The Corner

Re-Education Camp

You don’t generally get to pick your battles, and, if you’d asked me circa 2007 if I wanted to spend much of the next half-decade battling for the restoration of freedom of speech in Canada and elsewhere, I’d probably have decamped to the South Sandwich Islands. But then the Canadian Islamic Congress and their statist enablers in the “human rights” racket attempted to impose a de facto lifetime publication ban on me, and so I found myself conscripted to the cause.

It’s been a long, slow process, but the victories have been real. Section 13 of the Canadian “Human Rights” Code has as a practical matter been rendered unenforceable. It’s now about to be removed from the law formally. It passed its third reading in the House of Commons, which means it only requires a vote in the Senate and Royal Assent (yes, yes, calm down, Kevin Williamson et al), and it’s history. This twit from Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition is a good example of what we’ve been up against:

New Democrat public safety critic Randall Garrison said Wednesday that, due to the large number of hate crimes, the human rights commission needs to have the power to combat the issue online and force individuals and groups to remove websites containing hateful speech.

Removing the sections from the human rights code will effectively strip the commission of its power to educate Canadians and shut down inappropriate websites, he said.

“We do have a serious problem,” Garrison said. “If you take away the power to take (websites) down, it’s not clear they have any mandate to even to talk to people about it and educate them about it.”

Clear off, you twerp. I don’t want the state to have a “mandate” to “educate” the citizenry about their thought-crimes. Even if I did not object on principle, one thing I’ve learned during this five-year campaign is that the statist hacks Canada’s official opposition is so eager to empower are, almost to a man, woman and pre-op transsexual, either too stupid or bullying to be entrusted with the task. Mr Garrison himself would appear to be a fine example of the former, at least.

If it’s a choice between an unlovely citizenry with all its flaws or an overbearing state policing their opinions, I know which is the lesser evil. What a shame a “progressive” “liberal” “socialist” like Randall Garrison has such a low opinion of his fellow citizens.

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

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