Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Windsor Star Supports the Scrapping of the Ontario "Human Rights" Commission

Here is an excellent editorial from The Windsor Star expressing support for the crusade to rid Canada of the oppressive, unjust, Stalinist, "Human Rights" Commissions (I just can't call them that without putting "Human Rights" in brackets since they are such abusers of true human rights themselves. You just can't let the Orwellian mandarins define the words. Words are too important.)

Anyway, here is the editorial with my comments in [bold and square brackets] as usual.

"Just how much power should human rights commissions have? It's a question that's been directed at bodies at both the federal and provincial levels, and most recently at the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

At the federal level, we have what amounts to two-tier policing of racism and hate speech in Canada -- one through the courts applying Criminal Code and the other through a human rights act. [No one is for racism or discrimination. The issue is how to address it in accordance with principles of natural justice.]

Critics say the Code is all that's needed. They contend that the CHRC, with a bar set far below criminal standards, often adjudicates trivial complaints and serves as a censor of ideas that are not intended to provoke hatred or violence, but to promote controversy and debate. As well, the commission has an almost never lost a case it's prosecuted. [These are just some of the ways the HRC's fail to uphold natural justice.]

Jennifer Lynch, chief commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, counters that the Code and act "serve useful purposes in protecting Canadians from discrimination in today's society."

Lynch's view of freedom on expression is that the "power of words and ideas) while overwhelming positive, can also be used to undermine democracy, freedom and equality." [If you are going to have government officials deciding when to harrass and fine people based on such gloriously vague criteria, it is conceivable that whole political parties and even newspapers could end up banned. This leaves far too much power in the hands of government censors. See further below.]
However, the problem is that the CHRC is essentially the investigator, prosecutor and judge of complaints of racism and hate speech. The burden of proof under Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act is also subject to interpretation. It says it's an offence to communicate anything "likely to expose a person ... to hatred or contempt." [All that is needed to get you convicted is that the HRC decides that what you said is "likely" in their opinion to expose a person (any person anywhere - no one in particular) to contempt. Can no one show contempt for anyone anymore? Not even for Wall St. bankers? Not even for George Bush? Or is this vague criteria just a way of putting totalitarian power in government hands?]

Ezra Levant, who was the subject of an unsuccessful complaint before the Alberta after he published controversial cartoons of the prophet Muhammad, says CHRC's standards make it an advocate of censorship. [This is the Orwellian part - usually freedom from censorship is itself considered to be a human right, not the way to ensure human rights!]

"The word 'likely' is amazing. The CHRC doesn't have to prove you've actually done anything, just that you might in the future," says Levant. "And all they have to prove is that you said something that might cause one person to have hard feelings about another." [So, basically, they can harass anyone they want.]

The Criminal Code, meanwhile, has clear sanctions to deal with true hate speech -- which must clearly encourage or incite hatred and violence. This is far different than making individuals account for expressions of thought that are controversial, offensive or deemed to be politically incorrect. [Completely different.]

Last year, an independent report by the University of Windsor's Richard Moon said the Canadian Human Rights Commission should be stripped of its power to investigate online hate messages. That job, says the free speech expert, is best left to police, prosecutors and Internet service providers. [The Canadian HRC paid for this report, didn't get the outcome it wanted and so buried the report.]

"Censorship of hate speech should be limited to speech that explicitly or implicitly threatens, justifies or advocates violence against the members of an identifiable group," Moon said, having concluded that the commission's current mandate to probe Internet postings "likely to expose" complainants to hate was just too broad. The commission didn't agree with Moon's recommendation. [Why not? Unless they are not really committed to human rights.]

In Ontario, new Conservative Leader Tim Hudak is calling for the scrapping of the province's Human Rights Tribunal, which hears complaints similar to the federal CHRC. Hudak also feels the courts are the right place to deal with human rights issues. [Hudak gets my vote in the next election on this issue alone. It is about time. And the Liberals better get onside on this one or they will regret it.]

We agree and, at least Ontario, there is going to be a debate. It's one that should also be going on in Ottawa." [Now if only Ontario's other "Star" could see the light - the Toronto Star. Fat chance of that, I'm afraid. But if the Toronto Star wants to be against human rights in the name of political correctness and statism, well that is its choice. One gets the sense that this issue in not going away.]

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