Monday, January 28, 2008

On censorship and the future of the HRC

One more journalist has broken the 'code of silence'. Lorrie Goldstein points out the problems of the evolving powers of the HRC - Stop these attacks on free speech:

...As Alan Borovoy, general counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association wrote recently, "during the years when my colleagues and I were labouring to create such commissions, we never imagined that they might ultimately be used against freedom of speech."

Censorship, he said, "was hardly the role we had envisioned for human rights commissions."

Sadly, censorship is increasingly the role they envision for themselves...

As Lorrie points out, these Human 'Rights' Commissions actually involve a process that entails less 'rights' for the defendants than a regular courtroom, where they would normally be able to avail themselves of various legal benefits that are part of our free and democratic society - and which also includes the assumption of innocence until proven guilty.


How to deal with this lunacy? I would suggest starting with your MP. Write letters to the editor. Call in on talk shows.

Speak out now, while you still can.


* * * *
Related: Jack's Newswatch - Murphy: Coming to a human rights commission near you.

Dr. Roy - The enemy is us.

Just Right - HRC colluding with Warman?

Lorne Gunter - Suicide by tolerance.

Free Mark Steyn... "and free Canadians from the thought police and "human rights" commissars."

* * * *
Tuesday Update: National Post letter by James Morton, president, Ontario Bar Association, Toronto:

...If we as a society do not want administrative tribunals to censor the media the answer is to remove that power from human rights tribunals. MPs and MPPs get very little public input for law reform and listen carefully when voters ask for legislative change. Perhaps the legislation should change. That said, we ought not to blame those who follow the existing rules to seek redress for the wrongs they perceive as being perpetrated against them.

Exactly.

13 comments:

Joe said...

"during the years when my colleagues and I were labouring to create such commissions, we never imagined that they might ultimately be used against freedom of speech."

Either Borovoy is lying or he is not very precient. Most people I know who care about such things dreaded the creation of these monsters.

I remember one church service I attended 20 or 30 years ago where the old pastor said "The time is coming when I won't be able to legally use the Bible to speak of the evils of homosexuallity". "Government agencies will try to prevent me from preaching from the Bible".

Brian said...

Yes ... and does anyone remember the last time something like this happened albeit of a much larger scale? Mao's Great Leap Forward was similar in that it was based on thought control run amok.

The problem with any of these "progressive" HRC's is that , like Mao's Great Leap Forward , are initially well meaning , but incrementally get totally out of control , because they make their own rules , and are not constrained by the normal due process of law.

OMMAG said...

I guess were having that comment glitch again.... my fault maybe.

Anyway ... I wanted to tell you that I got a reply from my MP Rod Bruinooge on that matter.

Suffice to say that he needs to be politic in his observations even if he agrees with me.

So ..... Borovoy and his ILK are now regretting the unintended consequence of their stupidity!
I hope it hurts Alan .... because we TOLD YOU SO! right from the getgo!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I guess were having that comment glitch again.... my fault maybe.

Blogger had a scheduled outage at 7 pm PST. Having a bit of trouble myself.

liberal supporter said...

The title of this post and the label it is tagged with seem ironic when this very comment is subject to comment moderation!

I haven't seen a lot about what the actual case is about. Only screams of "thought police" that the HRC dared to ask what Ezra's "intent" was. Do courts not ask someone to state what their intent was in a hearing or trial? He is indeed fortunate that the HRC is not a court, otherwise his flippant responses would have landed him a contempt charge by now.

I have read that he wants this to go to the Supreme Court. His is exactly the kind of case the Court Challenges Programme would take on, if it still existed.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

The title of this post and the label it is tagged with seem ironic when this very comment is subject to comment moderation!

I thought about that too when I put it on, but there was going to be an outage so I didn't know how long it would be inaccessible. I usually put it on a night anyway due to spam.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Anyway ... I wanted to tell you that I got a reply from my MP Rod Bruinooge on that matter.

That's great! At least you made the effort and he's now aware of it. It would be good if some Liberal and NDP MP's got letters from their constituents too.

OMMAG said...

"It would be good if some Liberal and NDP MP's got letters from their constituents too."
From constituents that's a possibility from supporters very unlikely by all indications.

After all the HRCs are going after their antagonists.

JR said...

Good for Lorrie. I hope we're finally starting to see this break out into the mainstream. Then people like 'Lib supporter' will finally take an interest and get a clue.

Lib supporter: (1)I haven't seen a lot about what the actual case is about...(2)...He is indeed fortunate that the HRC is not a court...

1. It shows. Just read Ezra's blog. It's all there.
2. If the HRC were a real court Ezra wouldn't have been there in the first place. Any real judge would have thrown the idiotic 'complaint' out in a nano-second.

Anonymous said...

liberal supporter.Just for clarification. Did you mean that Ezra would be able to use CCP for his advantage?

liberal supporter said...

"jr": I'd like to read a source of info other than Ezra's blog. I don't go to small personal sites. No exceptions. So if you cite SDA I won't go there either. The only info I can find is Ezra's self coverage, and a few pundits (such as Lorrie and other Sun columnists) that seem to be short on specifics and long on "close the HRC" rhetoric. Any other sources you know of? Thanks for the sneer by the way.

liberal supporter.Just for clarification. Did you mean that Ezra would be able to use CCP for his advantage?
Yes. Press freedoms are covered under the charter. My sole concern about this, based on what I have found about it, is that one should not be silenced by the costs of defense. Ezra has money, I think, but others in similar situations may not.

I have no problem with the existence of the complaint, and even holding a hearing. Is this a preliminary discovery type hearing, a hearing of evidence, or a decision hearing?

I don't know if I would call the complaint frivolous, but from what I have read so far, Ezra is well within his rights. It seems a far cry from articles you can find in some places that talk about the Holocaust industry that was built on the lie of 6 million dead, and how jews to this day are evil. But I have not read the WS articles that presumably went with the cartoons. However, I assume he was simply printing them and asking why are people rioting and issuing death threats over them. If my assumptions are correct, he is not inciting hatred and he should have his costs covered by the HRC.

Anonymous said...

LS...the CCP became a financial tool for EGALE and LEAF. They would not be interested in Ezra Levant.

bluetech

JR said...

Lib supporter, I understand your point but Ezra's site is still the most comprehensive place to start. He has links to a lot of stuff - the complaint, what others have said, etc. And his explanation of what's happening and of the issues is worthwhile, even if you are a little skeptical. Sneer withdrawn, sorry (late night, tired, etc, etc.)