Alright, here we go.
First off, Educational Technology Professor writes: Left and Right Advocates for Freedom of Speech in Canada:
Freedom of speech is the inherent human right to voice one’s opinion publicly without fear of censorship or punishment, no matter who is doing the speaking. “Speech” is not limited to oral or public speaking and is generally taken to include other forms of expression, including diverse forms of media.
Freedom of speech is considered fundamental to democratic citizenship, and therefore, along with other fundamental freedoms, it is enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, along with freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, freedom of thought, freedom of belief, freedom of expression, freedom of the press and of other media of communication, freedom of peaceful assembly, and freedom of association.
While I completed my Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education degrees with an eye on inspiring generations of high school students in my English classroom, I developed a passionate interest in issues of censorship and punishment with regard to my curriculum (i.e., the evils of book burning, book banning, denying our heritage, anyone?). As I developed my research program in educational technology as a Master of Science, and then as a Doctor of Philosophy graduate student, I began to delve further into the relationship between media, networks, open access and freedom of speech and expression (i.e., anyone, anywhere, anytime access to people & their opinions, and anyone, anywhere, anytime ability to publish ideas broadly). My first “free speech” crime was circumventing the Canadian media publication ban by obtaining press reports and articles from the United States media on the Karla Homolka trial using lynx and gopher and email. Okay, RCMP, come and get me.
For the past two years, I have been monitoring the tensions between fervent advocates of free speech and those in the human rights industry who preach “responsible speech” in the context of digital media and the internet. A question I ask reflects my stance on protecting freedom of speech, “What happens to academic and political debate and decision-making if the diverse perspectives published online, some of which may be regarded as unpopular or unsavoury, are silenced?” For more about my inquiry and perspectives on the “idea of a participatory social, academic and political Web 2.0″, please see my editorial in CJLT.
Meanwhile, at MediaBuzzard.com, ‘Dirk’ writes: God Bless your heart Richard Warman, which is also picked up by the New Democrats Online – ( and as Blazing Cat Fur noted, once you’ve started losing the NDP… ), and Denyse O’Leary at Post-Darwinist writes: Intellectual freedom in Canada: Letter to Canadian civil rights lawyer Ezra Levant ( also noted at my personal blog ).
Second, Scaramouche makes an interesting discovery:
You had to know this was coming (even if the Harper government didn’t):Stephen Harper’s pick for CEO of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is a long-time Conservative politician with a history of voting against gay and lesbian rights.Appointing someone who appears more in synch with the Reverend Stephen Boisson than with Commissar Lynch to head up our nation’s shrine to victimhood? Oh, dear. Stephen Harper, you got some ‘splaining to do.
This week’s announcement that Stuart Murray, former leader of Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative Party, will head up Canada’s newest national museum has sparked cries of protest across the country.
“I’m outraged,” says Daniel Voth, a political science student at the University of British Columbia. Voth sent an email to academics, politicians and friends urging them to take action against Murray’s appointment. “I hope people make a stink.”
“His voting record concerns me,” says Jennifer Breakspear, the executive director of Vancouver’s queer resource centre, Qmunity. She is also a member of the museum’s content advisory committee, which is conducting public roundtables across Canada. “I look forward to meeting him and asking him about his record and where he stands now.”
Murray was leader of Manitoba’s official opposition from 2000 to 2006, when the NDP government introduced legislation to extend pension and adoption rights to same-sex couples. He opposed both measures.
Murray answered questions about his political record during an interview with a CBC Radio show in Winnipeg. When asked about his party’s stand against same-sex adoption, he said, “That was a caucus decision that we made. I don’t have an issue with that personally.” But he refused to say whether, if given a second chance, he would vote the same way.
Asked whether he agrees that same-sex couples should be entitled to equal pension rights, he answered, “As a private citizen, I do.”
Murray recently served as CEO of a hospital foundation in Winnipeg. Prior to entering politics, he was CEO of Domo Gas.
The $265-million Canadian Museum for Human Rights is being built in Winnipeg, where it is slated to open in 2012. Following the outburst over Murray’s appointment, the museum issued a statement declaring that he would “welcome the opportunity to meet with representatives from the LGBT community to a meeting at their earliest convenience.”…
…and now for the sequence of events.
The general public is and has been aware of my total contempt and disdain for hrc’s far and wide, openly voiced here and in real life. One cannot love freedom, democracy and justice without hating the alter, and in my observations of their bullying and totalitarian tactics, my disgust and anger was, is and WILL be apparent.
The RCMP called me late afternoon yesterday and asked if they could visit me, to which I agreed immediately. However, I thought this visit had to do with an investigation over a recent filed complaint I made with the Police Services Commission over violation of oath and code, abuse of system, and duplicity/partiality of several Renfrew OPP officers.
It was interesting when I started the conversation, leading off on that note, when I realized the issue was a complaint by the crybabies at the hrc who did not like me to be so critical of their attacks on justice, democracy and freedom.
The officer made it clear this was an official investigation and read me my rights, which I summarily dismissed and invited him to bring out a tape recorder if he had one in his pack, which he did, and turn it on.
When he did I made a statement about my right to freedom of expression and I made it clear that I would not desist in any way in exercising this freedom fought for in the last Great Wars, also mentioning that I had relatives who had shot better people than hrc tyrrants.
The officer indicated this was about comments made on the “Lemire” case but I corrected this by stating every case I have observed in the jungle of hrc defecation to be similar and an attack on freedom, justice and democracy so my comments and criticisms applied to everything they had touched and defiled. He asked if I used any other computer and I stated the truth that I used only the one in my study. The initial session lasted about twenty minutes after which we had conversations off the record about the fascism of the “Places to Grow Act” wherein the lieberals had written into the act that no compensation would be allowed for landowners and that redress before the courts was made illegal. When a provincial government takes away the basic right to a man’s day in court the best word for that is FASCISM and FASCISTS.
Anyway, this material will be taken to his supervisor and then to Ottawa where an official will make a decision. I think that this issue falls under “Section 59” that prohibits intimidation/threats of the hrc’s, right after the part where they are given entitlement to special soft toilet paper and mandatory “bidets” in their sheltered existences. Seems that they have yet to learn that as public figures, they are subject to criticism and ridicule. Respect must be earned, and what these self important pitiful excuses for people see to not have learned is nobody, myself included, can be mandated by decree to bow down at their feet and worship their pathetic personages. I think they are a waste of human air and skin.
The issue is strictly one of interpretation and these inquisitors had better learn quickly that what I say and what their paranoid minds read into it are generally two different things. NOBODY has the right to tell me what I mean by what I say and to impose on my words their own fairy tale interpretations.
I asked the Constable to take a message to them, that they can have their fat asses transported to the local OPP station a few miles from here and under the security of the whole detachment, replete with armaments, I will entertain their questions BUT I reserve the right to ask my own. It will be I will answer one of their every time they answer one of mine.
Now how is that for a deal? We will see what they say in return. To be sure, though, I will offer no respect for a bunch of overpaid fat assed politically correct underworked busybodies who think they can impose their warped and tainted ideologies on others, least of all me.
Stay tuned, I could get lucky, they might tyake me up on my offer of the meeting. Hope though they do not mind me wearing my sawdust covered workclothes, I only dress up for suitable occasions.
Please let me know if I said something that offended you. I may want to offend you again sometime.
The Canadian Islamic Congress one of Canada’s preeminent Islamist groups, fears the crushing of section 13 as legislated within the nations’ Human Rights Commission(s). Why does this outfit wring their hands in such despair? Could it be that the absence of such a provision would severely curb their ability to launch potential, future law-fare complaints against those who legitimately criticize radical Islam?
It may be worth noting that the CIC’s former boss Mohammed Elmasry has since ‘retired’ from the CIC feeling no doubt a bit quirky and f—– up at his public, national smack-down as prominent, Islamist agent provacateur. In believing ‘Canada deserves better media coverage’ than that by which ‘the Zionist controlled media’ could offer, he has since launched the Canadian Charger this past July; (tip: leg, thigh, butt and hip weighters required to muck about in the Pond of CC bullocks). Wahida Valiante now in charge of the CIC, has managed to only slightly and selectively tighten the taps on the flow of her groups’ overt, Islamist operational exercise in Canada, replacing Elmasry with a slightly friendlier, but no less menacing face.
I would be interested to know if there is anyone who could confirm any “false and inflammatory’ allegation(s) quoted from MP Ander’s distributed material found in the paragraph highlighted below. So far I can find no falsehood as 1, 2 and 3 are true. If one can do so, I will gladly buy a pulled pork sandwich and a pint on your behalf, in support of The International Free Press Society.
Read the rest here.
Fifth, from Macleans: Harper must act now to protect free speech:
Stephen Harper used to have very clear—and colourful—ideas on human rights commissions and what should be done about them. “Human rights commissions, as they are evolving, are an attack on our fundamental freedoms and the basic existence of a democratic society,” he said in a 1999 interview with Terry O’Neill of BC Report newsmagazine.“ It is in fact totalitarianism. I find this is very scary stuff.” He went on to complain about the “bastardization” of the entire concept of rights in modern society.
Of course, that was back when Harper was president of the National Citizens Coalition. Today he’s Canada’s 22nd Prime Minister. And he appears to have lost his fear of totalitarianism.
In an interview this past January with Maclean’s, the Prime Minister was asked what, if anything, he intended to do to halt the encroachment on individual freedom by the Canadian Human Rights Commission in the name of regulating hate speech.
It is an issue of crucial importance to this country and our strongly held traditions of freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
This magazine understands only too well the dangers involved in putting those rights at risk. Following a 2006 cover story by columnist Mark Steyn titled “Why the future belongs to Islam,” we were visited by a group of law students from the Canadian Islamic Congress. We were given the option of handing over editorial control of our pages for a rebuttal to Steyn’s piece or face a series of human rights complaints. As the first option was anathema to our obligations to our readers, the students launched their complaints.
That we were vindicated in all instances, notwithstanding the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s attempt at an unofficial smear, is beside the point. Under the guise of human rights, the ability of any news organization to produce truthful and reasoned articles was questioned by a variety of government bodies. Scary stuff indeed.
So we asked Harper if he intended to correct this threat to the basic existence of a democratic society.
“The government has no plans to do so,” was his casual reply. “It is a very tricky issue of public policy . . . It’s probably the case that we haven’t got the balance right, but I’m not sure the government today has any answer on what an appropriate balance would be.”
To summarize: the issue of human rights commissions running amok over Canadians’ basic rights and freedoms is something Harper has followed—closely and with obvious passion—for at least a decade. As Prime Minister he admits it is still a problem. And he says he doesn’t have a clue how to fix it.
We do. He should repeal Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.
Read the rest here.