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.