Finally, Iggy emails an answer to my 1st request sent October 2, 2009 (2nd identical request was sent October 19, 2009). My question was: If elected, will your Liberal government promise to abolish Section 13 from the Canadian Human Rights Act and restore Canadians’ Charter Right to freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and freedom of the press?
Drumroll, please. And Iggy’s answer:
Thank you very much for your correspondence regarding Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. We appreciate the input given to us from Canadians concerned about issues such as these.
The Liberal Party is committed to human rights and the right to free speech. We also believe in the protection of minorities and minority rights, and we support legislation that aims to reach those goals.
All legislation that seeks to protect human rights must seek balance between competing rights, like freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
While we recognize that s. 13, as it is, may not strike the perfect balance, we do not believe that scrapping it entirely is the way to make a positive change. We do believe that we must continue to look into the right way to strike that balance and will continue to study this act.
Once again, thank you for your email and we look forward to hearing from you again in the future.
The Office of Michael Ignatieff, MP
Leader of the Official Opposition
Sound the buzzer…I’m sorry, wrong answer — but thank you for playing.
Kathy Shaidle is right: If they come for you, refuse to leave. And if they fine you, refuse to pay.
Therefore, I will no longer waste my valuable time writing letters to MPs or the PMO on this matter. I’ll certainly continue to post any news or comments on free speech matters — because I am bloody well entitled to write what I want on my own blog.
I mean, really, this is the caliber of people that run this country. Hell, if they put me in jail for speaking freely, I’ll have a roof over my head, three meals a day, lots of time for reading and studying, and access to exercise equipment.
UPDATE: Mark Steyn posts here about the Ig’s change of heart and also reminds us that he quoted the Liberal leader’s previously held 2003 opinion on free speech to the House of Commons Select Committee on Justice. Commenter Jan below provides an excerpt with link to the official transcript.