I wrote a long article on a case at the Canadian Thought Police a while ago, then deleted it because it was getting too complicated to tell the tale well in a blog post. By Thought Police, I mean the Human Rights Commissions, which were originally set up as a low-level sub-judicial body to intervene in minor matters regarding discrimination based on race, sex etc. The fact that this body has metamorphised into an unaccountable thought police department is indicative of how ill-conceived and ill-executed this body was.
For instance, what did the founders think might happen when they ensured that complainants were publicly funded, while defendants had to pay their own way? And where the only standard of evidence was that there was no standard? In the hands of the politically-correct, these have become powerful weapons indeed, intended and used to chill thoughts or expressions deemed offensive.
I am probably not saying anything that has not been said before when I suggest that agreement with what the defendant has said or wrote is not the issue. With a few obvious restrictions (for instance, one should not be allowed to publicly call for somebody to be murdered) people should be free to say stupid, idiotic and obnoxious things. Generally speaking, these kind of things are self-correcting anyway. People should also be free to offend others, to debate others, to disagree and to make plain their beliefs.
Rather than getting any further into this, you can check out one of the latest cases here – h/t Magistats. The case is made much better than I could make it – I just wanted to give another heads-up regarding an increasingly abusive misuse of power and chilling of free speech here North of the border.
Peter, is there any real chance that these thought crime laws can, or will be, revoked? This is truly bonechilling. Does this really pass muster constitutionally? Down here in the states the same forces want to do the same thing with so called hate crime laws. Since the US constitution has been ignored for decades down here I could easily see the same thing taking place. Seems like you could report anyone for almost any statement if it offends you.
A belated welcome to the struggle for freedom of speech in Canada. There are 46 active and past cases of which the tribunal has ruled on 37 and NOT A SINGLE respondent have ever won a section 13 case
· 98% of cases have poor or working class respondents
· 90.7% of respondents are not represented by lawyers
· $99,000 has been awarded in fines and special compensation since 2003.
· 35 respondents have lifetime speech bans (Cease and Desist) orders and if not followed the victims could face up to 5 years in prison.
Only now that the Human Rights Hate Machine is moving onto so called respectable critics are some people waking up. But as Paul Fromm (supplier of above statistics) said he has been warning these people for twenty years that it would eventually be their turn and here we are. Paul’s site is as http://www.freedomsite.org/new.html and the brave will find his snail mail address there for even more info.
Interesting times when Christians really could be asked to stand up and be counted but as Solzenitzen said the Christians almost deserved to die in the Soviet death camps for not defending themselves; and again, here we are
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I don’t call Canada the Shiny Happy Gulag for nothing, you know.
Dan – there is always a chance. However, I don’t think it’s that likely. As far as a constituation, well we do have a Charter of Rights, however implicit rights dreamt up by activist judges trump explicit rights read into the charter. Ah, lets face it, charters or constitutions will never protect us – it’s Christ and Christ alone!
Whiterabbit – interesting stats, but not surprising.
Wannabe – Heh, be careful or the protelariat of Canukistan will be sent your way to reeducate you 😉