Special Report: Who’s Next?
Vol: 70 Issue: 25 Wednesday, July 25, 2007
The Canadian Human Rights Commission has gone after the Canadian freedominion.ca website on the grounds the site propagates ‘hate speech’.
Free Dominion is a Canadian-based blogger site, not-too dissimilar to the Omega Letter’s forum section in its content and subject material.
It is a conservative blogsite, (one of the very few in Canada) with links to other Canadian and American conservative blogs. It also is a site where other conservative posts, columns and blogs are reposted and/or linked.
Several of my own columns have appeared there on occasion. Sample headlines from freedominion.ca include: “Liberal Strategist Photo Slammed as Derogatory to Women and Politics”; “Liberal on Liberal Action in Canada South (San Franscisco)”; “Biblical Recipe Produces Virus-Fighting Oil”; etc.
My favorite is a parody of a rabidly liberal Canadian political writer as a housewife under the headline; “Warren Kinsella If He Made a Different Choice in Life”.
(Warren Kinsella is a former speech-writer for Jean Chretien (and my 1st cousin).
Free Dominion was notified by mail that it was under investigation by a government investigator for the Canadian Human Rights Commission that a complaint had been lodged against it.
The only information given them was the last name of the complainant and the name of the investigator. According to one source, the complaints surround posted comments referencing gays and Islam. One comment cited was a reader post that said;
“I can’t figure out why the homosexuals I ran into are on the side of the Muslims. After all, Muslims who practice Sharia law tend to advocate beheading homosexuals.”
The statement itself is true, but whether or not something is true is no defense against prosecution under the Canadian Human Rights Act.
All that is necessary to invoke the ire of the Political Correctness Police is that the complainant be offended. You see, under Canadian law, it is a crime to offend someone.
It is also important to note that it was NOT the website’s publishers who posted the comment that so offended Canadian teacher Marie-Line Gentes that she filed her complaint with the CHRC, but it was instead a member posting. But it is the website’s publishers that are facing trial.
And it is equally important to note that the CHRC has NEVER found anyone charged under the Act innocent. The only reason that freedominion.ca is still operating is because they located their servers in the US, and beyond the Canadian government’s ability to order shut down.
“It is true that website material can still be posted on websites and by persons that are beyond the Commission’s jurisdiction. This limitation stems from both the nature of the Internet and jurisdictional limits of Canadian law,” the commission says.
“Nevertheless, a decision under section 13 or a conviction under the hate promotion provisions of the Criminal Code are of great importance in indicating that hate promotion is not permissible in Canada.”
Section 13 is the article authorizing the criminalization of thought.
Needless to say, this information is of exceeding interest to Some Guy, who just MIGHT be subject to the CHRC’s jurisdiction, who may or may note occasionally make insensitive remarks about certain topics that might run afoul of the law on giving offense.
Not that I have anybody particular in mind, you understand, I’m just saying. . . ummm, ” Hey, did I tell you how much I liked being in the States? It sure is nice here.. . “
We’re probably going to have to make a few changes in our forums, putting more of member’s posts behind the member’s only firewall. If only members can read it, then there is a reduced likelihood we will offend one another.
But our day is surely coming. I confess, although this is something I foresaw coming for years, I am still blinded with the realization that it is here. The letter to the freedominion.ca sight was heavy on references to “settlement”.
“The report will include a recommendation for the disposition of the complaint. I can recommend that a conciliator be appointed, if the evidence supports the allegations in the complaint, or that the complaint be dismissed, if the allegations are not supported by the evidence.”
No charge filed with the CRHC was ever ‘dismissed’ without settlement to my knowledge. Then the investigator held out both the carrot and stick to them:
“I can also recommend to the Commission that a settlement be approved if the parties reach an agreement during the course of the investigation. . . I would be pleased to discuss the possibility of a settlement with you or your representative at any time.”
The implied choices are stark: “Pay off the complainant, or face heavy fines and criminal prosecution.”
Our time is coming. . .