Alright, here we go. This is going to be a long one, and I didn’t exactly prioritize by order of posting, so just read through the whole thing.
First off, Ezra Levant’s free speech tour continues. From Ezra’s blog:
I’ve criss-crossed Canada on my free speech tour, but I’ve not yet been to Montreal. That changes this month, with a visit to the Beth Israel/Beth Aaron synagogue on Wednesday night, Oct. 21 (I’ll post a link when I find one!) and a reception and dinner hosted by the Fraser Institute, on Oct. 22 at Café Ferreira, which I hear is excellent.
I am advised that there are still a few tickets left for the Fraser Institute event, so it’s not too late to sign up. There are two kinds of tickets: the first are for a rollicking reception; the second are for the reception and a more intimate dinner afterwards. You can register right online, here.
See you in Montreal!
Third, some more coverage of Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant’s testimony before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights from Baithak, the University of Alberta Faculty of Law Blog, AOL.ca, Jonathan Narvey, Macleans, and Dan Cook. Rebekah from the Miss Parprelate Tracts has a blow by blow account of the testimony for your delight and delectation. Jay Currie, impatient fellow that he is, is already making suggestions for the next round: A Witness List:
The testimony of Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn before the Commons Committee on Justice and Human Rights set the table. Curious MPs might well want to take a closer look at the antics of the CHRC Hate Squad. While I assume they have staff who are working on this, here is a suggested witness list of individuals who they might want to talk to before they question the coward Lynch. Each has a body of knowledge going to how the CHRC set about achieving remediation and concilation:
- Hannah Rizk – investigator – trained by serial complainant Warman
- Giacomo Vigna – low level CHRC lawyer implicated in the evidence swap and the suppression of Goldberg’s disclosure – potential whistleblower
- Sandy Kovak – fired Ottawa cop now CHRC investigator – potentially illuminating on the Beaumont evidence swap
- Dean Stacey – upper level investigator – in the room when the Jadewarr “swap” evidence was being downloaded using Ms. Hechme’s account
- Harvey Goldberg – upper level CHRC lawyer caught appearing to lie under oath with respect to CHRC attempts to reach Memorandums of understanding with police forces – produced documents which Vigna did not disclose to the Tribunal despite order to do so
- Ian Fine – upper level CHRC lawyer – likely played role in Vigna’s loss of serenity
- Philippe Dufresne – upper level CHRC lawyer – likely dropped the dime on Vigna – possibly the guy who left the phone message for Vigna the day he lost his serenity
- Richard Warman – knows where the bodies are buried ‘cause he buried them – critical to the shift in CHRC’s role from remedial to prosecutorial – very litigious but not so good on discovery
- Marc Lemire – fought the Commission for six years after trying to mediate and having taken the offending material off his website
To get the full measure of the corruption of the CHRC the Commons Committee needs to talk to these people. Some may be entirely innocent of any wrongdoing, some have been playing fast and loose with the rules for years. None, save Lemire, seems particularly interested in remediation and conciliation. Some have expressly stated their agendas.
The Committee needs to understand just how far the Commission has deviated from the presuppositions of Mr. Justice Dickson in Taylor.
Before summoning the coward Lynch the Committee should take the time to question her gunsels in an environment where there is no solicitor client privilege or right against self incrimination.
The mills of Parliament grind slowly, but we urge that they eventually also grind small– and once and for all, get the Canadian Human Rights Commission out of the business of policing your opinions.
Earlier this week, the House of Commons Justice and Human Rights Committee resumed its investigation of the federal human rights commission, in the spotlight recently for activities that appeared to violate the spirit of Canadian justice and, in some instances, the letter of the law. For some decades, the commission has attempted–unsuccessfully, in our view–to balance the traditional free-speech rights most Canadians want and incorrectly believe they possess, with more recent theories of controlled public discourse in which the giving of offence is a matter for the state’s intervention. Canada’s most well-known free speech advocates, Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn, appealed to the committee to amend the commission’s powers so that offensive speech would in the future be dealt with by the police only, under the hate-speech provisions of the Canadian Criminal Code. Unlike the code, with its rigorous standards of evidence and procedure, the federal commission system had by its lack of those same attributes become “corrupted and diseased beyond salvation,” they declared.
Fourth, Harry Abrams is gone, daddy gone, from the Free Dominion forums. It seems that he wore out his welcome. Meanwhile, from Canadian Human Rights Commission Exposed: Marc Lemire files in Federal Court: Opposes the fanatical CHRC.
Fifth, more on Barbara Hall and housing rights in Ontario. From the Toronto Star: Snubbed renters get foot in the door:
“I can use the elevator,” Eid Ismail said to the superintendent of the Thorncliffe Park housing co-op where he wanted to live. Legally blind, Ismail was being rejected for an apartment, supposedly because there were no units free on the ground floor.
Despite Ismail’s assurances he had lived on the 18th floor of another building, the lack of a ground-level unit kept coming up as the basis for denying him a place to live – prompting his complaint to the Ontario Human Rights tribunal.
Housing is a human right, according to the United Nations. But it can be a complicated issue for landlords to grasp. That’s why the Ontario Human Rights Commission issued a new document Monday, coinciding with Global Habitat Day, to clarify its policy and interpret the vague and spotty references to rental housing in the Ontario Human Rights Code.
“We’re presenting processes and ways of meeting your responsibilities if you’re a landlord,” Barbara Hall, the province’s chief human rights commissioner, said at a news conference. Her goal is to help single mothers, immigrants, the transgendered and others who face prejudice in their search for a home.
by David Fleischer
Regional council did the right thing in making a controversial decision that allows social housing providers to restrict units to members of their own ethnic communities, says Ontario’s Human Rights Commission.
Sections of the Ontario Human Rights code – to which all legislation must adhere – are designed specifically to allow such cases, chief commissioner Barbara Hall said.
The Policy on Human Rights and Rental Housing has chapters dealing with social housing and places an emphasis on integration and avoiding blanket rental rules.
“Unless it will cause undue hardship, social housing providers should take an individualized approach to imposing rental requirements,” the commission’s report states.
On the other hand, two other sections of the Human Rights Code provide important caveats.
Section 14 permits the use of special housing programs for disadvantaged groups. More relevantly, Section 18 allows organizations to limit participation if primarily engaged in serving the interests of a specific minority group.
“I think these two sections are quite specific and narrow,” Ms Hall said.
“In the vast majority of housing, there are no exemptions.”
Read the rest here.
Sixth, Blazing Cat Fur poses the question: Hallmarks of the Hate Squad: Did CHRC operatives write threatening hate letter to Michael Coren?:
I dunno fer sure but this letter certainly bears all the hallmarks of the CHRC Hate Squad’s black ops tactics. Rather than waste time filing an FOI request let’s ask members of the CHRC Hate Squad directly, and be sure to say hi to Dean, Sandy, John and all the rest: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s mine: (NB: So far not a single e-mail address has bounced back)
Read it here.
Seventh, from the CBC: Man forced to retire hopeful after court decision:
A recent ruling in Manitoba on mandatory retirement could bode well for a P.E.I. man who has filed a complaint against Eastlink.
For more than 30 years, Wendell Ellis produced local programming on the community channel in Charlottetown.
That stopped two years ago when Eastlink handed Ellis a pink slip, telling him he had reached the company’s mandatory retirement age of 65.
In August, Ellis filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
Stephen Ellis, his son and lawyer, told CBC News Wednesday a decision by the Court of Queen’s Bench in Manitoba could have a big impact on his father’s case. At the end of September, Justice Albert Clearwater found CTV’s mandatory retirement policy unconstitutional.
“This policy, throwing good people onto the scrap heap, the moment someone turns 65, I mean they can work just as well as they did the day before their birthday,” he said.
“The justification put forward for retiring people just wasn’t good enough. I think at the end of the day, we’ll be vindicated and all those who want to work past 65 will be as well.”
Ellis said it appears the case may be headed to mediation.
It’s ironic, he added, that the man who owns Eastlink — multimillionaire John Bragg — is still working at age 68.
A spokesperson for Eastlink would not comment on the case or the company’s retirement policy.
Read it here.
Eighth, Ezra Levant makes an appearance on the Michael Coren show:
Ninth, Stephen Boissoin speaks! From No Apologies:
From Stephen Boissoin:
For those who may be interested and close by, I am speaking at two venues in Ontario next week. I will be sharing my views and journey with the Human Rights battle that I presently face. I will encourage questions and comments from the audience which I will respond to. I hope for some positive dialogue at both events.
On Friday Oct 16th I will be at the Covenant Canadian Reformed Church in Grassie, Ontario. Event begins at 8:00pm. There is no charge.
The other is a Christian Heritage Party event in Bowmanville on Saturday, Oct 17th. Contact the CHP in that area for details.
I am open to other engagements if there is interest.
Read it here.
Government interference in our daily lives is growing daily. Of course, some might view the term “interference” as inappropriate, but for the libertarian – for anyone who cherishes individual freedom — the word fits.
We have never had more government control, either in the economy or in our personal lives, throughout the long history of our nation.
What’s ironic is that in the past western liberal democracies like Canada fought against authoritarian and controlling states. The cold war, for instance, was essentially fought under the principle of liberty versus state tyranny; the juxtaposition of individual liberties in the west to the collectivist gulags in the east inspired us in our noble and correct cause.
Even today we continue to admonish those states which flout individualism while operating under sham democracies. Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and Zimbabwe are but a few examples of the dictatorships and party oligarchies which have imprisoned the human spirit for decades.
We continue, in other words, to officially believe in the rule of law and in the principles of free expression and thought, and to espouse liberty as being paramount. However, in practice we are sliding into state control, and away from individualism. To be blunt, we are adopting a collectivist ideology.
In Canada we can see the steady intrusion of the state into our lives. Free speech activists Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn, for instance, have done much to expose the draconian way the Canadian Human Rights Commission enforces censorship laws in Canada. It’s hard to believe that such a basic right as freedom of speech has been slowly eroded in Canada to the point where such a liberty now exists only under the paradoxical circumstances that speech will not expose anybody to “hatred or contempt.” Such vague and ubiquitous laws are what helped build the most lasting authoritarian states on the planet.
Read the whole thing here.
The House also discussed section 13.1 this week. They discussed the hearings this week on parliament hill. MPs Ujjal Dosanj (lib) and MP Brent Rathgeber (Tory) discuss the hrcs. Dosanj seems quite open to some change but not abolition. The Tory Rathgeber wants abolition! Go Mr Rathgeber! It is interesting that even the grits would be open to substantial changes to this odious law. It is clear there are many Tory MPs who would go even further. I urge HM Government to act soon and abolish the despicable section 13.1 of the hrc act.
Twelfth, Dennis Miller raises a disturbing proposition. Via Kathy Shaidle at WorldNetDaily:
Later in the week, Miller welcomed another personal and listener favorite, author Mark Steyn, to talk about his new book, “Lights Out: Islam, Free Speech and the Twilight of the West” (FREE audio).
Citing Steyn’s recent battles with state censorship, Miller said, “Can I tell you? I think if Obama had the chance to put something like Canada’s Human Rights Commissions down here, he’d do it tomorrow.”
Read it here.
Thirteenth, from Jay Currie: Censor in Chief can’t tell the difference between a blog post and a letter:
The coward Lynch flew allthe way to Dublin to tell the CBA just how mean people were being to her and she “also read out a graphic anonymous letter she received stating that she should be shot dead.”
I’ve FOIed for this “letter” as did Marc Lemire and what he got was a blog entry from (the apparently defunct) overthrow.com suggesting that someone should shoot “Jessica Lynch”.
Now a) this was not a death threat, b) it was not a “letter”.
So was the coward Lynch confusing a blog post with a letter or was she just making stuff up?
Might be a question for a Menber of the Commons Committee on Justice and Human Rights to ask the woman if she ever deigns to appear before them.
Read it here.
Fourteenth, an *ahem*, interesting accomodation. From the Montreal Gazette:
Le Devoir disclosed that last January, the province’s human-rights commission had issued an opinion in favour of allowing religious minorities applying for driving permits to choose the gender of the examiners for their practical tests.
Read it here ( scroll down ).