Archive for the ‘human rights’ Category

PM Harper on Libya: “No Options Have Been Ruled Out…”

February 26th, 2011
Comments Off on PM Harper on Libya: “No Options Have Been Ruled Out…”

Our first priority remains the evacuation of Canadians, safely and quickly by any means possible

human rights , ,

Being Gay…

November 26th, 2010
Comments Off on Being Gay…

is no longer a good reason not to be summarily and arbitrarily executed:

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and ARC International are deeply disappointed with yesterday’s vote in the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly to remove a reference to sexual orientation from a resolution on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. The resolution urges States to protect the right to life of all people, including by calling on states to investigate killings based on discriminatory grounds. For the past 10 years, the resolution has included sexual orientation in the list of discriminatory grounds on which killings are often based.

Hmm, what kind of backward, piss-ant state would vote to allow summary executions of, well, anybody:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Botswana, Brunei Dar-Sala, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, China, Comoros, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

And who wouldn’t truck with that nonesense?

… Australia…Canada…Israel…United Kingdom, United States…

The question is, how long until an Islamified Sweden or Belgium or UK start voting with the rogues gallery?

Bottom line, if you’re LGBTQ, there really is an enemy, and it isn’t Israel or the United States.

h/t Rondi

human rights , , , ,

Sarah Thomson’s Big Mistake

September 29th, 2010

If Sarah Thomson really wants to stop the Rob Ford express, here’s what she should have done: stay in the race and after she loses complain to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario that people didn’t vote for her because she’s a woman.

Presto, Bingo, the HRT appoints Sarah Thomson mayor.

Freedom and democracy is for suckers, when you want real authority, just take it.

human rights ,

Rex on Rights

April 3rd, 2010

Rex Murphy occasionally is way off base, such as his clobbering a few weeks ago of Christopher Hitchens, which had the gross effect of sounding like Murphy was not too upset about a bunch of pedophile priests, but dear God!, don’t you speak ill of my Pope.

This week in the National Post he has a go at the Human Rights industry in Canada, and knocks it out of the park:

By some crude osmosis, or just from the luxuriant carelessness of our pampered lives, we have overturned one of the great concepts of all human law. The concept of human rights, as experience and history inform us, is protection from the state’s power, not oversight, interference and punishment by the state’s power.

The core concept of human rights is the protection of the irreducible safety and dignity of the individual from the massive and arbitrary power of the state. Not, the state wandering in, with its apparatus and procedures, its boards and tribunals into the doings, or speech, of the individual…

Be sure to read the whole thing.


human rights, pimply minions of bureaucracy , , ,

Guy Earle

March 29th, 2010

Anybody looking for news on the Guy Earle trial, somebody has begun a Guy Earle Trial blog. So far it’s a complete resource on what’s happening at the trial.kangaroo_court-2

Today, complainant Lorna Pardy gave her version of events.

This after Earle’s lawyer,  James Millar, walked out on the tribunal, citing it as “an illegal proceeding against the rule of law” and the tribunal as ” proceeding illegally.” It was a “high handed,” “abusive process,” and to continue he would be “consenting to what is an illegal process.”

human rights, pimply minions of bureaucracy , , ,

“I Have a File”

June 22nd, 2009

J. Edgar Hoover had a file too. Here’s a hard and fast rule of 1930-60’s America, don’t piss of J. Edgar or you’ll find yourself with a file. Fast forward to Canada, 2009, and discover another bureaucrat who keeps files: Canadian Human Rights commissioner Jennifer Lynch:

Please, please, look. We have experienced 16 months of invective hurled at us, and at any time when anybody has tried to speak up and correct misinformation, gross distortions, caricaturizations,[sic] then the very next day there’s been some full-frontal assault through the blogs, through mainstream media. I have a file. I’m sure I have 1,200, certainly several hundred of these things.

Twelve-hundred files. On whom? may we ask. Bloggers who speak ill of your institution? Ezra Levant? Mark Steyn? No doubt all of the above, but here’s a question for you Jennifer, do you have a file on Warren Kinsella, defender of the HRC’s? But of course, they’re her files, and she being a mere public servant, none of my business.

Of course, Ms. Lynch says so much more, including defending her job:

I’m a public servant responsible for giving effect to the principle that ‘individuals should have the right equal to others to make for themselves a life they are able and wish to have,’ and I’m going to do it.

I always like to pull out the old UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights which, when people like Jennifer Lynch want to debate these things always seems like a good place to start. Oh, and speaking of starting, here’s something from the second paragraph of the Preamble, you don’t get much more basic human rights than that which appears in the preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human rights:

…the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief

I searched in vain, by the way, for any reference to the “right equal to others to make for themselves a life they are able and wish to have,” whatever that actually means.

At the end of the day, that’s what this fight is about, everybody’s right to speak and think freely, without intimidation from some government lackey, whether in the form of hauling your sorry self before a tribunal, or just keeping a file on you.

free speech, freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy, human rights, Jacobian Piece of Impertinence, pimply minions of bureaucracy , , , , , , , , , ,

Tim Hudak to Scrap Human Rights Tribunals

May 13th, 2009

To use a phrase, it just got interesting. Prospective Ontario Provincial Conservative leader Tim Hudak announced yesterday that if he were to become Premier of Ontario, he would scrap Ontario Human Rights Commission tribunals:

Today, Tim announced his proposal to scrap the Human Rights Tribunal and instead move to a court-based system bound by rules of evidence as opposed to hurt feelings under the current tribunals.

“We must vigorously prosecute people for real acts of illegal discrimination,” said Tim. “This is not the case today, where we have a Commission and a Chair that use the Ontario Human Rights Code as a tool of political advocacy.”

I won’t get to excited until he specifically rules out speech complaints from his new system, but this is definitely promising.

Who I will endorse as leader is quietly shaping up, and Hudak just became a front runner. The question is, what does Randy Hiller, Christine Elliott and Frank Klees have to say on the abominable human rights tribunals?


Update: Twitter comes through – Randy Hillier is ahead of Hudak on this one:

As Premier, Randy Hillier will introduce legislation to eliminate the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.

He will place genuine violations of human rights before real courts, where all parties can be confident that justice will be done and that procedural fairness will not be ignored. Human Rights Commissions will become redundant and will be eliminated.

Updatier: Hello to readers of Blazing Cat Fur and the wonderful

human rights , , , , , , ,

London Mayhem

April 14th, 2009

It was a great night in London as 600 people absolutly filled the London City Music Theatre to the rafters to hear Five Feet of Fury’s Kathy Shaidle, Salim Mansur and Ezra Levant speak on free speech and human rights commisions in Canada.

Got the chance to meet Right Girl’s Wendy, Dr. Roy and Wonder Woman with her hubby Mike, and it was a pleasure to meet you all. Kathy was also on the meet list, but she was more than a little whelmed and wasn’t picking up who I was – I should have led with my twittername iambriandammit.

Kathy was, in fact, the surprise of the evening for me. I know her as one of us, a blogger. But her resume really is far more than that, and she is an excellent public speaker. Her speech was funny and informative, possibly highlight of the evening.

Salim Mansur was the dignified gentleman in black suit and tie. He looked elegant and (according to Wendy), handsome. His speech was very well thought out, you could tell he’s put a lot of time in considering these issues over his life, and highly passionate.

Of course, everyone came to hear Ezra Levant speaking. his book is a bestseller, about to enter a third printing, in the top five at Chapters and Amazon. In short, Ezra is hot at the moment. He didn’t have a prepared speech, instead grabbed a point Kathy Shaidle made, that human rights commissions are highly Canadian institutions, and rebutted it arguing that they are, in fact, un-Canadian. His main point was that something human rights commissions do is attempt to brand people who come before them as un-Canadian. He didn’t seem to like giving up the idea that they were inherently Canadian, thus making those who oppose them un-Canadian.

All in all it was a good night. I picked up Kathy’s The Tyranny of Nice and got it signed, and got my copy of Shake Down signed and I met a couple of fellow bloggers, finally. Yea, it was a good night.

I have pictures, but have to get to work now. I’ll post them tonight.

free speech, Go Ezra Go, human rights, pimply minions of bureaucracy

Losing the Fredom of Speech Fight

February 12th, 2009

We sit here and pontificate on the Human Rights Commissions in this country,  fighting the forces of censorship, of state controlled speech, and some days,it feels like progress is being made. Ezra Levant goes off the deep end on Michael Coren, and we cheer. Mark Steyn fights with high profile and a high margin of victory, and hooray! Baby steps forward. But it is clear, the fight against censorship is being lost,and lost badly.

The Ontario Human Rights Commission is calling for Parliament to force all Canadian magazines, newspapers and “media services” Web sites to join a national press council with the power to adjudicate breaches of professional standards and complaints of discrimination.

Barbara Hall, who claimed a lack of jurisdiction in the Steyn complaint last year and then pronounced on the complaint anyway, thinks all media, including blogs, should be subject to a national press council.

The implications for this are massive, and they affect every current event blogger. Doesn’t this mean that anonymous bloggers must register their blogs? Won’t they have to unanonymousize? What about reptilian kitten eaters? Must they register? Would a press council even allow us to call Gilligan that, or would we be forced to post, on our own blogs, paid for with real after tax day job dollars, an I’ve been a very naughty boy judgements against us?

No, we may be winning the debate, but we are losing the war. When the pimply minions of bureaucracy feel quite at liberty to make such suggestion, we not only aren’t making progress, we are going backwards.

And what Gilligan Kinsella and the rest of the apologists need to realize in a hurry is, either we all have free speech, or none of us do.

free speech, freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy, human rights, Jacobian Piece of Impertinence, pimply minions of bureaucracy

Human Rights Day in Canada

December 11th, 2008
Comments Off on Human Rights Day in Canada

Mark Steyn had a piece yesterday on the UN’s Human Rights Day, and points out a bunch of human rights that Canadians celebrating this UN-est of days don’t want you to have:

Today is Human Rights Day, the day that commemorates the United Nations’ adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights exactly 60 years ago – December 10th 1948. To be honest, I had no great interest in a day dedicated to human rights until agencies of the Canadian state started trying to deprive me of mine, and any professed respect in this space for the UN Declaration is, frankly, largely tactical…

Article 6
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Not in Canada. Chief Commissar Barbara Hall of the Ontario “Human Rights” Commission pronounced Maclean’s and me guilty without troubling herself to hear from the accused or to allow us to appear before her “court”.

Article 7
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law.

Not in Canada. Under Section 13, wealthy lawyers such as Richard Pieman and lavishly endowed lobby groups can sue penniless nonentities unable to afford any legal representation at all, while the plaintiffs get their tab picked up by the taxpayers.

Article 8
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Not in Canada. There is no “effective remedy” for Section 13’s sustained violation of the supposed constitutional right to free expression.

Article 10
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal…

Not in Canada. The “human rights” tribunal is not impartial but a de facto subsidiary of the “human rights” commission, which is why there has never been a single Section 13 case to come before the Canadian “Human Rights” Tribunal in which the defendant has been acquitted.

Article 11
1. Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

Not in Canada. Under Section 13, there is no presumption of innocence. Indeed, there is a presumption of guilt, and truth is no defence. Nor has a defendant any of “the guarantees necessary for his defence”. There is no due process at all. The rules are arbitrary and, as I saw first-hand in Vancouver, improvised on the spot to favour the plaintiff.

Article 12
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Not in Canada. In Ontario, the law attacks your “honour and reputation”, as Commissar Hall did when, despite being too gutless to hold a trial, she declared me and Maclean’s to be racist and “Islamophobic”. Furthermore, under the new powers foolishly granted to her by the Government of Ontario, Commissar Hall’s stormtroopers have the right to enter your premises without a warrant, seize “any document or thing” (as the relevant legislation puts it), including correspondence, and hold it for as long as they want.

Article 18
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought…

Ha! Tell it to Reverend Stephen Boissoin, ordered by the Province of Alberta to make a public statement recanting his thoughts on homosexuality, and prevented by law from ever expressing them again even in private e-mails.

Article 19
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Not in Canada. You have the right to government-regulated opinion and expression, which isn’t the same thing at all.

Article 21
2. Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.

Not in Canada. The Dominion’s “human rights” regimes service a select number of favoured “stakeholders” and ignore those who don’t meet their approved criteria. In effect, the CHRC runs a restricted admission country club.

Article 27
2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Not in Canada. At the British Columbia “Human Rights” Tribunal, not only does the law not protect the “moral and material interests” of the author, it puts them on trial and accords itself the right, if necessary, to criminalize his work.

Got all that? That’s 11 fundamental human rights that Canada doesn’t enjoy. And whoops, didn’t he miss one?:

Article 17.

    (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.

    (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

I’ve been bitching about this one since Paul Martin started ranting about cherry picking human rights, i.e. you couldn’t deny the newly invented human right of gays to be married, but you could deny the fundamental human right, according to the UN, of owning private property. Or as I put it at the time:

Rights are fundamental and cannot be cherry-picked or they are not. Property rights has been clearly spelled out in international law, so why are you against it? And even if you are against it, why have you not legislated it? Why is it not one of your priorities? Why are you cherry-picking this fundamental right?

I imagine celebrations of human rights day was somewhat muted in Canada!

human rights

So Much For That Idea

April 10th, 2008

Yesterday at work I decided to put an end to At Home in Hespeler. It was done, had run it’s course, and was clearly not a growth operation. Furthermore, blogger fatigue set in some time ago, and it has been a monumental chore to sit and type something, anything for the better part of a year if not longer. Then when I got home I checked my usual blogs (see sidebar) and what did I find?

Richard “The Boy Named Sue” Warman has finally filed his statement of claim.

Canada’s busiest litigant, serial “human rights” complainant and — the guy Mark Steyn has called “Canada’s most sensitive man” — Richard Warman is now suing his most vocal critics — including me.

The suit names:

• Ezra Levant (famous for his stirring YouTube video of his confrontation with the Canadian Human Rights tribunal after he published the “Mohammed Cartoons”)
• (Canada’s answer to
• Kate McMillan of
• Jonathan Kay of the National Post daily newspaper and its in-house blog
• and me, Kathy Shaidle of

Well walking out on a day like that felt wrong and after a days thought, I’ve changed my mind. This fight is my fight too. It is a fight for free speech, it is a fight for the blogosphere in Canada. My small part is to keep talking, to accept the responsibility that comes with freedom of speech, and to add some money into the paypal accounts of the four blogs involved:

Kathy Shaidle of Five Feet Of Fury
Kate McMillan of Small Dead Animals
Free Dominion
Ezra Levant

All four have donation buttons and could use the help right now.

It should also be noted that the National Post, and it’s writer Jonathan Kay have also been named, although I’m guessing they aren’t looking for donations for a defence fund.

For more

Buy a t-shirt, support the cause.
We are men, free and spirited men and we will not allow even the Dominion of Canada to trample on our rights.
Red Tory.
A bore and a war.
No Libs – Richard Warman’s pants.

freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy, human rights

Michael Coren on Ezra Levant… and Me

January 19th, 2008

The real issue here is not about a weak or fearful press becoming “more responsive to Muslim sensitivities than to truth or the concerns of any other group,” … or about pandering to any segment of society.

Rather, it is about cultural sensitivity, social responsibility and common sense. Freedom of speech is not and never has been an absolute. “The most stringent protection of free speech would not,” Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. wrote, “protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre.” This right carries with it a need to be responsible for one’s actions.

Garry Trudeau, the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist and creator of Doonesbury, sums it up best: “Just because a society has almost unlimited freedom of expression doesn’t mean we should ever stop thinking about its consequences in the real world.” Exactly…

Let’s change the visual for a moment. One of the cartoons basically portrayed the Prophet Mohammed as a terrorist.

So, how would a Catholic react to a cartoon of Christ sexually abusing a child, published at the height of the controversy about Catholic priests sexually abusing boys?…

Newspapers have an obligation to their communities to inform, entertain, educate and explain, to place events in context, in such a way as to make them not only understandable, but useful. Newspapers also have a duty to provoke and challenge — to act as a conduit for discussion and debate.

But there is a world of difference between discussion and debate and engaging in sweeping generalizations and racist stereotyping…

Just because you can do something doesn’t always mean you should do it.

The above was written by Jim Jennings at the Toronto Sun in Feb 2006, explaining why they did not publish the now infamous “Muhammad cartoons”. I called it cowardice at the time, and it’s still cowardice. So it’s interesting that today Michael Coren writes in the same newspaper about Ezra Levant, the Alberta Human Rights Commission, and “the real reason the cartoons were not published, of course, is that people were terrified of the consequences.”:

Actually the real disgrace here is that the Western Standard was the only Canadian publication to print the cartoons. They should have been featured in every media outlet in the country, in that they made international news. The ostensible reason that they weren’t published was that they were, yet again, offensive.

So bloody what? Canadian newspapers publish cartoons that are offensive to Christians, for example, dozens of times a year. Tolerating that which offends is part of being an adult, being sensible and being part of an adult, sensible county with an adult, sensible culture. Or at least it was.

The real reason the cartoons were not published, of course, is that people were terrified of the consequences. In some cases editors had private security companies give them estimates of how much it would cost to protect their buildings. Which is not only cowardly, but deeply insulting to Canadian Muslims, who are some of the most moderate in the Islamic diaspora.

The editors at the good old New York Times pretentiously explained why they wouldn’t publish pictures of Muhammad with a bomb in his turban. They could, they said, adequately explain the cartoons in words. Odd, then, that in the same week they printed a photograph of an alleged artwork depicting the Virgin Mary covered in excrement. Suddenly their ability to describe had abandoned them.

The stench of double standard and fearfulness is as heady as the perfume from an Arabic harem.

We know they’re lying and they know they’re lying.

“We know they’re lying and they know they’re lying.” Exactly! It was so then, it is so now. Yet Michael Coren takes the New York Times to task for it’s pretentious explanation, is the Toronto Sun’s any less so? And as Coren very accuatly points out, that quote about “Catholic react to a cartoon of Christ sexually abusing a child” is nonsense. They sure wouldn’t kill the cartoonist, and if they did the Toronto Sun would be the first ones to publish the cartoon to give the story it’s proper context.

The media’s cowardice on this issue is a major reason Ezra Levant is in front of the Human Rights Commission: if Western Standard wasn’t the only publication printing them, they likely wouldn’t have had a complaint. Yet the news media, outside of a few editorials, has been silent on this issue. (MPs staffers didn’t even know it was an issue.) Once again those who have the most to lose by the crushing of free speech in this country seem to be uninterested in it’s demise.

Of course, if it was the Sun’s right to publish pictures of Karla Holmolka that was at issue, they would be all over it. What shouldn’t need explaining to them, but clearly does, is next time it may Karla taking them to the human rights commissions, claiming her rights are violated by surreptitious pictures printed in the Sun, and they will have already forfeited the argument:

Just because a society has almost unlimited freedom of expression doesn’t mean we should ever stop thinking about its consequences in the real world.

Words to lose by.

Go Ezra Go, human rights

Fun With Ezra Levant

January 16th, 2008

Some funny stuff from The Nose on Your Face:

Top 9 Little Known Facts About Ezra Levant

9. Global warming began when Ezra Levant willed the temperature in Canada up a few degrees–you know, just to take the chill out of the air.

8. 95% of all monsters surveyed reported that they are either “absolutely terrified” or “hysterically afraid” of Ezra Levant. Levant already ate the remaining 5%.

7. Ezra Levant once looked Helen Thomas directly in the face and lived to tell about it.

6. (tie) Ezra Levant can grow a thicker mustache than both Tom Selleck and Rosie O’Donnell.

6. (tie) Ezra Levant is actually registered twice as a lethal weapon: once for himself and once for his aura.

5. Ezra Levant eats live cougars sprinkled with Jack Bauer, washes it down with a sandpaper and Chuck Liddell milkshake, and then wipes himself with Chuck Norris.

4. Ezra Levant got the gang from Scooby Doo to stop meddling. Singlehandedly.

3. Ezra Levant forced the band “Better Than Ezra” to change their name to “Alberta Human Rights Commission”: because no one is better than Ezra.

2. New studies show that Muslim suicide bombers aren’t sacrificing themselves for Allah, they’re just trying to escape the wrath of Ezra Levant.

1. If you ever find yourself being persecuted for your views by one of those politically correct government types, simply say “Ezra Levant” three times really fast. He will appear out of thin air and reduce the offender to a whimpering kitten in no time flat with his irresistible onslaught of crane-style verbal kung fu.

And the video version:

h/t Wendy

Go Ezra Go, human rights

I believe that this commission has no proper authority over me.

January 15th, 2008

I wish I had half the guts Ezra Levant has. Here is his opening statement to the Alberta Human Rights Commission, or as Ezra put it that ” low-level, quasi-judicial body.”

Go Ezra Go!

Alberta Human Rights Commission Interrogation
Opening remarks by Ezra Levant, January 11, 2008 – Calgary

My name is Ezra Levant. Before this government interrogation begins, I will make a statement.
When the Western Standard magazine printed the Danish cartoons of Mohammed two years ago, I was the publisher. It was the proudest moment of my public life. I would do it again today. In fact, I did do it again today. Though the Western Standard, sadly, no longer publishes a print edition, I posted the cartoons this morning on my website,

I am here at this government interrogation under protest. It is my position that the government has no legal or moral authority to interrogate me or anyone else for publishing these words and pictures. That is a violation of my ancient and inalienable freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and in this case, religious freedom and the separation of mosque and state. It is especially perverted that a bureaucracy calling itself the Alberta human rights commission would be the government agency violating my human rights. So I will now call those bureaucrats “the commission” or “the hrc”, since to call the commission a “human rights commission” is to destroy the meaning of those words.

I believe that this commission has no proper authority over me. The commission was meant as a low-level, quasi-judicial body to arbitrate squabbles about housing, employment and other matters, where a complainant felt that their race or sex was the reason they were discriminated against. The commission was meant to deal with deeds, not words or ideas. Now the commission, which is funded by a secular government, from the pockets of taxpayers of all backgrounds, is taking it upon itself to be an enforcer of the views of radical Islam. So much for the separation of mosque and state.

I have read the past few years’ worth of decisions from this commission, and it is clear that it has become a dump for the junk that gets rejected from the real legal system. I read one case where a male hair salon student complained that he was called a “loser” by the girls in the class. The commission actually had a hearing about this. Another case was a kitchen manager with Hepatitis-C, who complained that it was against her rights to be fired. The commission actually agreed with her, and forced the restaurant to pay her $4,900. In other words, the commission is a joke – it’s the Alberta equivalent of a U.S. television pseudo-court like Judge Judy – except that Judge Judy actually was a judge, whereas none of the commission’s panellists are judges, and some aren’t even lawyers. And, unlike the commission, Judge Judy believes in freedom of speech.

It’s bad enough that this sick joke is being wreaked on hair salons and restaurants. But it’s even worse now that the commissions are attacking free speech. That’s my first point: the commissions have leapt out of the small cage they were confined to, and are now attacking our fundamental freedoms. As Alan Borovoy, Canada’s leading civil libertarian, a man who helped form these commissions in the 60’s and 70’s, wrote, in specific reference to our magazine, being a censor is, quote, “hardly the role we had envisioned for human rights commissions. There should be no question of the right to publish the impugned cartoons.” Unquote. Since the commission is so obviously out of control, he said quote “It would be best, therefore, to change the provisions of the Human Rights Act to remove any such ambiguities of interpretation.” Unquote.

The commission has no legal authority to act as censor. It is not in their statutory authority. They’re just making it up – even Alan Borovoy says so.

But even if the commissions had some statutory fig leaf for their attempts at political and religious censorship, it would still be unlawful and unconstitutional.

We have a heritage of free speech that we inherited from Great Britain that goes back to the year 1215 and the Magna Carta. We have a heritage of eight hundred years of British common law protection for speech, augmented by 250 years of common law in Canada.

That common law has been restated in various fundamental documents, especially since the Second World War.

In 1948, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which Canada is a party, declared that, quote:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

The 1960 Canadian Bill of Rights guaranteed, quote

1. “ human rights and fundamental freedoms, namely,

(c) freedom of religion; (d) freedom of speech; (e) freedom of assembly and association; and (f) freedom of the press.

In 1982, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guaranteed, quote:

2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

a) freedom of conscience and religion;

b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;

Those were even called “fundamental freedoms” – to give them extra importance.

For a government bureaucrat to call any publisher or anyone else to an interrogation to be quizzed about his political or religious expression is a violation of 800 years of common law, a Universal Declaration of Rights, a Bill of Rights and a Charter of Rights. This commission is applying Saudi values, not Canadian values.

It is also deeply procedurally one-sided and unjust. The complainant – in this case, a radical Muslim imam, who was trained at an officially anti-Semitic university in Saudi Arabia, and who has called for sharia law to govern Canada – doesn’t have to pay a penny; Alberta taxpayers pay for the prosecution of the complaint against me. The victims of the complaints, like the Western Standard, have to pay for their own lawyers from their own pockets. Even if we win, we lose – the process has become the punishment. (At this point, I’d like to thank the magazine’s many donors who have given their own money to help us fight against the Saudi imam and his enablers in the Alberta government.)

It is procedurally unfair. Unlike real courts, there is no way to apply for a dismissal of nuisance lawsuits. Common law rules of evidence don’t apply. Rules of court don’t apply. It is a system that is part Kafka, and part Stalin. Even this interrogation today – at which I appear under duress – saw the commission tell me who I could or could not bring with me as my counsel and advisors.

I have no faith in this farcical commission. But I do have faith in the justice and good sense of my fellow Albertans and Canadians. I believe that the better they understand this case, the more shocked they will be. I am here under your compulsion to answer the commission’s questions. But it is not I who am on trial: it is the freedom of all Canadians.

You may start your interrogation.

This ones for you Ezra:

Go Ezra Go, human rights

David Asper and Private Property Rights

May 1st, 2007
Comments Off on David Asper and Private Property Rights

David Asper has a piece today in the National Post about honouring international law. Entitled Our Hypocrisy on the World Stage, Asper does a nice piece on UN treaties rights ignored by Canada. What set Asper off was a piece in yesterdays post regarding the un-elected Senate’s recent report, Children: The Silenced Citizens.

What interested me was Asper’s part on Private Property Rights:

The granddaddy of them all is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the United Nations in 1948. It was followed by the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1966. Canada has ratified both of these documents…

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, for example, confers a right to own property. But property rights are not included in the Canadian Charter of Rights.

I have been on this issue before, back when Paul Martin was blathering on about people who cherry-pick rights”:

If you are talking rights, and things like ‘fundamental human rights’ we need to know what are human rights. Which leads us to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Note, this is from the UN’s Commision on Human Rights and has been in effect for 57 years now. Here’s a little something from the preamble:

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

‘Member States have pledged themselves to achieve…human rights and fundamental freedoms’…

Article 17.

    (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.

    (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

… Rights are fundamental and cannot be cherry-picked or they are not. Property rights has been clearly spelled out in international law…

When people like myself, or maybe Gerry Nicholls‘ complain about the Conservatives not acting conservative, here’s what we mean. From the founding principles of the Conservative Party of Canada:

The Conservative Party will be guided in its constitutional framework and its policy basis by the following principles:

… A belief that the best guarantors of the prosperity and well-being of the people of Canada are:

• The freedom of individual Canadians to pursue their enlightened and legitimate self-interest within a competitive economy;

• The freedom of individual Canadians to enjoy the fruits of their labour to the greatest possible extent; and

• The right to own property;

It’s a UN right, it’s a conservative principle and, as Asper points out, it’s our obligation under international law. Further more, we are one of the few jurisdictions in the world that doesn’t guarantee property rights.

Why does nobody ever want to tackle this important issue in this country? Where is Canada’s John Locke?

Gerry Nicholls, human rights, property rights, Stephen Harper, The Media Following My Lead.