CultureWatch

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Finally Some Good News Out of Canada

Jun 9, 2012

All countries have got their problems – but some countries seem to have them in more abundance and in more extreme measures than others. Any reader to this blog will know that Canada has had its fair share of problems, especially in terms of anti-family, anti-faith, and anti-freedom initiatives.

Indeed, I have penned many dozens of articles on this country. So it gets a bit gloomy and doomy at times. But fortunately it is not all one way traffic, and once in a while we find a win taking place. That has just happened in Canada, and it is worth taking note of.

Consider this very recent article: “Five years ago, during testimony in the case of Warman v. Lemire, Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) investigator Dean Steacy was asked ‘What value do you give freedom of speech when you investigate?’ His response: ‘Freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don’t give it any value.’

“Those words produced outrage. But there was a grain of truth to what Mr. Steacy said: For decades, Canadians had meekly submitted to a system of administrative law that potentially made de facto criminals out of anyone with politically incorrect views about women, gays, or racial and religious minority groups. All that was required was a complainant (often someone with professional ties to the CHRC itself) willing to sign his name to a piece of paper, claim he was offended, and then collect his cash winnings at the end of the process. The system was bogus and corrupt. But very few Canadians wanted to be seen as posturing against policies that were branded under the aegis of ‘human rights.’

“That was then. Now, Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, the enabling legislation that permits federal human-rights complaints regarding ‘the communication of hate messages by telephone or on the Internet,’ is doomed. On Wednesday, the federal Conservatives voted to repeal it on a largely party-line vote — by a margin of 153 to 136 — through a private member’s bill introduced by Alberta Conservative MP Brian Storseth. Following royal assent, and a one-year phase-in period, Section 13 will be history.”

He concludes, “Canada’s human-rights law is a product of the 1960s, when much of our society truly was shot through with bigotry and prejudice. Those days are gone, thankfully, and laws such as the Canadian Human Rights Act now comprise a greater threat to our liberty than the harms they were meant to address. The repeal of Section 13 of the CHRA represents a good, albeit belated, first step at reform. Let us hope it provides suitable inspiration for Mr. Storseth’s principled counterparts in provincial legislatures across the country.”

Yes this is great news indeed. Much more needs to be done to roll back the uber-restrictive statism and elitism which has so damaged Canada. But this is a good start. One person who should know why all this is so important is Mark Steyn, himself a victim of these anti-free speech laws.

Steyn is worth quoting in full: “You don’t generally get to pick your battles, and, if you’d asked me circa 2007 if I wanted to spend much of the next half-decade battling for the restoration of freedom of speech in Canada and elsewhere, I’d probably have decamped to the South Sandwich Islands. But then the Canadian Islamic Congress and their statist enablers in the ‘human rights’ racket attempted to impose a de facto lifetime publication ban on me, and so I found myself conscripted to the cause.

“It’s been a long, slow process, but the victories have been real. Section 13 of the Canadian ‘Human Rights’ Code has as a practical matter been rendered unenforceable. It’s now about to be removed from the law formally. It passed its third reading in the House of Commons, which means it only requires a vote in the Senate and Royal Assent (yes, yes, calm down, Kevin Williamson et al), and it’s history. This twit from Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition is a good example of what we’ve been up against:

“New Democrat public safety critic Randall Garrison said Wednesday that, due to the large number of hate crimes, the human rights commission needs to have the power to combat the issue online and force individuals and groups to remove websites containing hateful speech.

“Removing the sections from the human rights code will effectively strip the commission of its power to educate Canadians and shut down inappropriate websites, he said. ‘We do have a serious problem,’ Garrison said. ‘If you take away the power to take (websites) down, it’s not clear they have any mandate to even to talk to people about it and educate them about it.’

“Clear off, you twerp. I don’t want the state to have a ‘mandate’ to ‘educate’ the citizenry about their thought-crimes. Even if I did not object on principle, one thing I’ve learned during this five-year campaign is that the statist hacks Canada’s official opposition is so eager to empower are, almost to a man, woman and pre-op transsexual, either too stupid or bullying to be entrusted with the task. Mr Garrison himself would appear to be a fine example of the former, at least.

“If it’s a choice between an unlovely citizenry with all its flaws or an overbearing state policing their opinions, I know which is the lesser evil. What a shame a ‘progressive’ ‘liberal’ ‘socialist’ like Randall Garrison has such a low opinion of his fellow citizens.”

Quite so. This war is not over yet – not by a long shot. But it sure is nice to win a few battles along the way. Well done to champions like Mark Steyn and others who have refused to bow the knee to the PC Big Brother State. May their resistance embolden many others to stand up and be counted.

fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/06/07/jonathan-kay-good-riddance-to-section-13-of-the-canadian-human-rights-act/
www.nationalreview.com/corner/302086/re-education-camp-mark-steyn#

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9 Responses to Finally Some Good News Out of Canada

  • With that good news, I’ll now leave the computer before something else bad turns up! Keep up all the good work Bill.

    David Morrison

  • Thanks David

    Hey I need to leave the computer before something new turns up! Been on all day – time for some breakfast, and lunch, and dinner…

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Why do you think the Left is so adamant to impose restrictions on the moral majority and to support the troublesome alternatives, who it seems, produce nothing, aspire for their own to be less than themselves, be vocal in attacking Moral values that build, than to pick up those who are underachieving and pulling the world down. Are there any muslim nations that manufacture anything themselves, or who value their population that they have vision to give them running water, electricity or proper schools, or even one that is on good terms with it`s neirbours? The Left appears to want everyone dumbed down rather than seeking everyone have more opportunity.
    You`re a good man Bill, I applaud your efforts and articulation.
    John Archer

  • What a relief to see that the PC/Cultural Marxist totalitarians can be stopped with what is left of our democratic rights. Let’s see a lot more of the PC legislation dismantled. I’m sure your work has played its part Bill.
    Alan Williams, UK

  • Thanks Alan. We all can do our bit to make a difference here.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • The pen is mightier than the sword.

    David Skinner, UK

  • Whoever invented/discovered the “Human Rights Detector” must be a billionaire several times over by now. Unfortunately the most strident supporters/proclaimers of ‘rights’ don’t seem to have discovered/accepted that ‘rights without responsibility are no more than licence’. But perhaps, after all, that is what is really ‘wanted’.
    Arthur Hartwig

  • This is good news.
    However, the real issue now is to ensure that the laws are upheld by the Canadian courts. The judicial benches throughout the Western world have been captured by the godless left, who interpret laws, constitutions, other rulings, etc, to suit their own outlook. We live in a world where words mean virtually nothing in themselves; only what certain people with power make them mean. They call it post-Modernism. I call it nihilism and communication breakdown.

    A formula: only “originalists” should sit on judicial benches, i.e. people for whom words and phrases mean what they originally meant, and have an eye to genuine justice as traditionally meant by the word, and not as defined by the fashions of contemporary activist.

    One other matter: these same judges presume to “make” laws from the bench, another abomination of our present leftist elite.

    Murray R Adamthwaite

  • Just a quick reply to John Archer. There WAS a muslim nation that cared enough to do those things for its people and provide everyone with virtually free bread. Once the West protested that it imprisoned its people within closed borders. It tore down those borders, only to have such an INFLUX of people from surrounding countries that it could not cope, so the borders went up again. the name of that country and its thoughtful ruler? Libya under Gaddafi! My husband (UK citizen) had to work there for many months during sanctions and can verify what I say. Travelling to and from was very hard for him but he found the people pleasant and the regime, while undoubtedly corrupt in many ways, especially in the police force, very accommodating to allowing freedom of worship at least to foreign nationals. Contrast this with Saudi Arabia. Oh, I forgot. Mustn’t criticise the Saudis or we won’t be able to sell them things or have their oil.
    Katharine Hornsby

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