Alright, here we go.
First off, let’s take a brief look at Keith Martin, who’s gotten himself mentioned in a Macleans article, no less:
Hadjis took a “courageous stand,” says Keith Martin, a Liberal MP who has tabled a motion for the repeal of Section 13(1). That “members of the tribunal are expressing deep and profound concern” should motivate Parliament to review the act. Parliament, however, has been unwilling to touch the political hot potato. Although Section 13(1) is wildly unpopular with the Tory base (who, at a recent policy convention, voted 99 per cent in favour of its repeal), the issue is a no-win for Harper’s minority government; it risks offending the Jewish community as well as some minority communities that the party is assiduously courting.
Read it here.
Second, a little more morning-after coverage of Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant’s testimony before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights from Tomllewis, Bloodthirsty Liberal, Althouse, and briefly at Popehat ( scroll down ), while Mark Steyn writes in NRO’s The Corner: Breast Panel:
Speaking of human rights, as I was a couple of posts below, in my presentation to Canada’s House of Commons I quoted Michael Ignatieff, a forthright champion of human rights in his days as a Harvard professor but in his present incarnation as leader of the Liberal party in Ottawa rather more circumspect on the whole business. Here’s one Ignatieff line I cited:
Moreover, rights inflation – the tendency to define anything desirable as a right – ends up eroding the legitimacy of a defensible core of rights
That’s exactly right: The more pseudo-“rights” we have, the more our real rights get nibbled away. Here’s a very literal example of “rights inflation”: The human right to large breasts.
Note that the aggrieved transsexual suing for a larger bust on the basis of sex discrimination is not claiming that Britain’s NHS is discriminating against her by treating her as a man but by treating her as a “natal female” rather than as a non-natal female. A “natal female” is not, as we old-school imperialists carelessly assume, a female from Natal Province in South Africa but the current term of art deployed by rights inflators.
was thinking about the Commons Committee on Justice and Human Rights. While there are a number of members who are for repeal of S. 13 (as am I), there are also a fair number of “tweakers”. So, just for fun let’s think about “tweaking”. If we assume that a Tribunal should have a limited power to abridge Canadians’ s.2 Charter Right to freedom of expression how might they and the Commission set about doing this fairly with realistic protections for Canadians.
First off I would (along with abolishing the penalty clause 54(1)(c) ) create two classes of order which the Tribunal could make. The first class would be the current 54(1)(a) “Cease and Desist”, the second would be an order of “Censure”.
This new class of “Censure” would be a finding by the Tribunal that the impugned words are “unwelcome in the civilized discourse of a free and democratic society”. There would be no other consequence. At the outset the Commission would have to indicate which of the two Orders it was seeking.
For complaints in which the Commission is seeking a “Cease and Desist” order, s. 13 would be amended so that the Commission would have to prove that the material impugned must “directly promote hatred or contempt on the plain meaning of the words in the impugned material”. For “Censure” the current wording, with the word “likely” removed, would remain, however, the Commission would have to prove that the material impugned must “promote hatred or contempt on the plain meaning of the words in the impugned material” would be added.
Now, armed with these two classes, I’d turn to procedure.
Read the rest here.
Third, Scaramouche points out a rather, eh…unsatisfying result from the CHRT:
Total wackiness at the quasi-judiciary: Here’s how the latest CHRT hearing went down–the complainant didn’t show up, the target of the complaint didn’t show up either, so the “judge” up and dismissed the whole shebang.
Unstated on the CHRC site: exactly how much did that no-show farce (in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, of all places) end up costing Canadian taxpayers?
What was the motive behind the CHRT’s decision to convene the “Hearing no one could be bothered with”? A junket for a homesick prairie kommissar or just the opportunity to sample the good life in the “Paris” of Manitoba? Perhaps the promotional video on the municipal web site offers some clues, among other things to occupy your time in Portage you can “drive on a straight highway”, “operate heavy farm machinery”, or “get run over by freight trains” and that’s just the first 30 seconds or so!
Meanwhile, Mbrandon8026 from Freedom Through Truth writes: What If The CHRC Held A Hearing And Nobody Came?
The CHRC held a hearing:
The hearing of this complaint was convened at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, September 21, 2009 at Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. At the commencement of the hearing, the Tribunal Registry Officer announced the case for hearing and called for appearances.
The complainant, Joan Jollasse did not appear nor did anyone appear on her behalf. The respondent’s representative, Chief Norman Bert Bone, did not appear nor did anyone appear representing the respondent Keeseekoowenin First Nation.
I can’t stop laughing at this instance of government bumbling. You have to read the Decision to see that the only person who cared about the case was the guy from the Tribunal. There was really no reason to expect that they would have appeared either, since they had not even shown enough interest to call in to the settlement conference.
Read it here.
Fourth, Amy Alkon writes for her Advice Goddess Blog: The End Of Free Speech In Canada:
Mark Steyn And Ezra Levant were tried in kangaroo court. Kathy Shaidle writes at FrontPage of the “Canadian Human Rights Act,” which, of course, is about removing rights and freedoms, not granting them:
Enter Mohammed Elmasry and Syed Soharwardy, two self-styled “Muslim community leaders.” In separate complaints, they’ve accused Ezra Levant and Maclean’s magazine of violating the Canadian Human Rights Act, because what they published is allegedly, in the words of Section 13(1), “likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt.”
Sound familiar? I’m very pro gay rights — and rights for all people — but I’m against “hate crime laws” which work out to be thought crimes laws. And isn’t any murder a “hate crime”? If you’re going to murder somebody, whether you’re doing it because he slept with your girlfriend or you don’t like people of his color, you aren’t doing it because you weren’t sure whether to kill him or hug him.