Mourning the Death of Freedom of Expression and Her Great Defender
by Don Spratt
Again today I’m in mourning; because freedom is dying in Canada, and so are her defenders. It began with the Whatcott decision, and now I mourn the loss of one of free speech’s greatest defenders: Douglas Christie, who died March 11.
But what bothers me most is that too few people—too few Christians—seem to notice or care about what it bodes for our future as a nation; few seem to recognize the gathering storm and what it means for coming generations.
Yes, we all want to remain free, but few are willing to pay any real price to ensure that freedom into the future.
Yet I hope—and fervently pray—that recent events will serve as a wake-up call, warning us that we must stand together, and bring to bear the indispensable political pressure it will take to bring about peaceful political change before it’s too late.
With Mr. Christie’s untimely passing, not only are his loving wife and family left in sorrow, but my good friend and co-defendant Sissy von Dehn is left without her able lawyer. As I watched him defend Sissy (beside my equally dedicated legal council, Ron McDonald), I came to a new appreciation for Mr. Christie—not only as a lawyer, but as a true friend of freedom for all Canadians… not just the politically correct and powerful, who need no protection.
He often laboured at reduced rates or pro-bono for people who could not find or afford legal council. Such was the high value he put on free speech; the right to a fair trial, even for people with unpopular or repugnant ideas with which he might personally disagree.
The Whatcott decision was a direct attack on our God-given, rights to freedom of religion and freedom of expression in the public square—supposedly “guaranteed” Section 2 of The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The specific provisions of the Charter that are supposed to protect individuals from oppressive and tyrannical government measures were again swept aside by the judges, who simply invoked Section 1 to unjustly deny those rights.
The worst part of the decision is the high court’s statement that objective truth is no defence.
The Latin word, Veritas (meaning Truth) is inscribed on monuments and plaques all over the Supreme Court building, but stating the TRUTH is no longer a defence if that truth offends someone, and they haul you before a Human Rights Commission! All it takes is for one thin-skinned, specially-protected person from a government-favoured group to say that his/her feelings are hurt by you stating objective truth, and you’re legal and financial toast!
So, be aware: subjective political correctness and hurt feelings trump the centuries-old values of truth, equal justice before God, and the rule of law in our courts. Even if no one was harmed, it still doesn’t matter!
On top of that, the government—we, the taxpayers—will have to pay for the complainant’s legal council; while the hapless defendant must defend himself, or pay for a lawyer out of his or her own pocket. And if he looses, the defendant can be fined and assessed court costs, which can be financially ruinous.
See the entire article at: http://www.donspratt.org/mourning_death_of_freedom.htm