The Corner

Lights Out Up North

Freedom of speech in Canada: a random sampling. First, a man is fined $6,000 because his website “dehumanizes” the disabled:

In a decision released yesterday, the tribunal concluded John David Beck was responsible for much of the content on a white supremacist Web site called bcwhitepride.com. The tribunal ruled the material on the site “discriminates against a wide range of people, and encompasses comments that are vicious and dehumanizing, especially with respect to the disabled, a particularly vulnerable group.”

“Dehumanizing” is certainly a word. Whether it is a legal concept is another matter. Meanwhile, Free Dominion, the Canadian version of Free Republic, is relocating to Panama:

Considering the political climate in Canada today, Conn Esq Web Design Ltd. has made the corporate decision to sell Free Dominion to Liberty News Service Inc. of Panama City, Panama.

Liberty News Service’s corporate mission is to buy websites from individuals and corporations living in countries where free speech is under attack, and protect those websites from being shut down or seized by oppressive governments.

Here’s your Panama hat and what’s your hurry? And finally, Ezra Levant, my old boss at The Western Standard, has just (as I type) begun his grilling by the Alberta “Human Rights” Commission. He is charged with the “crime” of reprinting the Danish cartoons:

As a lawyer, I’ve been in different courts and tribunals, but I’ve never experienced a kangaroo court first-hand. I will have a more comprehensive report later today. In the meantime, I leave you with… the hand-scrawled complaint filed against the magazine by a radical, Saudi-trained imam who has publicly called for sharia law to be imposed in Canada…

And why shouldn’t he? He’s a member of the “Supreme Islamic Council of Canada”, and when the Supreme meets the chicken of the west’s one-way ”multiculturalism” it’s no contest. No doubt some of the above ”hate speech” is hurtful and dehumanizing and offensive, but that’s the point: The price of liberty is eternal offensiveness. There is a name for societies that successfully outlaw offensiveness from the public space: Totalitarian.

Nevertheless, in Maclean’s this week, there’s a fairly typical letter from an ever-so-reasonable reader, Lauren Demaree of Windsor, Ontario:

PLACING LIMITS on free speech is a slippery slope, but that is not the only issue in play here. There is often a fine line that is crossed between opinion and hate propaganda and our laws need to reflect this more effectively. Where do we draw the line…?

This is the future of “multiculturalism”: a society in which, in the interests of protecting the “collective rights” of various identity groups, individual rights are circumscribed and public discourse is ever more regulated by the state. Good luck making that work, Canada. The “Islamic Supreme Council of Canada” has your number.

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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