What to make of the complaint recently filed against Mark Steyn? (Don’t be put off by the 70 page file. Concentrate on pages 4-15.) My thoughts (the printable ones, anyway) can be read in “The Case Against Steyn.” So what exactly are the powers of Canadian “human rights commissions,” and is the paper filed against Mark Steyn and Maclean’s really a legal complaint, or simply an exposition? What sort of penalties, if any, do the targets of Canadian human rights commission complaints face?
The powers of Canadian human rights commissions are somewhat vague, as we learn here and here. For a description of a number of recent cases and their results, see this piece by Bruce Korol, from yesterday’s Calgary Herald. Korol’s account covers a number of human rights commission cases against people with religiously-based objections to homosexuality (clearly a slope down which Canada has now slid, toward larger things). On Korol’s account, Canadian human rights commissions can order financial penalties, apologies, and more.
And see today’s column by Paul Jacob: “Calling a censor a censor–censored!” Jacob’s piece is yet another example of what I found so bizarre and totalitarian about the complaint against Steyn and Maclean’s.