The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruled today that section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, Canada’s human rights legislation against hate messages, unreasonably limits the Charter right to freedom of expression.
[…]Popular conservative pundit and human rights commission critic Mark Steyn today said that the end of the hate speech legislation is near, calling today’s decision a “landmark decision.” “This is the beginning of the end for Section 13 and its provincial equivalents, and a major defeat for Canada’s thought police,” he said. “It’s not just a personal triumph for Marc Lemire, but a critical victory in the campaign by Ezra Levant, Maclean’s, yours truly and others to rid the Canadian state of this hideous affront to justice.”
[…]The hate message section of the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) has been the subject of growing criticism, having been accused of placing limits on the Charter right to freedom of expression. High profile cases have been brought against conservative publisher Ezra Levant and columnist Mark Steyn, as well as numerous cases against Christians who have expressed their convictions against the homosexualist agenda.
The CHRC has admitted to using unethical methods within their investigations. Notably, in a hearing during Lemire’s case, CHRC employee Dean Steacy testified that he and a number of colleagues regularly used an alias to post racist messages… The CHRC was also investigated by the RCMP regarding allegations that they had hacked into a private citizen’s internet connection, though that case was dropped when it led the police to the American jurisdiction.
Until today, no respondent had won a human rights case brought to the Tribunal under section 13. Further, about half of the section 13 cases have been brought by Richard Warman, and almost all of them in recent years.
Here are some of the blogs from his round-up:
- Mark Steyn: This is the beginning of the end for Section 13
- National Post: Hate speech law ruled unconstitutional
- Marginalized Action Dinosaur: SECTION 13 HAS BEEN STRUCK DOWN!
- FiveFeetOfFury: ‘Hate/thought crime’ law ‘unconstitutional’
- Scaramouche: A sudden–and shocking–renunciation of Thought Police-type thinking
- Denyse O’Leary : This just in – Infamous Section 13 hits a wall
- Big Blue Wave: Celebrate with me! Hate speech law unconstitutional: rights tribunal
- Scary Fundamentalist: We’ll let you go this time
- MooseandSquirrel: Free speech wins a battle
- Socon or Bust: CHRT Throws S.13 Under the Bus
I took a look at the comments on BCF, and they are still pretty cautious, but excited.
This news was big enough to get picked up over at Hot Air by Ed Morrissey, who explains:
When government tells you what you can and cannot say in the political context, then free speech is essentially dead. Section 13 created an enormously intimidating device for anyone who wants to argue their beliefs in the public square in Canada. Even in just a “remedial” mode, it creates an atmosphere where people have to worry whether their speech will create a necessity to seek government approval, and the costs of defending speech become so onerous as to silence people.
The conservatives need to make this an issue in the next election, which is coming soon since the Liberals have announced that they are no longer going to back the Conservatives. Now is the time for bold action, Stephen Harper.
- Mark Steyn radio interview and previous Ezra Levant debate
- Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn on Milt Rosenberg’s radio show
- Ezra Levant videos from the Michael Coren TV show, here.
- Evan Sayet’s speeches on how progressives think