Wednesday, July 14, 2010

SECTION 13 SERIES: Intimidation and Chilling Effects - The attacks on writers like Mark Steyn and rigged CHRC decisions

Here is part three in the Section 13 Exposed! series.

Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, is Canada’s shameful internet censorship legislation, where truth is no defence, intent is no defence, in fact, there are zero defences! Recently in the Lemire case, Section 13 has been found to be unconstitutional.  The censorship enforcers appealed to the Federal Court of Canada.

These articles on Section 13 will document all the different angles of Internet censorship and the threat it poses to freedom and liberty in Canada.

Canada’s needs freedom of speech on the Internet, and the fanatical CHRC wants to silence thought and speech.  To date, they have spent millions to keep their censorship franchise running.  With the most recent ruling by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to stop all enforcement of Section 13 – Marc Lemire’s case is the only active Section 13 case in all of Canada!  Unfortunately, all the weight of the state censors will now be brought to bear.

Please send what you can to assist in the Lemire case.   The Lemire case will be the definitive challenge to internet censorship.  Your help is desperately needed.


-Marc Lemire

Part #3


Intimidation and Chilling Effects
The attacks on writers like Mark Steyn and rigged CHRC decisions

Censorship of speech and expression always brings with it chilling effects that permeates society.  Section 13, with its vague wording, heavy fines and 98% conviction rate has chilled speech in Canada at an unprecedented level.  From journalists and internet bloggers to message board users – Section 13 hangs like a black cloud that chills dissenting voices.  Section 13 can, and has been, used as a risk-free method to attack and harass political opponents.

In 2006, Albertan Craig Chandler was taken to the CHRC over comments critical of homosexuality posted on his website, “Concerned Christians Canada.Mr. Chandler had not authored the comments, but would nevertheless sign a public settlement with the CHRC. In 2007, with the endorsement of the electorate, Mr. Chandler was in the final running for the Alberta PC party’s leadership nomination.  Once it became evident that he might actually prevail, the enemies of freedom brought his history with the CHRC to the media.  The PC Party of Alberta executive committee revoked his membership and he was drummed out of the race.

Intimidation works!  Potential targets faded away. And soon, the CHRC was in need of, and hence surveying, additional victims with a keen eye.  At first, the CHRC had gone after anyone who owned a telephone answering machine with messages the thought police at the CHRC considered “objectionable.”  Next, they went after people they considered to be "right-wingers” or “Nazis” — success guaranteed!  Then the religious conservatives found themselves to be targets.  The magazine, Catholic Insight, was soon under fire, as well as the Freedom Radio Network, FreeDominion and Concerned Christians Canada.  Nor have federally registered political parties been spared, with the Christian Heritage Party a recent victim of the CHRC.

Thanks to the targeted impact prosecutions now silencing most conservatives and religious leaders, the CHRC, drunk with power, turned its sights on larger prey; Macleans Magazine, Rogers Publishing Ltd, and its dumbfounded editors

The complaint against Macleans Magazine was laid by a Muslim group named the Canadian Islamic Congress.  The Muslim complaint comes on the heels of CHRC staff drumming up business with the Muslim community. On June 29th, 2006, Harvey Goldberg, the senior policy advisor for Section 13 with the CHRC traveled to Toronto to meet with a delegation of Muslims from the Canadian Arab Foundation.  As a result of that meeting, Mr. Goldberg wrote to Ian Fine, the Director of the CHRC’s oddly named “Knowledge Centre.” Calling the meeting “successful” and referred to the Muslim groups as “key stakeholders.” [1] 

In Goldberg’s July 5th, 2006 memo, he states:

A couple representatives of the Muslim community expressed concern that the threshold for hate was too high and that much of what they perceived as anti-Islamic comments in the media and elsewhere would not be included in the current definition of hate. I referred them to the [Name redacted by CHRC] article in the Hate on the Internet magazine, copies of which I had distributed.

They also questioned whether the Commission would accept complaints dealing with anti-Muslim sentiments. I assured them that the Commission was fully committed to fulfilling its mandate under section 13.
Overall I think this round of meetings was successful in the continuing process of networking with key stakeholders and of furthering the Commission initiatives in the areas of disability and hate on the Internet.”

It looks like the representatives of the Muslim community were 100% correct with their skepticism of the CHRC.  On June 25th 2008, in a highly political decision, the Canadian Human Rights Commission refused to accept the complaint filed by Canadian Islamic Congress against Rogers Media Inc. (Macleans Magazine). [2] 

The decision by the CHRC stated that: “Overall, however, the views expressed in the Steyn article, when considered as a whole and in context, are not of an extreme nature as defined by the Supreme Court in the Taylor decision.  Considering the purpose and scope of section 13 (1), and taking into account that an interpretation of s. 13(1) must be consistent with the minimal impairment of free speech, there is no reasonable basis in the evidence to warrant the appointment of a Tribunal.  For these reasons, this complaint is dismissed.”

It appears that after some 250 articles in the mainstream press highly critical of the CHRC, the Commission suddenly discovered freedom of speech.

Chilling effect on all writers

The chilling effects on speech by the actions of the Canadian Human Rights Commission are a clear and present danger to freedom in Canada.

The chill on freedom by the CHRC takes three main forms:

  1. The 98% conviction rate.
  2. Truth is no defense.
  3. Rulings are very vague, so no one knows what “permissible” speech is and what is prohibited.

Take as an example, the case against Macleans Magazine. The Section 13 complaint was over a reproduction of Mark Steyn’s book “America Alone.” The Macleans article was entitled “Why the future belongs to Islam” and ran as a cover story in the October 20, 2006 issue.

Mark Steyn’s article made the following points:

  • Europe has been transformed into “Eurabia” by massive immigration.  The article said "...There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe - without swords, without guns, without conquests.  The fifty million Muslims of Europe will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades."

  • "The Muslim world has youth, numbers and global ambitions.  The West is growing old and enfeebled, and lacks the will to rebuff those who would supplant it.  It's the end of the world as we've known it."

  • Canada is changing because of demographics  (Low birth rate of Canadians, high birth rate of Muslims)   “Age + Welfare = Disaster for you; Youth + Will = Disaster for whoever gets in your way”

  • Islam has serious global ambitions, and it forms the primal, core identity of most of its adherents

  • “not all Muslims are terrorists — though enough are hot for jihad to provide an impressive support network of mosques from Vienna to Stockholm to Toronto to Seattle.”

  • "Just look at the development within Europe, where the number of Muslims is expanding like mosquitoes.  Every Western woman in the EU is producing an average of 1.4 children.  Every Muslim woman in the same countries is producing 3.5 children" [3]

After the Steyn article appeared, there was a fair amount of controversy in the pages of Macleans over Steyn’s propositions about demographics, the threat of Islam, etc.

Once the Section 13 complaint was filed against Macleans and Rogers Media Inc, all talk about those underlying issues that Steyn discussed were cleansed from the pages of Macleans.

The Chilling Effects of “Hate Laws” and censorship
Macleans no longer reports on Islamic Threats
since the “Hate” Charges

A review of Macleans Magazine during 2007 and 2008 shows that the issue of Islam taking over the Western world via demographics is no longer being reported on. 

After a very expensive process, Macleans may have been found “innocent”, but the Muslim complainants really won the larger battle.  Publishers and editors now think long and hard before publishing material critical of Islam – for fear of facing the same treatment as Macleans received. And what did it cost the Canadian Islamic Congress?  A simple 52 cent stamp.

Due to the fact that Section 13 is so vague on what speech is covered, editors and writers do not have a guide on what is permissible and what is prohibited.  This ambiguity causes many to simply steer clear of certain topics like radical Islam or the demographic changes due to massive immigration to Canada.  It’s much easier to simply drop an article, than to pay upwards of $1 million dollars to defend yourself in a court which has no defences.

CHRC Decision in the Macleans case was purely political

The decision by the Canadian Human Rights Commission to drop the complaint against Macleans Magazine was done to stop the onslaught of negative media the CHRC was receiving.  During the time the CHRC was investigating Macleans, hundreds of articles and editorials appeared in the media from coast to coast.  The CHRC wanted the daily negative media publicity to stop, so they suddenly found freedom of speech and dismissed the complaint.

The truth behind the dismissal of the Macleans complaint is that the Investigator of the case wasn’t so sure it should just be dismissed.  The Investigator highlighted that what Mark Steyn wrote could expose Muslims to hatred and contempt. 

In the March 25 2008 CHRC Investigators report on the Macleans complaint, the Investigator wrote in paragraph 49:

“It is recommended, pursuant to paragraph 44(3)(a) of the Canadian Human Rights Act to request that the Chairperson of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal institute an inquiry into the complaint if the Commission is of the view that:

·        the material does appear to meet some of the hallmarks of hate and is of such a nature that it may likely expose persons of the Muslim faith to hatred and contempt;

·        a decision by the Tribunal addressing the fact situation in this case may be in the public interest as it raises new considerations regarding the relationship between section 13 and the right of freedom of the press, as aspect of the Charter guarantee of freedom of expression.”

The complaint against Macleans Magazine was dropped when it reached the “political level” at the CHRC, but it was obvious that the investigator in the case recommended “in the alternative” that the case go to a tribunal.

The CHRC’s “political level” is staffed by political appointees like the Jet-setting world traveler[4] - Chief Commissioner Jennifer Lynch and Deputy Chief Commissioner David (Air Miles) Langtry.  They have the role of reviewing complaints and approving it to be sent onto a hearing before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.   Unlike the investigator in the Macleans case, the political Kangaroos smelled the political wind, and threw out the case like a hot potato.

How many editors and newspapers will allow commentary on controversial issues if they are going to face being labeled as racist or Islamophobes, in conjunction with years of costly litigation, where the tribunal boasts a 98% conviction rate? 

As Macleans Magazine reports: "Cases like these foster an atmosphere in which sensible people who know they can't summon the resources to defend themselves will censor themselves. It creates an ever-growing body of very regressive law when it comes to the integrity and freedom of a democratic forum."  (John Dixon, a two-term former president of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association) [5]

Kenneth Whyte, Editor in Chief of Macleans Magazine

Q: Even though you were successful in court, do you worry that your case will have a negative impact on journalism in the future, either through more publications self-censoring to avoid lawsuits or more human rights complaints being filed over legitimate journalistic content?

A: Yeah. There will absolutely be self-censoring, and it will be harder going forward to have clear and full debates on a lot of important issues like race or religion or public policy because of this. [6]

Self-censorship has always been a goal of the CHRC, which is why they have undertaken costly impact prosecutions on the few that resisted.  Making examples of what will happen to those that dare to stand up to the CHRC ensures that few will ever stand up in the future. 

Further reading on Section 13:

  • Marc Lemire’s constitutional challenge of Section 13
  • The Marc Lemire case:  A battle for freedom of speech
  • Political Strategy to Repeal Section 13: Spearheaded by Liberal MP Dr. Keith Martin with Bill M-446 (An act to repeal Section 13) Support has been overwhelming from the media, opinion journalists and Canadians.  At present, two separate House of Commons Sub-Committee's are currently investigating the out-of-control "Human Rights" Commissions.
  • Victims of Section 13: Writers, webmasters, magazines, Christians, the entire list of victims. From the very first - John Ross Taylor, to the latest victims including Macleans Magazine, Catholic Insight Magazine, FreeDominion, Marc Lemire, Melissa Guille and many others.
  • Books and Videos on Section 13:  Booklets on CHRC censorship, the constitutional challenge, Debunking Hate Laws, internet censorship and much much more.
  • Support the legal challenge of Section 13: The hardest fight is the legal one.  The legal team challenging Section 13 needs your help to continue.  Please click on this link and donate.  Your Donations = OUR Survival!
  • The FreedomSite Blog: Documenting the chilling effects of Censorship and repression of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. The blog is run by Marc Lemire, webmaster of the Freedomsite
  • Canadian Human Rights Commission EXPOSED! Exposing the Misnamed “Human Rights” Commissions in Canada. They are the single largest threat to freedom of speech in Canada. The Ottawa Citizen has called them a “Kangaroo Court” and “Star Chamber”. It’s time to abolish both the Canadian “Human Rights” Commission and the Canadian “Human Rights” Tribunal

I Desperately need your help to continue 

Fighting the fanatics at the Canadian "Human Rights" Commission and defending freedom of speech for ALL Canadians is not an easy task. In particular, the Federal Court of Canada challenge to defeat Canada’s internet censorship legislation, has consumed an immense amount of time and resources. This has meant sacrificing a lot of cherished things in my life that I used to take for granted such as spending precious time with my wonderful children. 

It's also very costly and has incurred heavy debts given that I'm facing a "Human Rights" juggernaut that has a limitless budget. It has already spent millions and is prepared to spend a lot more of your tax dollars to keep their thought control machine running.

My courageous lawyer Barbara Kulaszka and myself have demonstrated what two dedicated researchers can accomplish against overwhelming odds. We have single-handedly and doggedly fought the system and exposed the corrupt underbelly of the "Human Rights" Commission's fanatics. Nothing ever comes easy when you are fighting such a racket. This case is a seminal one, where the outcome will have serious implications on our right to think and speak freely in this country for generations to come. All Canadians will benefit if we manage to get this shameful law expunged from our legal books.

Every victory we've attained against the "Human Rights" juggernaut has come at great expense. Nothing has come easy.  In fact, the “Human Rights” Commission has done everything in their power to stop exposure of their twisted censorship agenda.

I cannot carry on this important fight alone. Your donations literally equal the survival of this case. I wish to thank all those that have donated to this worthy cause. Please donate directly to us so that I can send out a personal thank you. If you have donated to another organization or individual please contact me so I can thank you directly and send you a copy of our special booklet that is for our supporters only.

How you can help:

Support Marc Lemire's Constitutional Challenge

Be part of the Freedom team and contribute what you can to defeat this horrible law 
and protect Freedom of Speech in Canada !
·         Via Mail: Send Cheque or Money Order to:

Marc Lemire
152 Carlton Street 
PO Box 92545 
Toronto, Ontario 
M5A 2K1 

It’s time to end the censorship of the extremist Canadian Human Rights Commission!
Stop Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act

[1] Memo from Harvey Goldberg to Ian Fine.  July 5, 2006.  Evidence in Lemire hearing, marked as R-17, Tab 4
[2] Decision of the Commission.  June 25, 2008Canadian Islamic Congress v. Rogers Media Inc. (20071008)
[3] CHRC Investigators Report. March 25, 2008CIC vs. Rogers (Macleans) Para 24.  Note: Steyn reports this is a quote from imam Mullah Krekar
[4] Journalist Ezra Levant reports that Lynch is burning through taxpayers money at break neck speed traveling the world in first class style.  This includes: “June 2008, she dropped a cool $9,000 flying to Ireland. Three days [later] she dropped another $2,400 going to lovely Niagara-on-the-Lake. The next month Lynch flew to Kuala Lumpur, for $6,400”.  In August, 2008, Lynch dropped $8,200 for a first-class trip to Vienna.
[5] Macleans Magazine. April 21, 2008.  Page 22-26. “Righteous crusader or civil rights menace? Richard Warman says he's fighting hate. Critics say free speech is the real victim.”
[6] Daily Gleaner, Print media will stay relevant because it must: Whyte, January 31, 2009