Here is the commercial-free MP3 recording. We Americans need to understand what leftist ideologues do to free speech rights in other countries. It’s going to look a lot like what’s been done by the left in Canada, Europe and in leftist-dominated university campuses the world over. You must listen to this podcast! You will not find a better resource about the leftist threat to our liberties!
Ezra Levant is Jewish, but he is the best friend that Christians ever had in Canada. One of the victims of the virulently anti-Christian Human Rights Commissions was a penniless pastor by the name of Stephen Boissoin. Boissoin wrote an essay in which he expressed his opinions on gay activism. The case is described by Levant in the audio linked above.
This one (and the next two) are very special events. They’re dinners to help a victim of Alberta’s human rights commission — Rev. Stephen Boissoin. As readers will recall, because he expressed his religious views on gay marriage, Rev. Boissoin was punished with a six-year government prosecution, and then an outrageous order — punitive fines, a lifetime ban on expressing his views in public or in private, and an abominable order to publicly renounce his religious views. Seriously — you can read the details here. Tickets are $100, with proceeds going to pay for Rev. Boissoin’s appeal. For more info, and to register, click here.
Red Deer, Friday, May 1
Second fundraising dinner for Rev. Stephen Boissoin’s legal defence, 6 p.m. Details here.
Edmonton, Saturday, May 2
Third and final fundraising dinner for Rev. Stephen Boissoin’s legal defence, 6 p.m. Details here.
Ezra Levant is without a doubt the most heroic person in Canada! That is another reason to listen to the podcast. Levant and Steyn are two good men of courage and directness. This is the podcast equivalent of “Gladiator” and “300”. These are courageous, forceful men who have been given a difficult task. They are direct and passionate. PLEASE LISTEN TO THE PODCAST!!!
Hillier, along with fellow PC MPP Lisa Macleod, have been leading the charge to reform Ontario’s HRCs. They were the ones who pressed for public hearings at which Tribunal appointees would be grilled — which led to some scary revelations about the censorious instincts of that panel. And he also was part of the team (led by Macleod) who brought Mark Steyn to Queen’s Park to testify about the kangaroo court nature of the OHRC.
Levant is referring to her questioning of Mark Steyn regarding the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal. The full transcript is here, courtesy of Pamela Geller at Atlas Shrugs. This is about as strong a defense of free speech as you’ll ever see, folks. And it’s a warning to the consequences of electing progressives who do not trust you to exercise your own free will, lest you hurt someone’s feelings.
Here is a little of Mark Steyn’s opening speech from the hearing:
Mr. Mark Steyn: The present Ontario human rights regime is incompatible with a free society. It is useless on real human rights issues that we face today and, in the course of such pseudo human rights, as the human right to smoke marijuana on someone else’s property or the human right to a transsexual labioplasty, in the course of those pseudo-rights it tramples on real human rights including property rights, free speech, the right to due process and the presumption of innocence. Far from reducing racism or sexism, the Ontario human rights regime explicitly institutionalizes racism and sexism through its inability to view any dispute except through the narrow prism of identity politics. It’s at odds not just with eight centuries of this province’s legal inheritance, but with the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Canada likes that one so much, it sticks it on the back of the $50 bill, even though Ontario’s human rights regime is in sustained, systemic breach of article 6, article 7, articles 8 to 10, 11, 12, 18, 19, 21 and 27 of the UN declaration. The good news is that Ontario’s not in violation of as many articles as Sudan or North Korea.
All are equal before the law and are entitled, without any discrimination, to equal protection of the law. That’s article 7. It’s not true in Ontario. Last year, the Ontario Human Rights Commission effectively gave Maclean’s and myself a driveby verdict. They couldn’t be bothered taking us to trial but they decided to pronounce us guilty anyway. That neglects the most basic principle of justice: Audi alteram partem, hear the other side. Chief commissar Barbara Hall didn’t bother hearing the other side; she simply declared us guilty. That is the very defining act of a police state: an apparatchik announcing that a citizen is guilty of dissent from state orthodoxy.
But here’s the point: Maclean’s and I have no fear of Barbara Hall, the commission or the tribunal. You’re welcome to try and do your worst to us. We have deep pockets, we pushed back and we filled the newspapers with stories about all these wacky cases that Barbara Hall and others are so obsessed about. Like all tinpot bullies, the commission couldn’t take the heat and backed down. But if you’re just a fellow who happens to own a restaurant in Burlington, the Ontario human rights regime will destroy your savings, your business, your life for no good reason. The verdict’s irrelevant; the process is the punishment.
He is saying this about a tribunal run by fascist progressive inquisitors hell-bent on ramming their values down the throats of individuals. And here is an excerpt from MacLeod’s questioning of Steyn:
Ms. Lisa MacLeod: Welcome to our committee Mr. Steyn. During the summer, this committee convened to interview and review the 22 vice-chairs and the 22 members of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal and throughout that process your case, Maclean’s vs. the Ontario Human Rights Commission, as well as what happened in British Columbia to you as well as what happened federally to you was front and centre on our minds. Consistently throughout that process I asked questions of the deputants, those seeking to be appointed to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, if they believed free press trumped discrimination or vice versa. One of the deputants actually responded. Today, earlier, I asked the same question to the chair of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal. He responded and said that neither trumps either. I would like your view on that, because it follows sort of a logical set of questions that I have which are next with respect to freedom of expression and freedom of speech.
Mr. Mark Steyn: With respect to the witness this morning, that has become a standard equivocation at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal. Whenever tribunal judges take away individual human rights they do so under the guise of what they call balancing competing rights. So for example, going back to the Scott Brockie case, they claim to be balancing his right to freedom of religion with the right of the gay people seeking printed materials to be free from discrimination. In practice they almost never balance those rights. They always defer to collective rights, group rights in favour of individual rights. I’m an absolutist on this. I agree with the view that the ultimate minority is the individual and classically, historically, common law has been entirely antipathetic to group rights, because who can speak for a group? Who can speak for a group?The notion of group rights should be an abomination to a settled democracy as old as this province.
I hope that the Canadian conservatives at every level of government turn this into an election issue, in order to draw libertarians away from the other parties. These Human Rights Commissions are the darlings of secular left-wing politically correct fascists, and they can’t stand the idea of their totalitarian censorship seeing the light of day.
Canadian columnist Mark Steyn has some welcome news on the sorry state of free speech north of the border. (H/T Free Canuckistan) Specifically, the good news is from the western province of British Columbia, (contains Vancouver), home to one of the 3 worst Human Rights Commissions operating in Canada.
BC is a bit like Quebec in that it has a two-party system in which neither choice is conservative: in la belle province, it’s a choice between the separatists and the Quebec Liberals; on the left coast, it’s a choice between the socialists and the BC Liberals. So the right-of-centre vote in BC goes, faute de mieux, to Gordon Campbell’s party.
So, there really is no way that the provincial conservatives can win at the provincial level, and conservative voters ending up voting for the Liberals, just to keep the socialists out of power.
But suddenly, the provincial conservatives decided that the status quo was not good enough for British Columbians:
Or at any rate that’s the way it was until the upstart BC Tories decided to challenge Premier Campbell from the right in next month’s provincial election. Robert Jago spoke to their leader, Wilf Hanni, about the “Human Rights” Tribunal and got the following response:
A BC Conservative Government will reform the BC Human Rights Tribunal:
* So that any complainant will be responsible for the legal fees associated with his or her human rights complaint.
* To make complainants responsible for paying the defendant’s legal fees should the complainant lose their Human Rights Tribunal case.
* To disallow individuals and organizations from making Human Rights Tribunal complaints when Human Rights Tribunals in other Canadian jurisdictions are already investigating the same issue.
* To disallow cases dealing with freedom of speech under Section 2 of the Charter.
* To allow appeals, to a court of law, for any decision made by the Tribunal.
* So that the Tribunal cannot render penalties outside the boundaries of Canadian Laws.
We realize that it is neither fair nor equitable that complainants currently receive free legal representation no matter how frivolous the complaint, while defendants must pay their own legal fees.
Denyse O’Leary has a re-cap of the sorry state of free speech in Canada, here.
It is worth noting how these Human Rights Commissions don’t just affect individual liberty – they affect commerce, as well! Businesses can be sued just as easily as individuals. All it takes is a victim from a special interest group to feel “offended”.
Closet Conservative linked to this St. Catharines Standard story:
The owner of a downtown St. Catharines fitness club faces a mediation hearing today for allegedly denying a pre-operation transsexual access to the women’s only areas of his gym.
The transsexual — now a woman, but a man at the time of the incident two years ago — is taking the case to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, John Fulton said Tuesday.
Mark Steyn has more stories of business owners and professionals facing “Human Rights” suits from offended clients. Excerpt:
What’s the “proper conduct” for Mr Fulton? Decline to let the pre-op use the ladies’ changing room and get a “human rights” complaint? Or let the Big Swinging Dick have the run of the shower and get a whole bunch of other suits from his outraged female members?
What’s the “proper conduct” for Dr Stubbs? Decline to perform a labiaplasty on the post-op transsexual because he’s no idea what he’s getting into (so to speak)? Or perform it and risk a malpractice suit for botching an operation?
What’s the “proper conduct” for Gator Ted? Tell the medical marijuana guy to stop smoking pot in his doorway and be hauled before the commissars? Or let the guy go ahead and get sued by the trucker sitting next to him at the bar when he fails his drug test?
There is no “proper conduct”, only the whims and caprices of nuisance plaintiffs backed by the Ontario government’s social engineers. Bar owners and fitness clubs run up five- and six-figure legal bills. The nuisance plaintiffs get the tab picked up by taxpayers, and thus have no incentive to settle.
Canada may have a fiscal conservative running the economy today, but Stephen Harper still doesn’t have the majority government he needs to abolish these kangaroo courts once and for all.
In Canada, the right not to be offended trumps freedom of speech and freedom of religious expression. If you offend someone, nothing can save you from the Human Rights Commissions. All that is needed is for a victim to feel offended. The complainant doesn’t have to pay anything to lay charges, but the defendant is on the hook for all of his own legal fees. The conviction rate is virtually 100%. Even if you could somehow win, you would still lose time and money while you defend yourself. Penalties can include fines, public apologies, bans on future speech, and even jail time! These are left-wing inquisitions created by left-wing governments who believe in controlling citizens through the force of government.
Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn are the two most prominent defenders of free speech in Canada.
Here is Ezra Levant’s most recent appearance on the Michael Coren show. (There is no clip 3) In this show, Levant gets to debate against two left-wing activists, and there are fireworks going off. Do not miss this debate!
Here is a summary of Ezra’s struggle against the Human Rights Commissions. He has spent more than $100,000 defending himself from charges that he offended people. Here is a summary of what happened to Mark Steyn. He authored the extremely popular book “America Alone”. Steyn was just hauled in front of the Human Rights Commission in Ontario to answer for offending people with his writings.
To see how this affects Christians in particular, consider the case of Stephen Boissoin. You will not believe the sentence that he gets after 5 years of being tried. These anti-free speech laws are not applied equally, they are almost always applied against groups that are hated by the left. When left-wingers get into power, they are not shy about using the full force of government to go after people who did not vote for them. Your human rights are irrelevant to them.
UPDATE: Welcome visitors from the Anchoress! Thanks so much for the link! New readers may want to take a look around since I cover a lot of different topics here, from free speech to economics to science to public policy!