Sunday, December 28, 2008

2008 in Canada

We read:
"What a year it's been for freedom of expression. First we had the Canadian Human Rights Commission decline to hear the complaint against Maclean's magazine in respect to the Mark Steyn book excerpt titled Why The Future belongs To Islam. Next we had the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal dismiss the same complaint after holding a very strange three-week hearing.

Even the Ontario Human Rights Commission declined jurisdiction over the Maclean's complaint. Of course, they had no jurisdiction under the Ontario legislation but that didn't stop Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall from condemning the article without the benefit of a hearing. That's no mistake by the way. The same complaint was filed and considered in three jurisdictions in Canada. With our patchwork of human rights codes the same complaint can be filed in multiple jurisdictions. If it was a court case, multiple proceedings would be seen as an abuse of process, but not in our world of human rights.

The Canadian Human Rights Commission retained law professor Richard Moon to review section 13, the oft-criticized hate speech section of the Canadian Human Rights Code. In what must have been a huge surprise, Moon recommended the hate speech section be repealed and that we should leave hate speech prosecutions to the purview of the criminal law. He recommended we prosecute hate speech that "advocates, justifies or threatens violence."

We know his recommendations will be ignored by the CHRC but perhaps it will spur the federal government to do something about section 13. As Moon stated, "Religious beliefs or values (and I would add, political beliefs and values) cannot be insulated from debate and criticism, even that which is harsh and uncivil."



Anonymous said...

the CHINEESE communist party would be proud of the way the canadian government works. fuck islam .

Anonymous said...

Do you mean the ChiComs are not running the Canadian govt? Coulda foold me!