frankly, it's not much more independent than the CHRC's token review undertaken by their hand-picked consultant, the well-paid Professor Richard Moon. Then again, Moon surprised everyone -- the CHRC most of all -- by calling for the repeal of section 13.

Perhaps there are critical voices within the bureaucracy. But it is a shame that there are not public hearings, as would happen with the Justice Committee, where outside experts and members of the public could participate. The CHRC's many victims will not be heard.

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.

We need to know more about this review, and I'll keep poking around. I'd like to know who the final author of the review is, and its destination. I'd like to know who is consulted for it. But in the meantime, I'm just happy that the reform train is still chugging down the track!

 

 

 

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

 

Stop Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act

 

http://www.StopSection13.com

http://www.freedomsite.org

http://blog.freedomsite.org

http://canadianhumanrightscommission.blogspot.com

 

 

 

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.

- 30 -

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

 

 

 

Monday, January 19, 2009

CATHOLIC INSIGHT: Repeal Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act

Repeal Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act

 

http://catholicinsight.com/online/features/article_870.shtml

 

 

On June 17, 2008, the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) launched its own policy review of Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA). Section 13 (added to the Act in 2001) gives the commission the power to investigate and punish instances of “hate speech” on the internet. The 59-page review, conducted by Prof. Richard Moon, an expert on constitutional law and free speech at the University of Windsor, was made public at a cost of over $1,000 a page on November 24, 2008 and is posted on the CHRC website.

In a move that may have surprised the CHRC – and more than a few outside the organization – Moon made the following recommendations:

1. That Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Acts be repealed so that the CHRC and the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) no longer deal with hate speech, especially hate speech on the internet. Hate speech should continue to be prohibited under the Criminal Code, he said, but the definition should be confined to expression that advocates, justifies or threatens violence. Moon also said in the fight against hate on the internet, police and prosecutors should make greater use of Section 320.1 of the Criminal Code, which gives judges power to order internet service providers (ISPs) to remove “hate propaganda” from their systems.

2. Changes should be made to Section 13 of the CHRA if it is not repealed.

3. (i) Changes to the language in order to clarify that the section prohibits only the most extreme instances of discriminatory expression – that is, articulations that threaten, advocate or justify violence against members of an identifiable group
(ii) The amendment of Section 13(1) of the CHRA to include an intention requirement; and
(iii) The amendment of the CHRA to establish a distinct process for the investigation of Section 13 complaints by the CHRC. Under the amended process, the CHRC would receive inquiries and information from individuals or community groups, but would not longer investigate and assess formal complaints.

More coercion suggested

Unfortunately, here Moon goes on to suggest some coercive methods of his own to remove offensive (non-criminal) speech from the internet. He suggests forced deletion or blocking at the ISP level. This would involve the role of non-state actors, such as the media, in the prevention of expression that is deemed “hateful” or “discriminatory” in character.

In a nod to the all-pervasive political correctness of academia, Moon suggests the creation of a “hate-tip line” that could result in the removal of offending websites. Such recommendations are of concern, points out Marc Lemire, a Canadian who has been battling the HRC’s for years and who is involved in a constitutional law case against them. The recommendations, he says, represent a departure from the traditions of Anglo-Saxon justice which include the right to face one’s accuser.

The creation of a “hate-tip line,” Lemire states, is something censorship-driven groups such as the Canadian Jewish Congress have lobbied governments for years to implement. This endeavour might include such projects as the ridiculous “CleanFeed” program, which would allow for the arbitrary removal of websites from being accessible in Canada via a blacklist of sites that are blocked at the internet service provider level.

“CleanFeed” would then see websites effectively banned in Canada and a site’s webmaster would have no recourse. There would be no hearing to assess the contents of the site, no decision would be forthcoming from a court, and no remedy would be available.

The CHRC all along has liked this approach, Lemire notes. As part of its mandate under Section 27 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, the agency has thus far targeted some 200-300 websites in Canada and around the world, trying to get them knocked offline by highlighting internet service providers’ “acceptable use policies.” Dating back to 1995 in Canada, the agency has been strong-arming internet service providers behind closed doors to not allow those it has deemed “hate mongers” to post material online.

Where to?

The CHRC, feeling threatened by Moon’s report, is now calling for more public consultations (to be attended, no doubt, by the special-interest groups that favour it). Rather than dispatching Moon’s report to Parliament, it seeks to develop its own set of recommendations in 2009.

Other reactions

During the previous parliamentary session, Liberal MP Keith Martin introduced a private member’s bill to repeal Section 13. He has already reintroduced this bill. Meanwhile, delegates at November’s Conservative Party national policy convention in Winnipeg voted overwhelmingly for repeal and were joined in the vote by Justice Minister Rob Nicholson.

Newspapers from coast to coast have published editorials hailing especially Moon’s most prominent recommendation, that of removing from the jurisdiction of the HRCs, Section 13. These include the National Post, the Toronto Star, the Montreal Gazette and the Vancouver Sun, the Globe and Mail, the Ottawa Citizen, the Edmonton Sun, the Calgary Herald, Macleans and Catholic Insight magazines, and the Canadian Association of Journalists.

Jewish groups continue to oppose any changes with the possible exception of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre which is conducting its own review. The Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC), however, declared itself “disappointed.” Its CEO, Bernie Farber said, “We have mixed feelings about the report.” Its legal counsel, Mark Freiman, expressed this in a Globe and Mail article (Nov. 26, 2008) in which he described criminal law as “a blunt tool to deal with ... hate speech.” Marvin Kurtz, national legal counsel to B’nai Brith Canada, said “Doing away with Section 13 … would be a step in the wrong direction. However, we do favour in principle the type of middle approach also outlined by Moon, which opens the door to necessary reform of the CHRC.” (Can. Jewish News, Dec. 4, 2008).

The CJC and B’nai B’rith are the only groups supporting the CHRC’s proceedings, not too surprising because it was from the Jewish community that the idea of Human Rights Commissions was first launched in the mid-sixties. It was they who have made regular use of the HRCs to battle anti-Semitism, first in print and telephone, then on the Internet.

Victims of the HRCs

Catholic Insight and other victims of the CHRC are hailing especially Moon’s recommendations to repeal Section 13. The list of those who have unjustifiably suffered under Canada’s human rights system – which Justice Minister Nicholson has described in a letter to C.I. as “second to none” – is a long and varied one: B.C. teacher Chris Kempling; the Knights of Columbus in B.C.; Calgary Bishop Fred Henry; Alberta Pastor Stephen Boissoin; Saskatchewan’s Hugh Owens and marriage commissioner Orville Nichols; Ezra Levant in Calgary; the Christian Horizons ministry to the disabled in Ontario; Mark Steyn and Maclean’s magazine in Toronto; the mayors of a dozen Canadian cities who have been forced to proclaim “gay pride” days; the FreeDominion.ca website, and more.

Catholic Insight

What is the situation with Catholic Insight? Rob Wells of Edmonton’s Gay Pride Centre (an organization some of whose activities are subsidized by public grants), had his claim against us of spreading hatred , dismissed by the CHRC in Ottawa in July, 2008 (see C.I., July/August, 08, p. 29). He has since appealed to an Edmonton Court for a judicial review of the ruling.

The case, anyone might think, is therefore between Wells and the CHRC whose ruling he has challenged. Well, if you thought that, you are wrong. It turns out that we, at Catholic Insight, have to defend ourselves once again , this time in a Federal Court in Edmonton. Why? Because the CHRC apparently washes its hands of the whole affair and is not interested in defending its own rulings.

So, our lawyers have had to file various forms and affidavits, including one opposing Wells’s attempt to expand the CHRC case by introducing new articles and materials, etc. Costs so far: $3,200, which, of course, we cannot afford. It is on top of the $25,000 we have spent already on Wells’s outrageous but politically correct accusations. Even without these expenses, Catholic Insight has never been able to cover all its costs from subscriptions alone.

We still have our Paypal button on our Website for our Legal Defence Fund. We recommend it to your attention.

Freedom of conscience

While the threats of kangaroo “courts” have simmered over the years, Evangelicals and Catholics have seen their rights threatened elsewhere as well. New, related phenomena are the attacks on, and banning of, pro-life groups at several universities (see elsewhere in this edition). No human rights figures or commissions stepped forth to defend their right to free expression.

As Michael Coren put it so well, Catholics and evangelicals are not one of the protected groups in human rights legislation. “People have been persecuted, prosecuted and bankrupted for speaking their minds on issues such as Islam, homosexuality and history,” he said in his commentary on the Moon report. “Take the case of Catholic Insight magazine. It is a tiny-budget monthly that caters to orthodox or conservative Catholics. A radical gay man read it and found some of its arguments about homosexuality to be offensive. Quite right, too. If he wasn't offended the magazine would not have been presenting genuine Catholic teaching, which is directly contrary to the notion that homosexuality is to be affirmed and praised.

“So here we have two clashing cultures in a modern pluralistic society. The response should be for both gay and Catholic to have and to be able to express their opinions and for both to act like grownups and avoid or ignore what annoys them.

“Let us emphasize that what is sometimes said about Catholics in gay magazines is far more offensive than what is said about gays in Catholic ones” (Toronto Sun, Nov. 29, 2008).

Indeed, the homosexual newspaper Xtra! has run a column entitled “Godless World” by Krishna Rau, whose sole purpose has been to attack religious faith.

Expensive and unnecessary

Another aspect of Canadian human rights commissions – be they federal or provincial – is that they are an expensive folly. They employ a host of bureaucrats and lawyers and, like most government employees, they come at a price. A recent expense posted by the CHRC was $75,000 per quarter year for “security.” The CHRC office in Ottawa is heavily staffed by security personnel and “as many as five bodyguards” may accompany bureaucrats on visits to hearings, reports Lemire. No one is sure exactly how high is the risk to their safety.

FreeDominion.ca co-founder Connie Fournier has described attending at the CHRC headquarters to drop off some paperwork. “When we walked in, we did not encounter a receptionist like we expected. There was a security guard behind glass, instead. When I wanted to hand him the letter with my case number on it, I had to slip it through a little slot in the glass.”

Later, Fournier was permitted to speak to a CHRC apparatchik, who was actually in the building, but only by telephone. “Both Mark and I were spooked by our experience at the CHRC. It was unlike any other government office we have ever seen. Talk about ‘faceless bureaucracy!’ It is absolutely frightening that these people, who spend their days hidden behind a security guard and bullet-proof glass, have the power to utterly destroy the lives of Canadians, and they don't even have to look their victims in the eyes. George Orwell must be spinning in his grave” (FreeDominion.ca; Nov. 22, 2008).

Blogger Steve Janke rightly wonders what will be done to bring reparations to those who have been needlessly harmed by human rights commissions: “Many people have been dragged through tribunals run by bureaucrats and patronage appointees with little understanding of law, rules of evidence, or even basic constitutional guarantees … So what of the people who have paid thousands to defend themselves in front of these tribunals? What of the thousands that have been doled out as fines by people found guilty by a tribunal that is not a court of law? … The point is that the CHRC has made a mess of things. It has to be cleaned up” (SteveJanke.com; Nov. 26, 2008).

© Copyright 1997-2006 Catholic Insight
    Updated: Jan 5th, 2009 - 21:27:29 

 

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Freedom of Expression in Canada: even better than Equatorial Guinea

Freedom of Expression in Canada: even better than Equatorial Guinea

 

Freedom House, an NGO that tracks the progress and decline of democracy around the world, has voiced concern about Canada for the first time I can remember:

“Canada faced threats to freedom of expression as government agencies brought charges against journalists who wrote commentaries that were critical of Islam,” it concludes in its 2009 report.

Jennifer Lynch, and the rest of you at the Canadian Human Rights Commission, take a deep bow. 

(Source: Macleans Magazine)