Today, the Muslim law students who have lodged a human rights complaint against Maclean’s, have published an article defending themselves in Canada’s National Post. They claim to be believers in the marketplace of ideas, merely seeking a chance to respond to Mark Steyn. What they don’t say is that they have demanded the right to a cover story in Maclean’s, with full editorial control over content and art.
Imagine NR, after publishing, say, a cover story critical of Al Gore’s movie, being forced by a government body to allow Gore to write a cover story in rebuttal, with full editorial control. Imagine Gore running his legal case against NR for free, while NR is forced to shoulder court costs. And don’t forget that Canada’s Human Rights Commissions have the ability to compel apologies. Imagine NR’s editors being forced by a government body to apologize to Al Gore for refusing to give him control over their own magazine, or even for the content of one of their critical articles. Of course, the complainants against Maclean’s have nothing to say about these issues, all of which have been sharply raised by their so-called human rights case. Actually, Maclean’s already has published a rebuttal to Steyn by Canadian Muslims. It’s called "Mark Steyn has a right to be wrong."
The Canadian Human Rights Commission is an Oprahfied nanny-state abomination that calls words the same as sticks='n=stones & is a farcical precursor of what left-wing Democrats want to infect the USA with---a bunch of "hate crime" legal entities whose real long-term target is the First Amendment, but the short-term goal is shutting off conservative talk radio whose provocative criticism of left-wing flimflammery so enrages the agitpreppie ultra-left. Here is the U.S. State Dept on the anti-democratic tendencies in the Great White North:
Canada Restricts Freedom of Speech.--
The U.S. Department of State reports on human rights activities in foreign countries, including Canada.
The March 6, 2007 report on Canada is quite matter-of-fact in disclosing limits on freedom of speech:
Freedom of Speech and Press . . .
The Supreme Court has ruled that the government may limit free speech in the name of goals such as ending discrimination, ensuring social harmony, or promoting gender equality. It also has ruled that the benefits of limiting hate speech and promoting equality are sufficient to outweigh the freedom of speech clause in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which is the country's bill of rights incorporated in the country's constitution. . . .
Inciting hatred (in certain cases) or genocide is a criminal offense, but the Supreme Court has set a high threshold for such cases, specifying that these acts must be proven to be willful and public. The Broadcasting Act prohibits programming containing any abusive comment that would expose individuals or groups to hatred or contempt. Provincial-level film censorship, broadcast licensing procedures, broadcasters' voluntary codes curbing graphic violence, and laws against hate literature and pornography also impose some restrictions on the media.
A 2001 Report on Human Rights in Canada trumpeted how much easier it is to bring a human rights complaint to a Human Rights Commission than to a regular court:
Canada’s domestic human rights protections can be divided into two categories:
1) traditional civil liberties and due process rights, fundamental freedoms, and political rights, which consist essentially of constraints on governmental and legislative action; and
2) anti-discrimination laws, which prohibit discrimination on various grounds in society generally, and which apply to both public and private actors.
The application of the first category of domestic human rights protections is largely entrusted to the courts. The second category of rights, by contrast, is at least in the first instance enforced by specialized administrative bodies (i.e., the various human rights commissions).
Both the ordinary courts and the human rights commissions offer adjudication on individual complaints regarding human rights violations as well as various judicially enforceable remedies where violations are made out. However, in theory at least, the human rights commission model offers a number of advantages over the traditional courts. Typically, human rights commissions:
·are comprised of persons with expertise in human rights;
·have a broader institutional mandate, which includes promotion of and public education about human rights;
·are more accessible to complainants (they have less formal procedures and, more importantly, if they accept the complaint, the commissions will usually investigate and pursue it on behalf of the complainant);
·can initiate their own reviews of policies and practices, even where no complaint has been filed, and can issue public reports accordingly; and
·are obliged to report regularly to Parliament or to the provincial or territorial legislature, as the case may be, not only on their own operations, but also on the state of human rights in their respective jurisdictions.
I contend that the mushy US left pushing the soft "multicultural" agenda is actually concealing a real threat to American democracy, if the way it is enforced begins to resemble the Canadian model to the north.