Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Obituary of CHRC Censorship [Part 3] Section 13 Goes Mainstream: The Mark Steyn / Macleans Case

Section 13 Goes Mainstream: The Mark Steyn / Macleans Case

[July 29, 2014] In the previous two posts on the obituary of Section 13 censorship, I highlighted the background of Section 13 and corruption of the Canadian “Human Rights” Commission and the real modus operandi of the CHRC, which was “simple forced deletion of the message”.  Today I am going to explore the Mark Steyn / Macleans Magazine “hate speech” cases and some interesting facts that came out (like disgraced former police officers, Nazi Fetishists and Million dollar legal fees).

The complaint against Mark Steyn and Macleans Magazine was laid by a Muslim group named the Canadian Islamic Congress following lobbying by the CHRC. To put the complaint into perspective, a timeline of events is helpful:

  1. June 29, 2006: The CHRC’s head policy advisor meets with Muslims in Toronto urging them to lay hate complaints with regards to “anti-Islamic comments in the media”.
  2. October 20, 2006:  Macleans Magazine runs a cover story “Why the Future Belongs to Islam” which was reproductions from Mark Steyn’s book “America Alone”
  3. August 13, 2007:  Complaint against Steyn/Macleans filed with CHRC by the Canadian Islamic Congress. [1]

As mentioned in previous articles, back in 2006, the CHRC was desperate for complaints.  They had invested all this money; they had a special “anti-hate” team, special “anti-hate” committee, special lawyers, a special Compliance Manual for “hate cases”, policy advisors, etc; but no one was complaining to them.  The complaint against Mark Steyn and Macleans Magazine could very well be as a result of the CHRC drumming up business to keep the “hate” gravy train rolling and employing dozens of highly paid unionized staff [including “disgraced former police officers”, Dean Steacy 007: Licensed to CHILL & assorted Nazi fetishists].

CHRC: Please file COMPLAINT$

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 an internal memo to Ian Fine, the Director of the CHRC’s oddly named “Knowledge Centre.” [2] 

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

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.”

Several months after this meeting; the Canadian Islamic Congress filed a Section 13 “hate speech” complaint against Rogers Media Inc. (Macleans Magazine) at the Canadian “Human Rights” Commission. At the same time, the CIC filed two nearly identical complaints with the Ontario “Human Rights” Commission and the British Columbia “Human Rights” Tribunal.

Hate Speech?

The Section 13 “hate speech” complaint against Rogers Media Inc (Macleans / Mark Steyn) 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 in Macleans, there was a fair amount of controversy in the pages of the magazine over Steyn’s propositions about demographics, the threat of Islam, etc.  

Complaint by Islamists

On August 13, 2007, the Canadian “Human Rights” Commission accepted a Section 13 complaint against Rogers Media Inc filed by the Canadian Islamic Congress.  The complained of grounds was “religion”, specifically hatred towards Islam and Muslims.

The complaint read: "The complainant alleges that the material in question is flagrantly anti-Muslim and in adopting a fear mongering tone, the article focuses on the influx of Muslim immigrants into Europe and North America". and that "...Muslims are part of a global conspiracy to take over Western societies and impose oppressive Islamic law on them, and that Muslims in the West need to be viewed through this lens as the enemy.

As a result “seeing the messages [By Mark Steyn] portrayed as objective fact by Maclean's had a serious impact on the complainant [Canadian Islamic Congress] and on the Canadian Muslim community at large. ... this impact included harm to their sense of dignity and self-worth as Canadian Muslims." [4]

Section 13: The Sh*t hit the fan

Keep in mind that the primary intent of Section 13 was to quietly and behind closed doors; and censor individuals which “would not be attended by great publicity”.  While this was true with most Section 13 cases, it certainly was not true with Mark Steyn and Macleans Magazine.

The preverbal ‘hate speech earthquake’ hit the media, once it was revealed that one of Canada’s most respected magazines and the “one-man global content provider” Mark Steyn were under investigation for hate speech.  Editorials against censorship went viral from coast to coast in Canada and spread across the globe via the Internet.

Literally hundreds of articles were written about the Macleans hate speech complaint; here is just a sampling of the articles:

  • 20070917 - Western Standard - Censure the censors
  • 20071205 - Macleans - Got a complaint call 1-800-HumanRights
  • 20071206 - Calgary Herald - Constitutional rights must be protected
  • 20071208 - London Free Press - Freedom of the press attacked
  • 20071209 - Ottawa Citizen - Suing for Silence
  • 20071212 - CBC News - Tory minister slams Islamic Congress
  • 20071216 - NYPost - Canada’s Thought Police
  • 20071216 - Ottawa Citizen - The new totalitarians
  • 20071217 - Spectator UK - The Blood Runs cold
  • 20071218 - Chilliwack Times - Quit validating pro victims
  • 20071218 - IsraelNationalNews - Mark Steyn is Not Alone
  • 20071218 - National Post - Censorship In The Name Of Human Rights
  • 20071219 - Calgary Herald - Shut down the human rights commissions
  • 20071219 - Lifesite - Mark Steyn wakes up Canadian press to CHRC
  • 20071220 - CanadianFreePress - Human Rights Tribunals
  • 20071220 - GeorgeJonas - Turning out the lights
  • 20071221 - BC Catholic - There IS Someone left
  • 20071225 - FrontPageMagazine - Stand by Steyn
  • 20071228 - Truro Daily - Myths Legends and some truths
  • 20080103 - Macleans - Heres what offends this writer
  • 20080112 - Economist - Mark Steyn and the Thought Police
  • 20080521 - ChronicleHerald - Bad times for Free Speech
  • 20081118 - ChronicleHerald - Ground shifting on HRC battle
  • 20081124 - GlobeandMail - Tribunal shouldn’t police hate
  • See an assortment of Media articles here:

Unlike some others, Mark Steyn was not a coward and decided to fight back against this appalling censorship. Steyn took to the airwaves and print media and unleashed his mighty wit in a broadside against censorship in Canada and in particular the Canadian “Human Rights” Commission.

Here are some interviews Steyn did on his “Hate speech” prosecution:

The damage was so bad for the Canadian “Human Rights” Commission; they hired a high-priced PR firm Hill & Knowlton to manage their public relations.   Toronto Sun: “Top bureaucrat paid big bucks for spin doctors: Docs”.  In total, the CHRC spent close to $200,000 in damage control.   You can see the full Hill & Knowlton documents here:  [From an Access to Information request by Marc Lemire]

Politicians wake up

The huge media backlash and all the damaging information coming out about the CHRC also translated into political action.

The first political action against the CHRC was a motion by Liberal MP Keith Martin which called on Parliament to state: “That, in the opinion of the House, subsection 13(1) of the Canadian Human Rights Act should be deleted from the Act.”  The bill was first M-446, then resurrected after the 2008 Federal election as M-153.

The next definitive move was a private members bill – C-304.  The bill repealed Section 13 and 54 of the Canadian Human Rights Act and scrapped the censorship provision entirely.

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:

(Alternatively) “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[5] - [former] Chief Commissioner Jennifer Lynch and Conservative appointed Acting Chief Commissioner David Langtry [see: AirMiles Langtry].  They have the role of reviewing the complaint 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.

In terms of fallout from the Macleans / Mark Steyn complaint, Ezra Levant was sued for defamation by one of the complainants against Steyn [Khurrum Awan].   The case is currently at trial and a decision is not expected until 2015.  See:

The Chilling Effects of “Hate Laws” and censorship

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

Macleans no longer reports on ‘Islamic Threats’
since the “Hate” Charges

A review of Macleans Magazine during the complaint period [2007-2008] shows that the issue of Islam taking over the Western world via demographics is no longer a valid topic. Macleans took the easy route and reported on ‘pressing issues’ like Harpers “Master Plan” and how your dog gets better healthcare than you do. There was a bit of religious reporting, such as questioning Jesus and his “identity crisis” but it seemed to be verboten to discuss Mohammed and his “identity crisis”.

How many editors and newspapers will allow commentary on controversial issues if they are going to face being labeled as racist or Islamophobes?

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) [6]

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. [7]

In the case of Macleans magazine, which was represented by two prominent lawyers through three separate complaints and a 5-day hearing before the BC Human Rights Tribunal – the costs were staggering.  According to Mark Steyn, speaking on Calgary’s AM770, Macleans Magazine and Rogers Media Inc. spent upwards of $1,000,000 to defend against the human rights complaints.[8]

In a somewhat ironic twist, the Muslim complainants were actually proved correct in the end.  During their 2006 meeting with the CHRC’s Harvey Goldberg, the Muslims in attendance questioned if “the Commission [CHRC] would accept complaints dealing with anti-Muslim sentiments. [Goldberg] assured them that the Commission was fully committed to fulfilling its mandate under section 13.”  Mark Steyn has stated on numerous occasions that, under the ridiculous language of Section 13 he was guilty of “hate speech”.  In the end, the CHRC was shown to be hate hypocrites who only accepted certain complaints.

Hate laws are political tools used to silence speech and criticism.  The power of the state is used to crush the little man.   Thankfully Maclean’s had a million dollars to fight back, but does the average Canadian?  This is why Section 13 had to be repealed and tossed into the dustbin of Canadian history; next should be the criminal “hate speech” prohibition – Section 319 of the Criminal Code of Canada – another shameful piece of censorship legislation!

Mark Steyn has written extensively about his censorship experience in:

In 2007, the Canadian Islamic Congress brought three suits against Maclean’s, Canada’s oldest news weekly, for running an excerpt from Mark’s bestselling book America Alone, plus other “flagrantly Islamophobic” columns by Steyn. A year later the CIC had lost all its cases and the flagrant Islamophobe had become a poster boy for a worldwide phenomenon - the increasing tension between Islam, on the one hand, and, on the other, western notions of free speech, liberty and pluralism.
In this book, Mark republishes all the essays Mohamed Elmasry, the Canadian Islamic Congress and their enablers in Canada's disgusting "human rights" regime attempted to criminalize, along with new material responding to his accusers. He also takes a stand against the erosion of free speech in Canada, Britain and elsewhere, and the advance of a creeping totalitarian "multiculturalism"; and he considers the broader tensions between Islam and the west in a time of unprecedented demographic transformation.
Roaming from America to Europe to Australia, Lights Out is a trenchant examination of the intersection of multicultural progressivism and a resurgent Islam - and of the implications for liberty in the years ahead. And don't forget, when you order from SteynOnline, the Flagrant Islamophobe Steyn will be happy to autograph it to you or your loved one in his own disgustingly flagrant manner.

  1. The Obituary of CHRC Censorship [Part 1]:
  2. The Obituary of CHRC Censorship [Part 2]: Modus Operandi of the CHRC: “simple forced deletion of the message”

-Marc Lemire

[1] Heading picture from Radical Press

[1] Decision of the Commission.  June 25, 2008.  Canadian Islamic Congress v. Rogers Media Inc. (20071008)
[2] Memo from Harvey Goldberg to Ian Fine.  July 5, 2006.  Evidence in Lemire hearing, marked as R-17, Tab 4
[3] CHRC Investigators Report. March 25, 2008.  CIC vs. Rogers (Macleans) Para 24.  Note: Steyn reports this is a quote from imam Mullah Krekar
[4] CHRC Investigators Report. March 25, 2008.  CIC vs. Rogers (Macleans) Para 1.
[5] 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.
[6] 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.”
[7] Daily Gleaner, Print media will stay relevant because it must: Whyte, January 31, 2009
[8] October 10 2008.  AM770 (CHQR) Calgary.  The World Tonight with Rob Breakenridge.