I don’t believe I’ve ever heard somebody refer to Ezra Levant as ‘sweet’. Hmm… ]
Well, to sum it up — YAWN. At least for me.
This is going to be short, because I didn’t get very much out of it. Except that, like Jay said, the MPs were, for the most part, very unprepared. Just what do we pay these guys for? My take on the biggest dummy — the woman — was it Jennings? Comartin seemed most on the ball, like he’d actually done some reading ahead of time. Jay Currie live-blogged it, so go ahead and check out his notes, starting here. Ezra Levant also live-blogged it (of course), starting here through to his final thoughts.
Except for a couple of snide remarks, Professor Richard Moon was firm that he believed Section 13 should be repealed. Kudos to him.
The censors kept talking about the need to balance the Charter Rights of equality and freedom of expression, with Lynch actually saying that when “we balance rights there may come a point where one is protected and one is not.” Actually, Lynch was very evasive and condescending, as Ezra points out here.
CJC CEO Bernie Farber, who seems to think he speaks for all Jews, thought they were there for Show & Tell. He passed out photos showing vandalized Jewish graves with swastikas all over them. Which has nothing to do with Section 13, but whatever. Farber did little speaking, thankfully for everyone concerned. Instead, the CJC’s main spokesman was their president, Mark Freiman. As eloquent as he was, I have to disagree with Jay who called him “brilliant” (okay he also said “wrong, but brilliant”). His speech relied too heavily on evoking strong emotions, going on at length about the Holocaust as well as numerous genocides, relating them to “demonizing” and “dehumanizing” hate speech. I believe he made some recommendation for creating a tribunal within the tribunal to deal only with Section 13 complaints as their specialty. My thought: Great, more bureaucracy.
Honestly, I don’t understand how anyone, other than a lawyer, would have found that to be of value. With that said, I’ll leave you with Ezra’s final Final Thoughts:
In short, I thought it was great.
I’ve never been more optimistic about the prospects for reform. Now, the only question in my mind is, how much reform is enough?
Isn’t he sweet? So young and optimistic. The whole thing just makes me impatient.
UPDATE: You can view the entire mess for yourself here: Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. Click on “View this Clip” or “Advanced View” and select the English or French version.