Update: looks like a major victory for Ezra Levant in Canada:
I know. It sounds crazy. Just like it sounded crazy when it was revealed that Warman and the CHRC were members ofÂ neo-Nazi organizations.
Maclean’s magazine has a persuasive call for the repeal of section 13, the censorship provision of the Canadian Human Rights Act. I’d encourage you to read the whole thing, here — it’s one of the clearlest analyses I’ve read of the decision in Warman v. Lemire, and it explains why the law is so rotten.
The tribunal decision in Warman v. Lemire focuses on the “aggressive” and “confrontational” nature of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. No kidding. What was supposed to be a conciliatory Oprah-style forum has turned into a case study of government brutality, corruption and abuse.
- After seven years, Alberta’s “Human Rights” tribunal decides that free speech thing might not be so bad after all/JW
The worst excesses of the CHRC were committed by, or in the service of, Richard Warman. He’s the serial litigant-of-fortune who is responsible for more section 13 complaints than anyone else — in fact, all but two of the cases prosecuted this decade have him as the complainant. Funny: you wouldn’t think that a privileged, white lawyer, working for the Canadian government, would face so much discrimination. Of course, he hasn’t — he isn’t gay, or black, or Jewish. But he files complaints in the name of gays and blacks and Jews, and receives tens of thousands of dollars in reward money, extracted from his victims — tax free.
(The fact that Warman himself has joined several neo-Nazi groups, and published hundreds of anti-Semitic, anti-black and anti-gay comments — including while working for the CHRC! — is even more perverse.)
The CHRC was bad enough before Warman started using it as his personal vehicle for vendettas and prosecutions. But he made the CHRC worse. He infected it with his own personal philosophy called “maximum disruption” — where he called for the use of “(almost) any means necessary”.
And sometimes Warman even counseled violence, as he did when one of his victims, David Icke, was speaking in Vancouver. Warman encouraged a group of street urchins to invade a book store where Icke was giving a speech, and pelt him with pies. They did — destroying books in the process. You can see a ten-minute excerpt from a British documentary on the subject, here:
Those are the actions of a radical, amoral activist. Amoral is too lenient, actually; when Warman and his friends laugh about “humiliating” their opponent, it’s not amoral. It’s despicable. This is the culture that Warman injected into the veins of the CHRC — and Jennifer Lynch hasn’t done a damned thing about it, other than try to cover it up.
But there’s a little thing called the Charter of Rights that forbids all that.
Section 2 of the Charter of Rights protects freedom of speech. Of course, many government laws violate that section — the law against forgery, for example, could be seen as a limit on what we can write or draw. But section 1 of our Charter says that some limits on freedom are acceptable in a “free and democratic society”. But the government has to prove that the infringement on our freedoms is “rationally connected” to the public policy goal; the goal isÂ “pressing and substantial”, and that the means used “minimally impaired” the freedoms in question. It’s part of theÂ Oakes Test.
Under our Charter of Rights, as interpreted by our courts through the Oakes Test, a government must infringe upon us in a minimal way. Richard Warman believes in harassing his opponents in a maximum way.
It was Warman’s abuse of the system that made the system illegal. In the end, Warman killed the goose that laid so many golden eggs for him.
I’d call it poetic justice, but Warman’s many victims would surely agree that we’re still far, far away from justice yet.