* Â Ezra Levant also rips defamatory ‘activist’ Andrea Calvert a new one:Â Michael Coren Show today
* Steyn: if you are not rich or powerful, “the Ontario Human Rights regime will destroy your savings, your business, your life, for no good reason.” And: Â the human right “not to be offended” should not exist in a free society. That’s the first and most basic thing that this system failed.Â
Â Fire. Them. All.
News Service roundup, IÂ reportedÂ thatÂ Mark Steyn was to testify against the anti-civil rights Human Rights Commission today. I am just back, and am transcribing what he said, in sections, below. Update:Â Here’sÂ a leaked transcript of the whole day (all the witnesses).
This from the earlier story:
CommentatorÂ Mark “one-man global content provider” SteynÂ is testifying today on the Ontario “human rights” commission (= trampling civil liberties in the name of social engineering) at the province of Ontario’s legislature (Queen’s Park), Room 155. Ontario’s commission dropped its charges against Steyn for his famous Maclean’sÂ article, an excerpt from his book,Â America Alone, but issued a media release implying that he really was guilty – which gives you some idea how much it resembles a real court. As Kathy “I’m with the banned” Shaidle says, “Can’t find room 151? Just follow theÂ buzzingÂ sound: Steyn tends to be surrounded by a flock of ardent admirers.”
Mark Steyn stopped by the Ontario legislature on Monday for just 30 minutes, but his visit was probably the most headline-grabbing testimony before a government committee in memory.
Here’s theÂ Toronto Star:
Steyn, whose work is published around the world so he has emerged as something of an international cause celebre for freedom-of-speech, said it was “a drive-by verdict.”
“That is the very defining act of a police state: an apparatchik announcing that a citizen is guilty of dissent from state orthodoxy,” said the author, accompanied by a dozen supporters, including one clad in a “Viva Steyn” T-shirt.
“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,” he said.
“No one was disputing the truth of what I wrote, nobody was arguing that it was libellous or seditious or false, for all of which there would be appropriate legal remedy. In essence, the plaintiffs were arguing that they’d been offended. Well, offensiveness is in the eye of the offended,” said Steyn.
“When you subordinate legal principles to ideological fashion, you place genuine liberties in peril and that’s the state in Ontario today. If you don’t believe in free speech for people you loathe, you don’t believe in free speech at all.”
theÂ Toronto Sun:
Ontario’s Human Rights Commission is made up of “ideological activists” and should be dismantled, author and columnist Mark Steyn told a Queen’s Park legislative committee yesterday.
Steyn also referred to commission chairman Barbara Hall as a “commissar.”
“I believe in the abolition of the commission, because I believe the commission is nothing but ideological activists,” Steyn told the standing committee on government agencies.
“I have no objection to that; I’ve been accused of that, myself. But I do it on my own dime and I don’t see why commissar Hall and her colleagues shouldn’t also do it on their own dime.”
and theÂ Ottawa Citizen:
Ontario’s human rights system is a “laughing stock” and should be abolished, author and firebrand columnist Mark Steyn told a government committee in Toronto yesterday.
“Free societies should not be in the business of criminalizing opinion,” Mr. Steyn, a columnist for Maclean’s, told members of Ontario’s standing committee on government agencies.
“When you go down that road, all you do is lead to the situation that you have in, say, Saudi Arabia. In Saudi Arabia, you can’t start a newspaper and print what you think, so if you object to the House of Saud, the only thing you can do is blow stuff up.”
(I already cited the National Post.)
There’s a lot more on the move;Â Brian Storseth of Parliament’s JusticeÂ Committee isÂ reintroducing a motion to review the CHRC’s conduct and section 13. IÂ understand that it looks set toÂ pass — though it’s yoked to a Bloc motion toÂ include “social condition” as aÂ grounds of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act. Whatever; this committee isn’t writing laws. The point is to have a public,Â Parliamentary investigation into the corruption and abuse of the CHRC — starting, in my opinion, with their membership in neo-Nazi organizations like Stormfront and Vanguard.
I’m excited that the momentum for reform is back, and that it’s got a toe-hold both in the Ontario and national Parliaments.
In healthy democracies, the media is a watchdog over the government.
In the soft tyranny of Canada’s human rights commissions,Â the government is the watchdog over the media.
More eye-opening reporting from Joseph Brean, the MSM’s most prolific HRC-watcher:
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.
The council would have the power to order the publication of its decisions and “would help bring about more consistency across all jurisdictions in Canada,” reads an OHRC report to the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
Human rights commissions are obsolete; the battles for equality of the sexes and races were won decades ago; the number of HRC complaints in Ontario has actually fallen year over year, despite that province’s population growth. Think about that: the most ethnically diverse province in Canada has a declining number of human rights complainers, according to their own annual reports. That’s good news to normal people — but to those who need to stimulate and manufacture grievances in order to maintain and grow their bureaucratic empires, that’s very bad news indeed.
By putting the entire media — including blogs! — under HRC jurisdictions, there will be an endless source of bitching and complaining, all of which will need very lengthy and detailed investigations by the government — punctuated by 5-star junkets.