The Corner

Re: Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Says ‘Hate Speech’ Law Unconstitutional

Thank you for posting that, Mark (Hemingway). The Canadian “Human Rights” Tribunal’s decision is a huge victory for the free-speech campaign Ezra Levant and I and a few others have been waging for the last couple of years. When Maclean’s magazine and I were acquitted by the British Columbia “Human Rights” Tribunal last year, a lot of people looked on it as a Steyn exemption — that if you were a prominent person with a powerful publisher and you both had deep pockets, the thought police would decide that discretion was the better part of valor. And, once the bigshots were out of the way, they’d go back to making life hell for little guys.

But Marc Lemire, though dogged and very deft in his approach, is not a prominent person. Indeed, he’s exactly the kind of obscure figure the thought police would have taken to the cleaners a couple of years back. Now the judge has, in effect, ruled that Section 13, Canada’s “hate speech” law, is unenforceable against anybody:

I have also concluded that s. 13(1) in conjunction with ss. 54(1) and (1.1) are inconsistent with s. 2(b) of the Charter, which guarantees the freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression. The restriction imposed by these provisions is not a reasonable limit within the meaning of s. 1 of theCharter. Since a formal declaration of invalidity is not a remedy available to the Tribunal (see Cuddy Chicks Ltd. V. Ontario (Labour Relations Board), [1991] 2 S.C.R. 5), I will simply refuse to apply these provisions for the purposes of the complaint against Mr. Lemire and I will not issue any remedial order against him.

This is the beginning of the end for the Canadian state’s policing of opinion: Judge Hadjis has repudiated the “human rights” regime’s entire rationale as well as a couple of decades of joke “jurisprudence”.

I confess I wasn’t optimistic when the thought enforcers decided to pick a fight with me, but Ezra Levant persuaded me that the thing to do was go nuclear on this disgusting racket and re-frame the debate. We succeeded. There’s a lesson here for American conservatives, particularly as the president and his allies, with the “fairness doctrine” and bills to control the Internet and whatnot, are tempted down a very Canadian path.

(Lots more links here.)

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


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Colin Powell, R.I.P.

Colin Powell, R.I.P.

We had substantial disagreements but recognize that he will be remembered for a long, consequential career of service to a country that he loved.