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.
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!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.