Free speech in Canada, the United Kingdom and Cuba

My friend Jojo writes to inform me that I must blog about the state of free speech in Canada, so I will do it. But I am worried that my readers do not like to hear about other countries, like Canada. Just last week I blogged about Stephen Harper traveling to visit the Canadian troops in Afghanistan, and did not see a big hit count on that story, even thought I thought it was awesome!

Here is Jojo’s article on free speech. In the most Conservative province of Alberta, the “conservative” Ed Stelmach that they elected in the primaries is blocking HRC reform, and increasing the HRC budget! Since only the Conservatives can win in Alberta, all the Liberal and NDP (socialist) people vote in the primary and they end up with the equivalent of Arlen Specter as the Conservative nominee!

I had blogged about Ezra Levant’s support for Stephen Boissoin before, and about Lindsay Blackett’s intent to reform the Alberta HRC. But it looks like Stelmach is going to block Blackett’s effort to reform the Alberta HRC!

And here is the excerpt for Alberta:

Lindsay Blackett, Minister of Culture and Community Spirit, oversees Alberta’s Human Rights Commission. He announced plans to reform the human rights code and commission. He disparagingly called the commission a “Kangaroo Court,” and hinted at the likelihood that the government would repeal the censorship provisions in the provincial human rights code so that the commission could not be used as a weapon against free speech.

Bu Premier Stelmach sent his black Culture Minister to the back of the bus. The government’s set of amendments to Alberta’s human rights industry is preserving the censorship provisions.

Not only that, but professing Christian Premier Stelmach is rewarding the anti-Christian bigotry of Alberta’s HRC by giving them a raise – a budget increase of $1.7 million – in the middle of a recession – in a deficit budget.

Note to conservatives: have some sort of ideology test for delegates. And then we move to Ontario, where one the 4 candidates I blogged about before is promising to abolish the Ontario HRC entirely:

The fight against human rights commissions moves to Ontario with Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Randy Hillier advocating the elimination of that province’s Human Rights Commission. Mr. Hillier’s leadership campaign platform includes a number of freedom-oriented and private property rights entrenching proposals. Mr. Hillier recognizes that the Human Rights Commission is guilty of serious violations of Ontarians’ fundamental freedoms. Additionally, defending his proposal to abolish Ontario’s HRC, Mr. Hillier said that real human rights are so important that they should be defending in real courts, not delegated to Kangaroo Courts.

To vote in Ontario’s provincial PC leadership campaign, you need to be a member of the PC party by May 14th.

I haven’t heard any pro-freedom comments from the other three leadership candidates, especially in reference to human rights commissions. In fact, there seems to be a real paucity of tangible policy proposals from the other three candidates, so I don’t know where they stand, or what I can hold them accountable to, if any of them become the next leader of the Ontario PC Party.

Now on to the UK, where things are definitely taking a turn for the worst! The Australian has this report about Britain.

This is scaring the snark out of me:

Countryside Restoration Trust chairman and columnist Robin Page said at a rally against the Government’s anti-hunting laws in Gloucestershire in 2002: “If you are a black vegetarian Muslim asylum-seeking one-legged lesbian lorry driver, I want the same rights as you.” Page was arrested, and after four months he received a letter saying no charges would be pressed, but that: “If further evidence comes to our attention whereby your involvement is implicated, we will seek to initiate proceedings.” It took him five years to clear his name.

And this is worse still, because she just a child:

In September 2006, a 14-year-old schoolgirl, Codie Stott, asked a teacher if she could sit with another group to do a science project as all the girls with her spoke only Urdu. The teacher’s first response, according to Stott, was to scream at her: “It’s racist, you’re going to get done by the police!” Upset and terrified, the schoolgirl went outside to calm down. The teacher called the police and a few days later, presumably after officialdom had thought the matter over, she was arrested and taken to a police station, where she was fingerprinted and photographed. According to her mother, she was placed in a bare cell for 3 1/2 hours. She was questioned on suspicion of committing a racial public order offence and then released without charge. The school was said to be investigating what further action to take, not against the teacher, but against Stott. Headmaster Anthony Edkins reportedly said: “An allegation of a serious nature was made concerning a racially motivated remark. We aim to ensure a caring and tolerant attitude towards pupils of all ethnic backgrounds and will not stand for racism in any form.”

The article is filled with anti free speech madness:

A bishop was warned by the police for not having done enough to “celebrate diversity”, the enforcing of which is now apparently a police function. A Christian home for retired clergy and religious workers lost a grant because it would not reveal to official snoopers how many of the residents were homosexual. That they had never been asked was taken as evidence of homophobia.

Muslim parents who objected to young children being given books advocating same-sex marriage and adoption at one school last year had their wishes respected and the offending material withdrawn. This year, Muslim and Christian parents at another school objecting to the same material have not only had their objections ignored but have been threatened with prosecution if they withdraw their children.

And naturally, Christian lambs are the target of atheist wolves:

There have been innumerable cases in recent months of people in schools, hospitals and other institutions losing their jobs because of various religious scruples, often, as in the East Germany of yore, not shouted fanatically from the rooftops but betrayed in private conversations and reported to authorities. The crime of one nurse was to offer to pray for a patient, who did not complain but merely mentioned the matter to another nurse. A primary school receptionist, Jennie Cain, whose five-year-old daughter was told off for talking about Jesus in class, faces the sack for seeking support from her church. A private email from her to other members of the church asking for prayers fell into the hands of school authorities.

Maybe things are different in the UK, which may explain a recent exchange I had with a British atheist about a recent audio debate regarding that nurse. Read the exchange and consider how far gone the UK must be when the mere fact that a non-Christian hears something they don’t like is grounds for removing fundamental rights to free speech and freedom of religious expression.

I also noticed some comments from Ed West, who blogs for the UK Telegraph here, talks about the SECULAR THEOCRACY or ATHEOCRACY.

Excerpt:

Lib Dem MP Evan Harris felt very smug about overturning Britain’s long disused blasphemy laws last years, and was made “Secularist of the Year”, even though Britain hasn’t been in any way an Anglican theocracy since the early Victorian era. This – arresting people for having unfashionable views, however objectionable – is a real theocracy. If you want to fight for freedom, Dr Harris, fight for the peoples’ right to be racist or sexist or Islamophobic or simply rude.

This atheocracy derives from the incredibly liberal but also incredibly intolerant anti-discrimination morality that spread through Britain’s universities in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

It became known as “political correctness”, which itself became a tedious cliche because we journalists overused it…. The point of political correctness was that it closed down debate. Political correctness sought – in true Orwellian fashion– to make contrary ideas utterly verboten.

Everyone is so surprised to find out that atheist rule is totalitarian. Excuse me? Who do you think killed 100 million people in the 20th century alone? (Hint: It was wasn’t followers of Jesus, who are obligated to love their enemies). Atheism leads to fascism! Wake up!

Where on the planet are atheists in charge of states? Well, there’s North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela… Hey! What’s going on in atheistic Cuba? (H/T Mere Rhetoric)

Cuba is further limiting access to the World Wide Web for its citizens, in what many believe is an effort to rein in a small but increasingly popular group of bloggers who are critical of the government. In a move seen as aimed at anti-government bloggers, Cuba is further limiting access to the World Wide Web Only government employees, academics and researchers are allowed their own Internet accounts, which are provided by the state, but only have limited access to sites outside the island. Ordinary Cubans may open e-mail accounts accessible at many post offices, but do not have access to the Web. Many got around the restrictions by using hotel Internet services. But a new resolution barring ordinary Cubans from using hotel Internet services quietly went into place in recent weeks, according to an official with Cuba’s telecom monopoly, hotel workers and bloggers.

What does Santayana say about those who are ignorant of the lessons of history?

UPDATE: Just a reminder that the Democrats are trying to pass a hate crime bill and a bill to criminalize blogging as well, in the USA.

2 thoughts on “Free speech in Canada, the United Kingdom and Cuba”

  1. The accounts of what is happening especially in the UK are chilling. Thank goodness we’re not there…yet! Let’s make sure that our response to these articles is not “yikes, that’s horrific” – but rather “yikes, that’s horrific…what can we do to ensure this doesn’t happen in the US or get worse in Canada”.

    Like

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