Today’s Lynch List

July 31, 2009

Well, it’s that time of day again, for me to talk about all the people who have been talking about Jennifer Lynch and her wondrous multi-colour commission, with gratuitous mention of the various other commissions and commissioners currently mucking about in the Dominion.

First off, Lorne Gunter fires off a denunciation of the Ontario Human Rights Commission in the National Post: Phony courts, phony racism:

As if more proof were needed of how out-of-control Canada’s human-rights commissions have become, and what a threat they pose to impartial justice, along comes the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal’s ruling last month against Michael Shaw, a white Toronto police officer.

In the spring of 2005, Constable Shaw was patrolling the Bridal Path–a singularly wealthy Toronto neighbourhood composed of large mansions on sprawling multi-acre estates. Ronald Phipps, a black man, was criss-crossing a street in the Bridal Path, delivering letters in substitute for the regular mail carrier, who was away.

Even though Mr. Phipps was wearing a Canada Post uniform and carrying two official mail satchels, the officer thought his behaviour was unusual. For instance, Mr. Phipps returned to a home at which he had already delivered mail, and retrieved it.

So the officer followed Mr. Phipps for a short distance, then asked him for some identification. He ran his name through police computers, thanked him for his cooperation and sent him on his way. He also verified Mr. Phipps’ identity with a regular letter-carrier he knew in the area, a carrier who happened to be white.

From this series of events, Mr. Phipps gleaned that he had been racially profiled. He filed a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission, and, in June, adjudicator Kaye Joachim determined that the fact that Mr. Phipps “was an African-Canadian in an affluent neighbourhood was a factor, a significant factor, and probably the predominant factor, whether consciously or unconsciously, in Const. Shaw’s actions.” He found the officer guilty of discrimination.

Mr. Phipps admits that Const. Shaw never insulted him. He was not detained, not even briefly, nor was he arrested. He was asked for ID, thanked for producing it and permitted to go about his business. He was not tasered or struck with a club. No racial slurs were hurled at him.

He claims that since the incident he has been teased mercilessly by his co-workers. But that is their misbehaviour, not Const. Shaw’s.

He claims that since the incident, he has had trouble sleeping, has lost weight and is having difficulty fulfilling his second job as a personal trainer — all because a police officer asked him to produce some ID four years ago.

Read the rest here. You can also read this article in the Post‘s Full Comment blog, as pointed out by Blazing Cat Fur. For further reading, Margaret Wente had a column in the Globe and Mail on the same topic, as noted by GayAndRight. More on the Ontario Human Rights Commission from Howard Levitt in the Financial Post, as noted by Blazing Cat Fur.

Second, Janet Keeping of the Sheldon Chumir foundation writes, in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix: Personal attacks have no place in ethical debate:

The dispute over whether human rights commissions should have legal authority to punish offensive or hateful speech rages on.

But an important aspect of this and other public debates is too often overlooked: Even if we had complete freedom of expression, it wouldn’t follow that “anything goes.” It’s not ethically OK to be obnoxious.

Our legal right to speak is one thing, but how we exercise that right is quite another. Even if you are legally entitled to be offensive, you are still acting unethically if you deliberately set out to harm people by your words or if you just don’t care about the “collateral damage” your offensiveness causes.

Even in vigorous debate over public policy issues there are rules for verbal combat; there is an ethics of debate.

Rule No. 1: It is nearly always wrong to personally attack those who hold opinions different from yours. When done deliberately, attacking your opponents instead of their views is dishonest because it purports to be about one thing — the public policy in question — but is actually about something else, the destruction of your opponents’ credibility or integrity. It can also be self-defeating. When seen for what it is — basically, character assassination — it can undermine whatever validity there is in your policy position.

Regardless, the strategy is often employed, most notoriously at present, by Ezra Levant, lawyer, writer and blogger on human rights commission issues, in his campaign against Jennifer Lynch, Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

Read the rest here. Also noted by Small Dead Animals, Freedom Through Truth, and BigCityLib.

Fourth, Charlie Butts writes about the Court of Queen’s Bench Saskatchewan ruling in favor of a decision by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal against marriage commissioner Orville Nichols. For OneNewsNow: Clash of worldviews – coming to a wedding near you:

Earlier this month, the Queen’s Bench in Saskatchewan upheld the Human Rights Commission’s ruling that a government marriage commissioner illegally discriminated against a homosexual man by refusing to perform a marriage ceremony for him. That commissioner had cited religious objections to performing same-sex “marriages.”
 
Mat Staver of 
Liberty Counsel says the problem is not confined to Canada — and argues that the same thing is coming to the U.S. when homosexual marriage is legalized. As he points out, when Vermont legalized civil unions, clerks who perform marriage ceremonies were forced to choose between their faith and their careers.

Read the rest here. Also noted by Kingfisher Column.

Third, more coverage of Mark Steyn’s fundraiser for Ezra Levant’s legal fees ( courtousy of Khurram Awan ) from Closet Conservative, Shooting Star, Five Feet Of Fury, Prydain, Our Changing Landscape, Jay Currie, and Blazing Cat Fur. Finally, a word from Mark Steyn himself:

Thanks again to everyone who stopped by during our Sockquidation Day fundraiser for Canada’s pre-eminent freespeecher and human rights activist Ezra Levant.

In the course of the day, we offered some special prizes to big spenders, and I’m glad to say several customers rose to the bait. A Canadian cabinet minister chipped in just before we took down the shingle at midnight, but didn’t quite make the cut, constrained (one would like to think) by the parsimonious salary offered to Ministers of the Crown. At any rate, he was outspent by the private sector.

First off, the five winners of personally autographed copies of Liberal Fascism, a huge bestseller and a terrific read by Jonah Goldberg, my National Review colleague and lead singer of the Goldberg/Long/Steyn lounge act, the Three Tone-Deaf Tenors (Rob Long and I are a mere half-an-Andrew Ridgley apiece to Jonah’s George Michael). Anyway, enough of that. Here are the Liberal Fascism winners, in alphabetical order:

R J Aston of Essex, England

Chris Doherty of Burlington, Ontario

Daniel McGuire of the other end of the state from me, down in south-eastern New Hampshire

Joseph Shier of Toronto

Peter Vatsures of Dallas

Congratulations to all five. And my thanks to Jonah for his generous donation to the cause.

Another five big spenders win our new super-cool, not yet released SteynOnline mug. It won’t be available for a week or two yet, but we have some early prototypes full of hairline cracks that leak boiling liquid all over your crotch. Just kidding. They’re entirely non-defective. And, together with a SteynOnline note card from me, they’ll be going to:

Trent Boehm of Calgary

Robert Clarkson, also of Alberta

Catherine Smyth of Vancouver

Donald Stefanson of Birmingham, Alabama

Ronald Watts of Los Angeles

Mr Boehm was our biggest spender of the day, ordering up just shy of $900 worth of books in support of Ezra and free speech. Catherine Smyth was our highest-spending gal of the day, ordering up a bunch of books, T-shirts and even one of our swingin’ Saudpads not just for herself but for a family member down in Australia. We thank Trent, Catherine and all our other supporters from five continents very much.

Read it here.

Fourth, Lindy’s song Shakedown garners more coverage, from Marginalized Action Dinosaur, The Shotgun BlogGerry Nichols, Free Dominion, Deborah Gyapong, Calgary Libertarian, Dr. Roy’s ThoughtsJesse Kline,  and the Infidel Bloggers Alliance. Here’s a video of the song:

Fifth, Thaddeus M. Backlinski of LifeSiteNews writes about the Fredericton Right to Life Association’s taking Fredericton transit before the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission: New Brunswick Right To Life Group Takes Transit to HRC Over Refusal of Bus Ads:

FREDERICTON, July 30, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Fredericton Right to Life Association has filed a complaint with the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission against Fredericton Transit for its refusal to allow pro-life ads on its buses.

In the fall of 2008, the transit authority refused to sell advertising space to the pro-life group because it deemed the advertising to be political commentary.

The ads, which ran in over 50 communities, were part of a nationwide pro-life campaign, coordinated by Life Canada. The ads depict a pregnant woman in profile. At the top are the words, “Nine months: the length of time abortion is allowed in Canada. No medical reason needed.” At the bottom is the question, “Abortion, have we gone too far?”

The wording was subsequently changed to satisfy an Advertising Standards Canada (ASC) decision that ruled the ads “deceptive,” because the ads did not mention “access issues.” The revised version read: “The Human heart begins to beat 21 days after conception. Currently in Canada that heartbeat can be stopped up until birth. No medical reason needed. Abortion. Have we gone too far?”

Fredericton Right to Life spokesman Thaddee Renault said a recent 8-0 Canadian Supreme Court ruling against transit officials in British Columbia who had refused political ads on Vancouver buses, gives weight to his claim of discrimination. The ruling should also be applied equally to Fredericton Transit, he said.

“I would like to see them change their position on political advertising and not just to allow the politicians to be able to put out political beliefs,” Renault told the Daily Gleaner.Read

Read the rest here.

Sixth, Capital C talks about Ezra Levant’s book on Human Rights Commissions: On Shake Down by Ezra Levant:

Doing this on our behalf, in the name of Canadians, is the first reason to be outraged by the facts on which Ezra Levant sheds light in his book. The hijacking of the HRCs by social vandals is to be frowned upon, but their limits on our dearly held rights and freedoms (speech, property, religion), in the name of human rights no less, and to the benefit of profiting and manipulative individuals who have no fear of breaking laws themselves to reach their goals and line their pockets, is shocking to the highest degree. Creating work for themselves by spreading hate speech or having insiders file the majority of their complaints (while sitting as expert witnesses on these same cases) testifies to the corruption level of these organizations.

The “enforcers” of these creative and oppressive new “human rights” (i.e. the right not to be offended, the right to be socially validated, or the right to speak critically of Christianity but not Islam) are a frightening bread, whose flagrant lack of ethic evokes powerful feelings of fear. Their hyperextensive reach should indeed scare you… I am scared myself as I write these words. However, I stand united with the likes of Levant, Steyn, Maclean’s, the Red Deer Advocate and the league of bloggers who have or are currently facing the bureaucratic torture these kangaroo courts inflict.

Read the rest here.

Meanwhile, court can undo harm to free speech, the life of a female longshore worker, and what is going on in the Catholic Diocese of Peterborough?

Advertisements

Giving the Aussies a Few Pointers

July 30, 2009

The government of the Australian province of Victoria (includes the city of Melbourne) is underway with a review of their human rights legislation. Specifically, they are considering the list of exemptions to discrimination laws, deciding which to keep and which to repeal.

Some of the suggested amendments in the options paper have caused significant concern among many in Australia. Perusing the options document, it almost seems like they hired Barbara Hall herself to write it; almost every revision or repeal would strengthen the hand of the Victoria Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission. Many include additions of clauses that allow the VEOHRC to determine on a case-by-case basis whether an exemption is “objectively reasonable” – sounds like the Canadian HRCs’ classic make-work strategy. In fact, one provision allows the Commission to intervene in order to determine if a particular religious belief is “objectively verifiable”.

The same commission called publicly for this review of the exemptions at the conclusion of a 2008 report, in order to place more institutions under the watchful eye of the VEOHRC. (a hilarious coincidence – check the bottom of that link and note the last name of the media contact)

Some of the proposed changes include repeals of important exceptions – changes to exceptions 76 (religious schools) and 77 (religious beliefs or principles), are especially alarming. Traditionally, independent and religious schools have operated with an exemption from discrimination rules. For example, a Catholic school could use discriminatory hiring practices to employ only Catholics. If the proposed revisions were enacted, these schools may no longer be able to make such decisions.

Peter Costello, a member of Australia’s parliament, wrote an excellent column that lays out the possible consequences if the Victorian legislature moves forward with this. Here’s an excerpt:

[The VEOHRC] harbours the view that discrimination has gotten sophisticated – so hard to find under current law – that we must widen the law to catch more of it. One area in the State Government’s sights is religious bodies, and their schools.

Now, discrimination statutes don’t apply to religious organizations and their schools on the grounds of freedom of religion. So a parliamentary committee has recommended options to extend the power of the state over the province of religion. One proposed change is to restrict the freedom of religious schools to choose their employees on the basis of their religious faith.

The Christian churches want to continue current practice. But a host of community organizations want to change it. The Federation of Community Legal Services told the parliamentary review that the law should change, claiming “to allow religious organizations a broad exemption for conscience encourages prejudice”.

Just think about that statement. According to these lawyers, a religious conscience leads to prejudice.

Within the document, the VEOHRC also quotes the Canadian HRC system with respects to Jennifer Lynch’s “No right is absolute” moniker. They do this in order to support their claim that more limitations to particular rights should be justifiable, at the discretion of, you guessed it, the VEOHRC.

One more reason to stop Jennifer Lynch and her provincial counterparts – they’re taking the whole world down with them. Maybe we can tell the Aussies that in Canada people are criticizing them even in the most left-wing newspaper in the country.


Will the REAL COURT please stand up?

July 30, 2009

[ ED NOTE: Don Sharpe from the Sharpe Stick blog was kind enough to allow me to re-post this article from his blog. You can read the original here. ]

Bring on the Real Courts!

The Calgary Herald – rapidly becoming my favorite MSM publication, publishes an editorial outlining the opportunity Canada’s REAL COURTS have to squash the HRC’s. (h/t Kathy Shaidle at Five Feet of Fury)

They call it “a golden opportunity” on Sept 16, to put a bullet in the head of the Alberta HRC by declaring unconstitutional sections of the code relating to free speech.

The moles and weasels at the AHRC have, of course “chosen not to participate (again)” as truth will be a defence, and there is real danger that Ezra Levant might appear in the courtroom!

TNOYF reminds us of how powerful Ezra is.


Today’s Lynch List – all about Ezra mix

July 29, 2009

It’s that time again, for me to talk about all the people who have been talking about Jennifer Lynch and her wondrous multi-colour commission, with gratuitous mention of the various other commissioners and commissions currently mucking about in the Dominion.

First off, let’s talk all about Mark Steyn’s fundraiser to help defray some of Ezra Levant’s legal costs from his – latest – HRC-related lawsuit. Here’s what Mark’s got to say about it, in a sort of running commentary on his blog:

Jonah’s bonus:

For our ten biggest spenders on our special Ezra Levant free-speech fundraising day, we have some special bonus gifts. The five biggest spenders in the course of the day will also receive, free, one of our brand new, exclusive SteynOnline mugs. They’re not yet available for sale, but we’ve got a few advance copies, and the top five fundraisers between now and midnight (Eastern) will get one slipped into their shipping cartons – together with a personal thank-you card from me. They’re very cool, and, if you want to start the day with a couple of extra shots, this is the way to do it. 

But the fun doesn’t stop there! Jonah Goldberg, my distinguished colleague at National Review (and with Rob Long one-third of the Goldberg-Long-Steyn Three Tone-Deaf Tenors act), is also doing his bit for the cause of northern freedom. Jonah’s kindly donated five copies of his runaway success Liberal Fascism – which is not just a bestselling book but an important one, too. So the next five biggest spenders (after our coffee mug winners) will receive Liberal Fascism – and Jonah’s offered to autograph the book personally to the lucky recipients.

Read the rest here.

Sockquidation Day update:

All day today we’re holding a special fundraiser for Ezra Levant, free speech champion and the most sued man in Canada, to help him see off the Canadian Islamic Congress’ last surviving sock puppet, and restore some of Canada’s lost liberties. Or as Don Sharpe says: “Let’s bring down the gavel on Islamic lawfare.”

We’re a little over halfway through our 24 hours, and I’m very grateful to all the freespeechers who’ve stopped by so far, from Australia to Singapore to Brazil, from Helsinki to Monte Carlo to Chipping Ongar to Palestine – er, Palestine, Texas, that is. Don’t forget, for every copy of every item sold at the Steyn store, we’ll give 50 per cent of the cover price – ie, our entire profit – to Ezra’s legal defense fund.

Read the rest here.

Socktacular!:

In the dying moments of our Socktastic Sockquidation Socktacular, I’d like to thank all the folks who swung by in these past 23-plus hours to buy a book, CD, mug or T-shirt and help support Ezra Levant, a great fighter for freedom. Fittingly enough, our biggest-selling item today was the SteynOnline Free Speech Special, containing three books – my own Lights Out, Ezra’s Shakedown, and Kathy Shaidle & Pete Vere’s Tyranny Of Nice – that the state censorship lobby doesn’t want you to read.

I’ve been immensely heartened by the support for Ezra from all corners of the globe, from Finland to the Philippines, from Sydney to Sao Paulo, from Monte Carlo to Moose Jaw. Tomorrow we’ll announce the winners of our special prizes, but for tonight’s closing remarks I like what the Closet Conservative says:

I think there are several lessons to be learned from this event… Ezra Levant, Canadian Zhooooo Extraordinnaire publishes Danish Mohammadoodles, gets investigated by Kanadian Kangaroo Kourts, and then posts his interrogation on the intertubes and BAM! Support and donations roll in from all over the world.

Steyn, from his Secret American Lair, with the enthusiastic help of fellow hatemongers all over the intertubes, gets a massive fundraising campaign going to help Ez fight the global jihad via its insidious lawfare tactic.

This says to me that there are many good people willing to fight, write cheques, write words and write songs to grind those bastards down.

There are. Khurrum Awan is the last sock in Mohammed Elmasry’s drawer – and, as one reader put it earlier today, “Awan is the loneliest number.” But he’s symptomatic of the larger struggle – of the freakshow alliance between Islamist intolerance and statist social engineering. If he ever sincerely wanted to “start that debate” he’s always on about, he must know by now that he’d lose. So all he has left is semi-illiterate litigious bluster.

Read it all here.

If you missed your chance to buy yourself some nice t-shirts and mugs and books and whatnot from the SteynStore, why not mosey on over and pick something up anyway? Can’t hurt.  More coverage from Deborah Gyapong, No ApologiesBecause No One AskedSharpe StickAllan’s Perspective, Closet Conservative, and from Mark Steyn in NRO’s The Corner:

Having threatened physical violence against the editors, I wonder if I might beg their indulgence. Readers will recall Ezra Levant, my comrade in Canada’s battle for free speech (coming soon to the U.S., mark my words*) and the man whose video interrogation by the Alberta “Human Rights” Commission lit up the Internet.

Because his campaign has been so successful, Ezra has been subject to a ton of frivolous lawsuits designed to bury him. The latest is from the Canadian Islamic Congress’s Khurrum Awan, the phony “plaintiff” in my show trial in Vancouver last year. Fighting off Islamic “lawfare” takes time and money. So we’re having a little fundraiser for Ezra over at my place: You get some autographed books and other stuff, and the profits go to help a great warrior for liberty keep up the fight, and end a disgusting system that imposes lifetime speech bans on supposedly free-born citizens.

Read the rest here.

Meanwhile, Ezra Levant talks about Mark on his blog: Mark Steyn, my friend and ally:

Mark Steyn has done a lot of heavy lifting on the fight for freedom of speech in Canada, which is all the more amazing considering he is based in the U.S. I think we’re lucky that he continues to fight for us, given how easy it would be for him to simply ignore Jennifer Lynch, Richard Warman and the rest of the censors at the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

For one day, starting at midnight tonight, Steyn has generously offered to donate the proceeds from his book sales at his website’s store to my legal defence against Khurrum Awan’s nuisance suit.

If you want a copy of anything Steynian — or even a copy of Shakedown, which he sells on his site! — please do your shopping tonight or tomorrow!

Meanwhile, Mark Steyn continues his Khurram coverage with a query: Is Khurrum Awan a Jewish secret agent?

“Ernst Gauss” (last heard from in these quarters here and here) writes:

You may or may not have noticed, but it seems that the CHRC has decided it would be better if they did not jail Terry Tremaine…for now.

There is no doubt at all that Terry’s fate is a direct result of the efforts of you and Mr. Levant. You are quite correct, people who value freedom owe the both of you a debt. In particular Ezra Levant, who fights his battles directly in the maw of the beast. You both deserve to be congratulated, thanked, and supported.

As for you finding the relationship between Ruby/Shiller, Warman, Khurrum, the CJC etc unusual, if you took the time to consider what we evil “white supremacists” have been saying for years, it makes perfect sense. The most important thing for the Tribe (Official Jews, if you prefer) is to retain their cudgel of legal censorship and professional victim status. Who better to advance their interests than Khurrum, a former sock puppet for the CIC, now a Sock Puppet for the CJC?

A month ago Khurrum was a loose cannon, detrimental to their interests. Now he is their weapon, aimed at those who would undermine the “hate” laws they worked so hard to put in place. Look for a flood of behind the scenes lawyering money to mysteriously make an appearance, as has been the case throughout Warman’s career.

You might want to consider picking up a book co-written by Canadian Claire Hoy and a former Canadian Mossad agent called “By Way of Deception”. I expect you’ll survive reading it without turning into a white supremacist. But reading the book may just give you some insight as to why some of us see this issue as just one more battlefield in a larger war.

To paraphrase a well known writer, “not all the Chosen are hot for world dominance, but enough share the goals to make up an impressive support network”. You have your ethnic/religious groups you keep your eye on, and I have mine……..

Regards,

Ernst Gauss

Khurrum Awan, Zionist Sock Puppet? The must cunning weapon of the International Jewish Conspiracy yet?

Read the rest here.

More coverage from Clipmarks, and Closet Conservative ponders the longest suicide note ever:

OMG. Is this ever good.  Ezra Levant’s post about his latest lawfare antagonist, writing “the longest suicide note ever”.

 Seriously EVAH.

Second, have you heard the Shakedown song yet? Matthew Johnston from the Shotgun Blog explains:

This past weekend was the ninth annual Liberty Summer Seminarheld in Orono, Ontario. We will release video of all the speeches and events shortly, but we have a very special video that we are releasing right now.

The incredibly talented musician Lindy Vopnfjord put together a song in honour of our friend and former publisher, Ezra Levant, and his continuing battle against the Canadian Human Rights Commission. The song, appropriately called “Shakedown,” sharing a name with Ezra’s book, is a tribute to freedom of expression, and hammers home the message that the Canadian Human Rights Commissions are in violation of this traditional Canadian freedom.

The song was debuted at this year’s Liberty Summer Seminar. Here is the video:

Also noted by Deborah Gyapong, Canadian Human Rights Commission Exposed, Ezra Levant, and the Freedomsite Blog. Meanwhile, Jason Kenney makes a guest appearance.

Third, more coverage of the Court of Queen’s Bench decision backing up the Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal ruling against Orville Nichols, from The Seattle Stranger. Also, more from the Melfort Journal: Don’t blindly follow orders:

This is a great country we live in, Canada. We have rules that protect people from being discriminated against based on a multitude of factors, including: gender, religion, ethnicity, marital status and beliefs. It is the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which protects people from discrimination, and closer to home there is the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code, which performs a similar act.

The Court of Queen’s Bench recently upheld a decision that states a person was discriminated against when a marriage commissioner declined to marry him and his same-sex partner.

A recent news release from the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission states that marriage commissioners are statutory officers appointed to perform civil marriages. It also states that to allow public officials to insert their personal beliefs into decisions about who and who should not receive a public service would undermine the protections of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code.

So public officials are not allowed to use personal beliefs in their actions, but personal beliefs is what makes people human. People are not mindless drones, robots that blindly follow orders and do exactly what they are told despite knowing in the back of their mind that it goes against their beliefs.

Whether it is right or wrong for same-sex marriages to occur is not the issue, what is concerning is that public officials are expected to be drones of the system.

Read the rest here.

Fourth, Peter Worthington’s latest column for the Sun papers has appeared in the Edmonton Sun: Rein in the human rights bureaucracy, and in the Owen Sound Sun Times: The wrongs of human rights too plentiful. Also covered by Canadian Human Rights Commission Exposed, and Marc Lemire. Meanwhile, the recent editorial in the Calgary Herald on Stephen Boissoin’s recent appeal recieves some additional commentary from No Apologies. Also, Northumberland Today’s recent story covering Jim Corcoran’s complaint before the OHRC against several members of the Catholic Church is noted by the ADF Alliance Alert.

Fifth, Tom Waldman, via the Internet Review Of Books, gives a review of Ezra Levant’s Shakedown:

Like unemployed youth, liberals with too much free time can pose a problem for society. In America, we have seen proof of this repeatedly over the past two decades, as long-standing organizations dedicated to the civil rights, dignity, and respect of various groups continue to behave as if the country has not changed since 1950.
There are African-American leaders who will see no progress until every last racist either dies or renounces his former self; and feminists who rail against rampant sexism even as more and more women achieve economic and political power. The recent debate over same-sex marriage predictably has been personalized by a number of prominent gays who argue that advances in the status of their people are meaningless unless Adam and Steve can legally exchange vows in all fifty states.

In his entertaining and persuasive book, author Ezra Levant demonstrated to this Yankee reader that a similar disease afflicts the Left in Canada. To be sure, Levant is no disinterested observer: his target, the Canadian Human Rights Commission, in 2008 charged him with discrimination. He had been hauled before the CHRC—Alberta version—as a result of having published in his magazine Western Standard controversial Danish cartoons depicting Mohammed. The case was brought by a Calgary imam born in Pakistan.

Levant’s penchant for self-promotion, which is evident throughout the book, should not prejudice the reader against his sound argument that by refusing to acknowledge positive change, the left is destroying its own credibility. He also shows how the Canadian Human Rights Commission can disdain such cherished concepts as freedom of speech and freedom of expression in its zeal to obtain justice for a diverse collection of victims.

Read the rest here.

Sixth, Howard Levitt writes in the Financial Post that: Human rights policy not the same as law:

An employer changes its shifts. As a result, one worker can no longer find childcare. Whose problem is this?

Most would say it’s the employee’s. The Ontario Human Rights Commission, no surprise, has a different view. According to the Commission, that employer is now guilty of discrimination and must reorganize her shifts to accommodate her childcare needs.

What impact will that have on workplace efficiency? For that matter, what will the reaction be of other employees who equally dislike their new shift schedule? Those issues, of course, don’t matter to the Commission.

The Ontario Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination based on “family status,” that is, being in a parent-child relationship. Very few employees or employers are even aware of this right.

Read the rest here.

Eighth, the Toronto Star receives a letter from one Jeff Burke that’s worth a read Chinese dissident in for letdown:

Re: Chinese dissident saved by Canada details horror, Opinion July 26

Claiming that he’s “elated by the precious gift of freedom” afforded to him in Canada, Jiang Weiping, a Chinese writer who now lives in Canada after years of suffering in prison for exposing corruption in China, declared in Haroon Siddiqui’s latest column that now he “can write and publish what I want, and nobody will penalize me.”

Unless, that is, he hurts their feelings.

Mr. Weiping is in for a real letdown once he gets wind of the Canadian Human Rights Commission’s views on the matter of free speech.

Jeff Burke, Toronto

Finally, “Bigoted and Unnecessary”; and The Nose On Your Face has taken the time to compile the top nine little-known facts about Ezra Levant:

9. Global warming began when Ezra Levant willed the temperature in Canada up a few degrees–you know, just to take the chill out of the air. 8. 95% of all monsters surveyed reported that they are either “absolutely terrified” or “hysterically afraid” of Ezra Levant. Levant already ate the remaining 5%.

7. Ezra Levant once looked Helen Thomas directly in the face and lived to tell about it.

6. (tie) Ezra Levant can grow a thicker mustache than both Tom Selleck and Rosie O’Donnell.

6. (tie) Ezra Levant is actually registered twice as a lethal weapon: once for himself and once for his aura.

5. Ezra Levanteats live cougars sprinkled with Jack Bauer, washes it down with a sandpaper and Chuck Liddell milkshake, and then wipes himself with Chuck Norris.

4. Ezra Levant got the gang from Scooby Doo to stop meddling. Singlehandedly.

3. Ezra Levant forced the band “Better Than Ezra” to change their name to “Alberta Human Rights Commission”: because no one is better than Ezra.

2. New studies show that Muslim suicide bombers aren’t sacrificing themselves for Allah, they’re just trying to escape the wrath of Ezra Levant.

1. If you ever find yourself being persecuted for your views by one of those politically correct government types, simply say “Ezra Levant” three times really fast. He will appear out of thin air and reduce the offender to a whimpering kitten in no time flat with his irresistible onslaught of crane-style verbal kung fu.

Read it here.

More updates to come, I’m sure.


Stephen Boissoin Appeal Launched

July 29, 2009

[ ED NOTE: Scary Fundamentalist from the Scary Fundamentalist blog was kind enough to allow me to cross-post this article from his blog. The original can be read here. ]

It’s about time that the appeal of Stephen Boisson’s ridiculous verdict from the Alberta Human Rights Commission got underway. The Freedom Through Truth Blog has received the 36-page brief that was recently submitted to the Court of Queens Bench of Alberta. This is much more far-reaching than a battle between the Alberta government and a country pastor. This case is being brought to a real court on behalf of all of us who value freedom from government interference in our speech. A victory would be a devastating uppercut in the fight against the Human Rights Commissions and their controlling agenda.

Boisson’s verdict at the AHRC was troubling: the pastor was found guilty of speech that “is likely to expose a person or class of persons to hatred or contempt” when a firebrand letter-to-the-editor critical of the gay agenda was published in the Red Deer Advocate. But there are more troubling aspects to the case beyond the verdict. For example, the complainant wasn’t gay – he was just a serial complainant who was handsomely awarded a fat wad of Boisson’s money as part of the sentence. Boisson was also issued thought-control orders that would make Mao blush – like the instructions on what he is allowed to preach about in the future. Add to this the fact that the Alberta government stepped in to argue against Boisson.

I encourage you to do what you can for this case: spread the word, blog about it, contribute to his defense fund, and pray for it if you are so inclined. Apparently, due to the amazing fundraising efforts of individuals and organizations supporting him, including ECP, he was able to retain one of the province’s best lawyers in the field of human rights issues, a testament to the importance of continued financial support for those who soldier on ahead of us.

UPDATE 23Jul09: A reader has supplied a link to Boisson’s full legal brief. Catching my eye in a two-second scan is this opening broadside salvo, using Professor Moon as a reference:

There can be no argument that Canadian courts in the past have been comfortable with government censorship. However, Canada’s experiment with “Big Brother” has only demonstrated that censorship powers will invariably be used to suppress free debate and will not achieve the intended goal of promoting respect, tolerance, and understanding.

The case is scheduled for September 16 and 17.


Stephen Boissoin/Bishop De Angelis in Context

July 29, 2009

The View from a Pew

[ ED NOTE: Mbrandon8026 from the Freedom Through Truth blog was kind enough to allow me to cross-post this article from his blog. The original can be read here. ]

Yesterday morning, my wife and I went to Sunday mass as we usually do. I say usually, in the context that it is something we very much enjoy, but due to a lot of illness over the last 5 1/2 years, we have been unable often to attend. In actual fact, we were only healthy enough to attend regularly and joined St. George’s Parish in London, Ontario this past Fall, about the time Jim Corcoran and his partner went to St. Michael’s in Cobourg. And that shows you where my mind is at as I attend mass each of the last few weeks.

I find it hard to concentrate at Mass lately, though the music and liturgy are very beautiful, the homilies are thoughtful, and the sacrament is after all the sacrament.

You see, I have been preoccupied with the trials, both literal and figurative of my friend Stephen Boissoin, and of Bishop De Angelis and the parishioners of St. Michael’s, Cobourg. But, yesterday, I tried to put it all into context.

My wife and I arrived just before mass started and so we sat at the very back of the church on the side. The Church has a lovely semi circular layout, sloping down to the altar, making the altar visible from everywhere.

As I looked over to the choir area, I saw the piano player, who is a 24 year old young woman, whose father I hired when he emigrated from Sri Lanka before she was born. I remember holding her in my arms when she was a little girl. In front of us was Dr. John Snyder and his lovely wife. Dr. Snyder has taught at King’s College at Western University for over 40 years, though he officially retired years ago. He taught me and my not then wife, Theology of Marriage back in the late 60’s, and then this past year taught the same course to my 20 year old daughter. I was a very slow learner, through no fault of the good doctor.

There are several Sri Lankans in our parish, as the Associate Pastor Fr. Francis Jeyaseelan is Sri Lankan, and a kind and gentle man. Near us a little 2 year old Sri Lankan girl in a pretty blue dress spotted another little girl along the way, and gradually left her family and worked her way across the back to her new best friend. The innocence of little children. At the end of the mass, the parents of both children spoke together for the first time.

Across the way, a woman training a guide dog to be given to a blind person soon was there with her trainee. There were 500 stories in that Church yesterday at just that one mass.

It was the 17th Sunday in Ordinary time, or as I prefer to call it, Loaves and Fishes Sunday. So, I symbolically laid my concerns for Stephen, and for Bishop De Angelis and the people of St. Michael’s, Cobourg on our altar, and entered into the worship of the moment as best I could.

The readings available here, are not just about the multiplication of food that Jesus did, but also what happened when Elisha the prophet multiples the 20 barley loaves to feed 100 people by his faith in God.

The Psalm reading from Psalm 145 had as a response: “The hand of the Lord feeds us: He answers all our needs.”

And in case it was not clear to me, there was the reading from Ephesians Chapter 4 with these words: “I, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love,
striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.”

Our Pastor, Fr. John Pirt spoke about a homily that Pope John Paul II had given about the gospel reading of the loaves and fishes. The Pope had spoken of the boy coming forward with his 5 barley loaves and 2 fish in humility as his gift. He said that when you present your gifts to God for Him to use in a spirit of humility, and allow him to mould their use, then the results will far exceed your expectations, as they did in this case.

Later, I thought of what this meant in the situations that I have been praying particularly about here.

I thought of Stephen Boissoin, and of his humility and prayerfullness, of how he has been through serious trials these last several years, and yet has continued to stand without losing his faith, or his resolve to stand until the end. he has the services of a very competent lawyer, and I pray that all will go well at the Alberta Court of Queens Bench this September.

I thought of the humble request that Bishop De Angelis made of Jim Corcoran, and of his prayerfullness. I thought too of how difficult it must have been for him to sign the order of excommunication for Fr. Ed Cachia, of his patience with him in offering him time to recant, even though Ed Cachia had done it all to himself.

Then I thought of Jim Corcoran, Fr. Alan Hood and Ed Cachia, and of their fears and sorrows. How many people will be hurt along this pathway? How many people’s fragile faith will be harmed by what is happening here?

I feel a great sadness that the innocence and wonder that exists in St. George’s, London is currently missing for the people at St. Michael’s, Cobourg, due to this unnecessary, hurtful activity going on there. But then, maybe this is the gift that all of these people have to give to the Lord. God wants us to give what we have, including our hurt, our anger, our loneliness, our pride, our sadness, guilt, and fears.


Jim Corcoran at the OHRC: Unconstitutional

July 29, 2009
[ ED NOTE: Scary Fundamentalist, from the Scary Fundamentalist blog, was kind enough to allow me to cross-post this article from his ( I’m assuming, but correct me if I’m wrong ) blog. You can read the original here. You can also read some of Scary Fundamentalist’s previous thoughts on Jim Corcoran’s complaint here and here. ]
As I continue my self-taught crash course in rights and freedoms, it becomes readily apparent to me that Jim Corcoran’s complaint against Bishop DeAngelis and fellow parishioners doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on. If the Ontario Human Rights Commission would go so far as to rule in favour of the plaintiff, this one should be appealed and quashed in short order. That would further erode the reputation of Barbara Hall’s inquisition, and Canada’s HRCs in general. Knowing that, I would expect the OHRC to drop this like a hot potato but, strangely, as yet they have not.

Considering that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is Constitutional Law, while the Human Rights Code and provincial versions of it are Statute Law, the Code is subservient to the Charter. Front and center in the charter is what it calls “fundamental freedoms”, including:

(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.

A ruling from the tribunal against the defendants would transgress all four of these. Freedom of religion would obviously be relegated to nominal lip service. The 12 parishioners would be punished for expressing their opinion. The peaceful assembly of the church would be disrupted by a government agency who would force upon it both membership and leadership. And freedom of association would be subject to the approval of the likes of Barbara Hall.

But what about equality in the Charter? Indeed, the only part of the Charter that forbids discrimination does so in just one important aspect: equality before the law (section 15).

A few cheerleaders have emerged in support of Corcoran’s position. A column by Russell Moore in the Northumberland News, sputters:

This is open and blatant discrimination. Mr. Corcoran is well justified in approaching the Human Rights Tribunal rather than allowing the church to deal with this matter internally… What is right and proper is that the essential goodness of Mr. Corcoran be recognized and that his sexual orientation should carry absolutely no weight in this matter.

 
So Mr. Moore claims the following:

1) The Human Rights Tribunal has the mandate to recognize “essential goodness”, and therefore the power to enforce that opinion on religious bodies.

2) Mr. Moore’s opinion of what is right and proper is enforceable by government agents, but the twelve parishioners’ opinion of what is right and proper is invalid.

3) Sexual orientation carries absolutely no weight in an internal matter involving a religion that expressly forbids homosexual acts.

Mr Moore ends with the ironic statement, “Some questions are best left to God and that will be dealt with in due course.” Maybe he should read his own words.

Another letter, in the Northumberland Today, states,

“No institution, public or private, should be exempt from honouring the human rights of all people.

 
For too long, our churches have exempted themselves from the improving human rights standards of our broader society. It is time for accountability on their part. These institutions are the only ones we have, they are those of the whole community and must not continue to serve only fragments thereof.”

 
Here’s a hint – look up the concept of “freedom of association”. Any association retains the freedom to define the beliefs necessary for membership. This was made clear in the US (Democratic Party v. Wisconsin ex rel. La Follette, 450 U.S. 107 (1981)):

…this freedom to gather in association for the purpose of advancing shared beliefs is protected by the Fourteenth Amendment from infringement by any State, and necessarily presupposes the freedom to identify the people who constitute the association and to limit the association to those people only.

This has also been confirmed in Canadian law, ostensibly on appeal after the BC Human Rights Tribunal first erred in a case involving the Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter. Indeed, in Trinity Western University vs British Columbia College of Teachers, the Supreme Court of Canada declared that equality rights on the basis of sexual orientation do not trump freedom of religion and association.

As enticing as it is for Barbara Hall to use her Human Rights Commission to declare herself the ultimate authority in every religion, I still can’t believe she is so daft as to proceed with this.