Mindy Alter – Letter to the Editor National Post
Re: Free Speech vs. Hate On The Web, letter to the editor, Sept. 18.
The Canadian Jewish Congress’s Wendy Lampert says “we” should hold off judging the utility of Section 13 anti-hate speech provisions until Professor Richard Moon, an “expert … with no agenda” tells us what to think about them.
But after considered judgment, “I” have arrived at my own conclusions. And “I” have decided that America’s sage Founding Fathers were correct in thinking that in a free society there is no more crucial principle than, to quote the title of a recent book, Defending the Speech We Hate.
Even though I deplore and violently disagree with the repellent things the clients of lawyer Doug Christie — the Jew-hater’s attorney of choice — have to say, I know that in a free land, they must be allowed to speak.
And do “we” need a law school professor to tell us how foolhardy it is try to keep a lid on “hate” at the expense of our most precious freedom, or how censorship laws give us a false sense of security and actually make us less secure? “I” think not.
What struck me was Wendy Lamperts assertion that Richard Moon has no agenda and is of course an “expert”. We don’t need another expert dictating what we may or may not say – it is not their right to do so.
As for Richard Moon’s agenda following is a former colleagues appraisal:
Anyway, discretion being the better part of valour, the Canadian Human Rights Commission less than a month ago decided it would not go ahead with the Steyn prosecution (though the Canadian Islamic Congress has just indicated it will appeal that decision). Instead, the commission opted for an in-house review of this hate speech provision and of its practices by a Canadian law professor — someone I once worked with in Hong Kong, as chance would have it. No one knows what this law professor will decide.
I have no doubt he will be scrupulously independent. I also have no doubt that if you subscribe to the view that “if you tell me the answer you want then I can appoint the sincere, honest people who will deliver you that answer”, then the commission would be hard pressed to find anyone better.
More on Richard Moon, he has some odd views on press freedom, not odd by censorship proponents standards of course.