The Corner

Steyn Defended: HRC’s Attacked

Canadian columnist, Rory Leishman, defends Mark Steyn in the London Free Press. Here are excerpts:

…Consider the implications: By the logic of the CIC’s attack on Maclean’s magazine, the owners and operators of Canadian libraries and bookstores could also be charged with violating the human rights of Muslims by making not just Steyn’s article but also his entire book widely available to Canadians throughout the country…

The problem can be traced to the overweening powers of Canada’s human rights tribunals….

the restrictions on speech in the codes were intended to apply only to communications that fostered discrimination on such bases as employment or housing. Instead, human rights tribunals have adopted such expansive interpretations of these speech restrictions that a newspaper or magazine could get into trouble for publishing even a truthful article about conflict in the Middle East, Bosnia, Rwanda or elsewhere that is likely to expose at least one of the parties to contempt.

Canada’s power-grabbing human rights commissioners evidently have scant regard for the freedoms they suppress or for the original understanding of the codes they are supposed to uphold. Otherwise, the British Columbia tribunal and the Canadian and Ontario human rights commissions would have promptly dismissed the CIC’s complaints against Maclean’s as entirely without merit….

Meanwhile, Tom Flanagan, professor of political science at the University of Calgary and former campaign manager for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, has waded into the controversy. He urges: “All who write and speak in the public domain should rally to Mark Steyn’s defence. If so-called human rights commissions can be used against him, they can be used against anyone who dares to express an idea worth debating.”

Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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