Monday, January 28, 2008

David Frum Weighs In on Human Rights Commissions Acting as Idea Censors

David Frum, a Canadian-born former speech-writer for George W. Bush, weighed in this morning on the persecution of writer Mark Steyn and publisher Ezra Levant by Human Rights Commissions in Canada.

Speaking on Vancouver's CKNW radio, Frum said that the hauling of his "friends" in front of the Ontario and/or B.C. Human Rights Commissions to answer for material published is so "egregious" that it may be a turning point for Canadians. He pointed out that Human Rights Commissions were set up as an inexpensive way to resolve housing and employment disputes, as an alternative to a trial, but were never meant to interfere in the "marketplace of ideas".

Just When We Thought Nobody Could Match City of Vancouver 'Blog Burners' . . . .

Just when we thought nobody could match City of Vancouver 'blog burners', Sam Sullivan, Jacquie Forbes-Roberts, and Ethel Whitty, we discover Dean Steacy at the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

Here's what Dean Steacy, the primary internet "anti-hate" investigator for the Canadian Human Rights Commission, said when questioned by Barbara Kulaszka, a lawyer for a website owner in the human rights case Warman vs. Lemire:

MS KULASZKA: Mr. Steacy, you were talking before about context and how important it is when you do your investigation. What value do you give freedom of speech when you investigate one of these complaints?

MR. STEACY: Freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don't give it any value.

MS. KULASZKA: Okay. That was a clear answer.

MR. STEACY: "It's not my job to give value to an American concept."

There are concerns amongst Canadians, as expressed by dag, a Vancouver blogger who wrote "What Price Free Speech" at No Dhimmitude, that investigators such as Steacy have been granted the power by the Canadian state to, " 'cleanse' the Internet of critical opinions, ideas, and speech they don't like. And unfortunately for Canadians, they have the authority to assess fines of up to $50,000 and incarcerate would-be 'haters.' "