Stephen Harper sell-out over ‘hate laws’

My guess is that the reason the federal government will only ‘monitor’ the proceedings, rather than actually participate, is that Prime Minister Stephen Harper previously opposed the Human Rights Commissions.

“Human rights commissions, as they are evolving, are an attack on our fundamental freedoms and the basic existence of a democratic society,” he said in a 1999 interview with Terry O’Neill of BC Report newsmagazine. “It is in fact totalitarianism. I find this is very scary stuff.” He went on to complain about the “bastardization” of the entire concept of rights in modern society.

“Of course, that was back when Harper was president of the National Citizens Coalition. Today he’s Canada’s 22nd Prime Minister. And he appears to have lost his fear of totalitarianism.”

(From “Harper must act now to protect free speech”, Macleans.ca -September 20th 2009.)

But that was then, and this is now!  And as a man determined to be Israel’s best friend, he must be aware of the powerful and overwhelmingly Jewish line-up in favour of Canada’s notorious “Section 13”.

Bilderberger Harper clearly doesn’t have the guts to stand up for what he believes, and in my opinion has sold his soul to those determined to trample any opposition to massive third-world immigration, and to Israel’s brutal occupation and colonisation of what’s left of Palestine – including Jewish settlers’ destruction of crops and olive trees, and the emptying of sewage tanks onto Palestinian farmland.

The Jewish lobby will not tolerate free debate on these issues, because that would assuredly result in a change of attitude towards Israel by the Canadian public, and the subsequent withdrawal of economic and diplomatic support.

After all his brave words before becoming Prime Minister, Stephen Harper now does absolutely nothing.

Shame on you.

Jeff Goodall

Ottawa withdraws from clash of interests over hate speech law

National Post

Joseph Brean: Oct. 23rd, 2010

The government is out. The Jewish groups are in, so are the civil liberties groups. Still seeking a place in the coming battle over the hate-speech section of Canada’s Human Rights Act in federal court are the African Canadians and the free speech advocates with awkward links to racist hate groups.

Nominally between three parties — the Canadian Human Rights Commission, anti-hate crusader Richard Warman and far-right webmaster Marc Lemire, whose hate speech tribunal decided last year that Section 13 of the Act is an unconstitutional restriction on free speech — this appeal hearing is shaping up to be a multidimensional clash of interests, with hatred balanced against censorship.

A hearing this week in federal court offered a glimpse of this battlefield dynamic, and assuming all proposed intervenors are accepted, there will be four additional parties supporting the hate law, and four more against.

One major change is the withdrawal of the federal government, which intervened at the Tribunal in support of Section 13, but has decided to sit out this judicial review. A spokeswoman said the Department of Justice would “continue to monitor the proceedings.”

The Canadian Jewish Congress, the League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith Canada, and Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust Studies, all of which were intervenors at the tribunal, have already been granted permission to argue in support of Section 13, possibly with minor changes such as the removal of its punitive fines.

Section 13 of the Human Rights Act — famously used unsuccessfully against Maclean’s magazine by the Canadian Islamic Congress — prohibits repeated messages that are “likely to expose” identifiable groups to “hatred or contempt.” Initially written to target telephone “hate-lines,” it was expanded in 2001 to include the entire Internet, partly because of the rising threat of online terrorist recruiting.

The web has since proven a troublingly large territory to police or govern. Although the CHRC is empowered to seek out and charge violators of Section 13, it has mostly decided not to, which has left Mr. Warman as essentially the only source of complaints over the last decade.

The Canadian and British Columbia Civil Liberties Associations have both been accepted as intervenors, making similar arguments, that Section 13 is unconstitutional, impossible to fairly apply in the age of the Internet, and is no longer justified by its main precedent — the 1990 Supreme Court of Canada decision in the case of telephone lines run by neo-Nazi John Ross Taylor.

The African Canadian Legal Clinic, which describes itself as a “test case clinic,” wants to argue in support of Section 13 in much the same way as the Jewish groups, but from the experience of Canada’s black communities in dealing with hate speech. That similarity prompted objections from Mr. Lemire’s lawyer, Barbara Kulaszka, who consented to the Jewish groups’ intervention, but argued that the ACLC is a newcomer to the case, and is trying to jump in too late with nothing to add.

“They are going to say that the [penalty] provisions should be severed like a gangrene leg so we can save the body, which would be Section 13,” she said.

Civil liberties lawyer Douglas Christie, known among the far-right as the Battling Barrister for his defence of people charged with hate crimes, said his Canadian Free Speech League will focus on the absence in Section 13 of a defence of truth, which is available to people charged with criminal hatred, or in libel cases.

“To sum it up, truth cannot be hate,” he said in the hearing.

Paul Fromm, an anti-immigration campaigner who is running for mayor of Mississauga, Ont., indicated his Canadian Association for Free Expression will comment on “the issue of fundamental and unfettered freedom of expression afforded to all individuals in Canada, and in particular, its focus will be narrowed to the right of an individual to free discourse on the Internet.”

The day after this week’s hearing, Mr. Fromm gave a public lecture to two dozen people about his mayoral campaign, filled with racist and homophobic slurs. He said he has found the local train stations to be “like flippin’ Calcutta” and Mississauga itself has been “paved over with ticky tacky houses that are mostly filled with East Indians.”

His campaign slogan, borrowed with no apparent irony from the Barbra Streisand-Robert Redford movie, is “The Way We Were,” meaning white, he said. He said his primary goal is to move public opinion against immigration.

“I wake up in the morning and I feel great. I’m high on hate,” he said, in a conference room at a hotel near Toronto’s airport, with white supremacist and Holocaust denial literature on display.

A decision on the intervenors is expected next week. A trial is not yet scheduled.

jbrean@nationalpost.com

See original here.

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