Skip to comments.The Canadian Human Rights Commission blinks
Posted on 06/27/2008 7:19:17 AM PDT by fanfan
The Canadian Human Rights Commission, like any petty tyranny, has a strong instinct for survival. As I predicted last week on the Michael Coren Show, that instinct would cause them to drop the complaint against Mark Steyn and Maclean's. And so they did.
With an RCMP investigation, a Privacy Commission investigation and a pending Parliamentary investigation, they're already fighting a multi-front P.R. war, and losing badly. Not a day goes by when the CHRC isn't pummelled in the media. Holding a show trial of Maclean's and Steyn, like the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal did earlier this month, would be writing their own political death sentence.
So they blinked. Against everything in their DNA, they let Maclean's go. That's the first smart thing they've done; because the sooner they can get the public scrutiny to go away, the sooner they can go about prosecuting their less well-heeled targets, people who can't afford Canada's best lawyers and command the attention and affection of the country's literati.
"There's nothing to see here, people! So turn your TV cameras off, and let us continue on our work without your scrutiny! We promise not to target famous Canadians -- at least not for a little while. We'll keep picking on under-lawyered weaklings. We'll continue to build up our jurisprudence, continue our 100% conviction rate, continue building legal precedents. So when we come for Maclean's next time, we won't have to blink."
Here's Maclean's reply, which is far more polite than I would have been:
...Though gratified by the decision, Maclean's continues to assert that no human rights commission, whether at the federal or provincial level, has the mandate or the expertise to monitor, inquire into, or assess the editorial decisions of the nation's media. And we continue to have grave concerns about a system of complaint and adjudication that allows a media outlet to be pursued in multiple jurisdictions on the same complaint, brought by the same complainants, subjecting it to costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars, to say nothing of the inconvenience. We enthusiastically support those parliamentarians who are calling for legislative review of the commissions with regard to speech issues.
The only question remaining is whether Heather MacNaughton, chief kangaroo of the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, will convict Maclean's. The "jurisprudence" is there; Maclean's surely is "guilty" of "likely" "exposing" someone to "hatred or contempt". Everyone's guilty of that; so the only question is who gets charged.
Will MacNaughton save her skin -- and preserve her tax-funded sinecure, like the CHRC is trying to do? Or will she continue her Stalinist approach to speech? Tough call; her decision in the comedy case shows she's as nutty as a Snickers Bar. But I'm still betting she'll acquit Maclean's. She'll throw that big fish back into the sea, so she can continue to haul in lots of smaller ones with political impunity.
This is bad news for Mark Steyn. He wanted to be found guilty and have a chance to carry this to a real court.
But I don’t think the BC HRC has its decision in yet. He may have a chance.
“The only question remaining is whether Heather MacNaughton, chief kangaroo of the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, will convict Maclean’s. The “jurisprudence” is there; Maclean’s surely is “guilty” of “likely” “exposing” someone to “hatred or contempt”. Everyone’s guilty of that; so the only question is who gets charged.
Will MacNaughton save her skin — and preserve her tax-funded sinecure, like the CHRC is trying to do? Or will she continue her Stalinist approach to speech? Tough call; her decision in the comedy case shows she’s as nutty as a Snickers Bar.”
Good for MacLean’s. Couldn’t help noticing that Heather’s last name is very close to the name associated with the case that established the insanity plea: M’Naghten, I believe. Guy was a Steinbeck Lennie-type victim who didn’t even realize he had killed the person. M’Naghten established the rule that insanity was a defense for persons who had such a mental illness that they could not possibly understand what they had done. (Of course the insanity plea has been way stretched since then.) Seems perhaps insanity runs in the family?
"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
I agree with Ezra....the BC court will drop it too, to get out of the spot light.
Considering all of the references to Stalin, I can only hope that these ‘Human Rights Tribunals’ end up the same way that Leon Trotsky did. :)
I am not sure he wanted to be found guilty in each and every one of these. This is the Canadian HRC not the BC HRC where he has already had his hearing.
It was a slow Tuesday night and the show was closing. Two lesbians came in and were well on with drinks. They slobbered into each others mouths. The comedian did not mind though. They started to heckle. Quoth he.
"You are not lesbians. You are so fat and ugly, no guy would (expletive) you."
One threw her drink on him. He now has a show in Toronto to raise funds for a lawyer.
Not to worry. Mark is now free to rip the totalitarian leftists to shreds daily.
Too much, too soon, comrads.
I sincerely hate to say this, but its past time Canada be put on a human rights watch list. The relationship between the USA and Canada, Canadian’s self righteousness under the protection of an American nuclear umbrella in the old days to the contrary notwithstanding, has been to say the least close. geography and blood made that inevitable. Where I’m from the border was always more or less theoretical until 9/11. One wonders, however, how much longer we will insist on doing business with a country whose view of free speech is Stalinist at best.
As I recall, Steyn challenged them to find him guilty, hoping for a chance to take this nutty commission to a proper court to test the issue.
Dropping the matter is probably a way of saving the commission.
I don't see why, unless you see Mark's primary preoccupation in life is to "get even".
On the other hand, the fact that the criminals have dropped the charges, does not eliminate the civil rights violations under misplaced power of authority.
I see no reason whatsoever for "the RCMP investigation, a Privacy Commission investigation and a pending Parliamentary investigation" to go away. In fact, it is needed now more than ever.
What's going on?
Free Speach, you eirther have it or you don’t there are no grey areas. As a God given right you can say anything at any6 time at any place, no law can stop you. However you can also be attacked for that speach by all sorts of means. A comedian just passed away who became famous for talking about 7 words banished from broadcst on the airwaves. Now the list of words and subjects has grown much larger and extended to just plain speach. The really funny thing is that the 7 words are now accepted.
They showed their true colors in backing down when faced with serious opposition.
I am glad for Steyn and Maclean’s but sad too. They had a good chance of bringing so much heat on the Tribunal process that it would be done away with.
Nice, thanks AB.
I don’t think so.
They are government appointees.
“Considering all of the references to Stalin, I can only hope that these ‘Human Rights Tribunals’ end up the same way that Leon Trotsky did.”
I support the firing squad, even for the mere faux-innocent attempt to subvert free thought for some “higher” goal. These are not innocent people, they are enemies of every free person.
Mark ‘gets even’ daily, proving that the pen* IS mightier than the sword!
*noto bene...provided, of course, that the pen is attached to a brain, which so often does not seem the path chosen by those who are so regularly graduated from Columbia School of Journalism!