Skip to comments.Mark Steyn Case Wakes Up Canadian Press to Human Rights Tribunals' Threat to Free Speech
Posted on 12/19/2007 6:11:07 PM PST by Anti-Bubba182
Mark Steyn Case Wakes Up Canadian Press to Human Rights Tribunals' Threat to Free Speech
Calgary Herald writer says the Commissions must be shut down.
TORONTO, December 19, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Opposition is growing in the press to the power and boldness of the Canadian Human Rights Commissions (HRC) to suppress freedom of expression and to police what Canadians may say in public. While Christians and social conservatives in Canada have been under attack through the HRC's for years, it was not until the case against popular columnist Mark Steyn and Maclean's magazine that the Canadian mainstream media has picked up the scent of a threat to their own freedoms.
In today's Calgary Herald, Rebecca Walberg writes that the Commissions must be "shut down." Earlier this week the National Post protested that the Steyn case is one of "censorship in the name of 'human rights'". The Chilliwack Times ran an editorial calling the Commissions and their tribunals "a powerful ally" in the efforts of some to "further restrict our right to free speech."
The case that has garnered the attention of Canada's mainstream media is that brought by the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) against popular conservative columnist Mark Steyn and Maclean's, Canada's foremost news magazine. Maclean's published an excerpt, headlined "The Future Belongs to Islam," from Steyn's bestselling book "America Alone" in which he predicts a coming clash between an increasingly aggressive Islamic minority in Europe and the shrinking remnants of European post-Christian social values.
The CIC complained to the Human Rights Commission of "exposing Canadian Muslims to hatred and Islamophobia". A representative of the group claims the complaint is intended to "protect Canadian multiculturalism and tolerance"..........[snip]
[snip]Others have pointed out that the Human Rights Commissions are so weighted in favour of the complainant that it is wide open to abuse as a means of making money. Richard Warman, a far left human rights lawyer based in Ottawa, is a former employee and investigator for the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Warman has filed an unusually large number of complaints with the HRC against groups on the right and admitted that he files complaints in his spare time.
In 2006, in a keynote speech to the violent Anti-Racist Action group in Toronto, Warman described his high volume, tax-funded activism the "maximum disruption" approach to leftist agitation. "I've come to the conclusion that I can be most effective by using what I like to describe as a 'maximum disruption' approach...If I think that they've violated the Canadian Human Rights Act, then I'll look at all of the potential targets and file complaints against them starting on a 'worst offender' basis".
He added, "Sometimes if I just find people to be particularly annoying this may move them up the list a bit." Publicly available documents show that Warman has been awarded at least Cn. $48,500 in "special compensation" via Human Rights Tribunal complaints since 2003.............."
And Canadians consider this justice?????
"This system, many have said, leaves the HRC's wide open to abuse..."
...and the West sinks deeper and deeper into the Decadence that is the Left.
He needs his head candled, if that’s what you mean. ;’)
The above contains some background.
The Commissions became a bigger deal with the expansion of the internet. No one much cared when it was just KKK types being prosecuted. That was a mistake. These Commisions would never stop there as is evident now.
Canadian Libel law itself is also in need of reform.
"..Under the current legal regime, you can be sued for anything you say about another person that damages their reputation. If sued, the onus is on you to prove the truth of your statements; the fact that you genuinely believed them to be true is not good enough. Even truth is not an absolute defence --- if the court finds you told the truth but your intent was malicious, you might lose anyway. Canadian libel law is so draconian that people come from all over the world to file libel suits in Ontario..."
It is that bad.
It is more deadly than the Black Plague, all the wars combined, and the horrors of the Inquisition!
The Decadence is the Left. It is the greatest threat to Canada, the U.S., all of the Western nations--and to the world. If it is not checked, it will destroy Western Civilization.
The article refers to “commissions” (plural) Just how many are there?
Unfortunately the federal Conservatives don’t have the authority to shut them down- they’re run by the provinces.
Steyn is being subjected to simultaneous multiple proceedings of the same complaint.
As they are quasi civil tribunals the doctrines of autrefois acquit and autrefois convict do not apply and the burden is "preponderance" rather than "beyond reasonable doubt". The rulings are looked upon as being akin to injunctions rather than punishment and compensation rather than fines.
Small businessmen have been advised by their lawyers that it is cheaper to cave in, recant, grovel and pay than to pay the legal bills associated with defending even frivolous complaints.
Even where a frivolous complaint gets dismissed at an early stage, the respondent has borne costs to retain a lawyer and those consts, unlike other civil proceedings in Canada, are not recoverable against the complainant or the tribunal.
There are 14 of them- one federal and one for each province and territory. The federal HRC got leashed by a Supreme Court ruling that their procedures were unconstitutional; historically most of the mischief was made by the provincial HRCs because the provinces have jurisdiction in matters of employment, housing and health care which is where most complaints arise.
Can you provide more details on this and a source if possible?
Thanks. I’m learning from the comments on this thread.
The ruling came down back in the mid-1990s IIRC. Essentially, it said that having a tribunal operated by the same body that investigates complaints compromised the right to due process.
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
Back in 1995, lawyers were advising clients not to fight a complaint if it could be settled for $5,000 or less.
I wonder if there's any case law about suing HRCs and/or complainants for malicious prosecution. If there isn't perhaps we should make some.
As I said, they have no problem muzzling pastors, and even forbidding them from quoting certain biblical texts. But they may have a harder time going after Steyn.
These bullies get powerdrunk, the more they get their way. but hopefully they’ll go too far and get sent packing.
Really . How much jail time has he done?