…in the age of “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas!” Scaramouche rips into the CJC.
Update: Bernie’s Hate Speech Law Tribute Page is back on line.
My original take on the CJC’s paean to Section 13 (1):
The CJC’s new “Hate Speech” page is every bit as specious as the arguments of Mr. Tsesis their legal champion.
First off the Taylor Decision it so righteously cites has been repeatedly abused by the CHRC in it’s application of Section 13 (1). The Taylor decision initially saved Section 13 (1) by finding it minimally impaired Canadians’ rights providing the Act’s overriding objective of remediation and conciliation was observed. As the Lemire decision and other case histories have indicated the CHRC has moved well beyond remediation and conciliation in 13 (1)’s application, stretching its interpretation of Taylor from Shield into Sword. Of greater concern is that as the Macleans and Levant cases clearly illustrate Section 13 (1) is open to abuse by those whose goal is to promote a political agenda and limit political speech they disagree with. At further issue is that the HRC’s themselves are open to infiltration and a variant of “regulatory capture“, Ask EX-CHRC Staffer & current CJC Prez Mark Freiman about that;) Recent history has shown how Section 13 (1) and HRC’s in general have been co-opted as dangerous political weapons, these lessons cannot be ignored or fluffed off as mere administrative failings as the CJC would wish.
According to the CJC the matter of Section 13 (1) & Free Speech only became news because of the attempts by various Human Rights Commissions to muzzle the press. The CJC conveniently ignores the attacks on religious freedom that have been conducted by the CHRC and continue to be waged by its provincial counterparts. They imply that because the cases against Mark Steyn/Macleans & Ezra Levant were dismissed that the system “works”. Very few possess the resources and fortitude that Macleans and Levant were able to muster in their defense. What the CJC disingenuously fails to mention is that the accused under Section 13 (1) have the full weight of the state levied against them, they are not entitled to legal aid, and truth is not a defense, so onerous is the burden endured by the accused that the process itself is the punishment. That’s a fine system – for North Korea and other such ratholes where state oppression is the norm, the CHRC had no right nor any business investigating either case to begin with and it was only when they had their nose bloodied by an outraged public that they decided to back off.
Naturally the CJC would omit mention that support for Section 13 (1) is limited to a very few special interest groups, among them are The Canadian Islamic Congress , a key player in the “political abuse” of Section 13 (1) , and perversely B’nai Brith, itself subject to a 5 year hearing under the “political abuse” of Manitoba’s variant of 13 (1). Support for the outright repeal of Section 13 (1) on the other hand encompasses a broad range of institutions spanning the full spectrum of political ideology which includes: The Canadian Civil Rights Association, The BC Civil Rights Association, The Catholic Civil Rights League, The Canadian Constitution Foundation, The Canadian Centre for Policy Studies, Pen Canada, The Canadian Association of Journalists, Egale, The Catholic Women’s League and virtually any newspaper you care to name. These institutions recognize what the CJC fails to acknowledge, that the danger of this law to our society is inherent to Section 13 (1) itself, that it is anti-democratic and subject to abuse as a bludgeon to silence political & religious belief and that no effort should be made to “tinker” with a statute that should never have been given life to begin with.
I will give the CEEJ credit however, they do a very nice job of laying out the differences between the prosecution of hate speech under the criminal code vs. prosecution of hate speech under Section 13 (1) of the CHRA. Under Section 13 (1) the accused has none of the protections afforded under due process perfectly illustrating that this odious law is nothing more than an attempt to sidestep the legal traditions that have served as the bedrock of democratic society. Thanks for that.
Oh, one other thing the CEEJ gets right – “To compare the situation of Germany in the 1920s and 1930s to present-day Canada is ludicrous.” Truer words were never spoken.
Screenshots of Bernie’s Hate Speech Law Tribute Page, lest it go bye bye again