Liveblogging the BC Human Rights Tribunal—Day I, Part II


 

Earlier: Liveblogging the BC Human Rights Tribunal—Day I, Part I

1:34 PM PST
And we’re back, with more gripping testimony on what my friend objected to in my friend’s representation of my friend’s deposition…

1:36 PM
The chair is reading their “ruling” on the admissibility of Prof. John Miller’s testimony—though on what basis they propose to decide is a mystery, since THERE ARE NO RULES OF EVIDENCE. They more or less have to make it up as they go along.

Anyway, they are ruling it inadmissible, because it’s irrelevant. Or is it irrelevant because it’s inadmissible?

1:39 PM
Also ruling on Khurrum Awan’s testimony, as an Ontarian. They’re going to take it, but rule on particular bits of it as they come up. Sigh.

1:42 PM
So now we’re going to hear about how the article affected him. He says Steyn didn’t distinguish between diffferent types of Muslims, painted all with a broad brush. He’s going through the more inflammatory passages in the article…

1:43 PM
He’s having trouble finding the one he wants. The chair helpfully suggests where he might find it.

1:48 PM
It occurs to me that most of the material he finds objectionable—and I’m not saying it’s unreasonable of him to take exception to it—might be found in the testimony before the Bouchard-Taylor commission…

1:59 PM
On the other hand, we’re walking through another passage—which Faisal Joseph notes is particularly significant—in which Steyn particulalry disavows any suggestion that his concerns attach to all Muslims, but rather that the trends he observes prevail in “enough” of the Muslim population of Europe to be worrisome. This strikes me as eminently arguable—but whether it is or not, it is just surreal in a free and democratic society to be calling in a government panel to decide it. Instead of, you know, arguing it. Okay, that’s the second time I’ve made that point. I warned you…

2:13 PM
Julian Porter on his feet, objecting on territorial grounds, as Awan details how the article made him feel as he read it in downtown Toronto. Overruled.

2:23 PM
Awan debated going to press councils, or pressing charges under the criminal code, but decided against. He looked at human rights legislation across the country. Differences: Ontario says you can’t post a “notice, sign or symbol” that would be discriminatory—newspapers and magazines, it would seem, are not covered (as indeed the Ontario Human Rights Commission recently ruled). But hey, worth a shot. Plus BC had more open-ended legislation. So throw it in the mix as well. So: They weren’t trying to “damage” Maclean’s by filing in multiple jurisdictions. No no no. They were just jurisdiction-shopping.

2:26 PM
Now they’re into the whole sorry history of Maclean’s coverage of Muslims. Or they would be, had counsel not objected. It would be fascinating to see some of these, since in my experience the CIC sees Islamophobia virtually everywhere…

2:46 PM
Roger McConchie is making a kind of “prior history” argument, i.e. the complainants are saying that the other 20 articles provide “context.” But the complaint has to do with just the Steyn article. Just as a defendant’s prior record cannot be used against him (except as “similar fact” evidence, to show a modus operandi), so Maclean’s prior articles can’t be used to prove the harm caused by Steyn’s piece. The common thread: you have to prove guilt based on the facts of the case at hand. If the argument is that the earlier articles provide an interpretive filter through which to read the Steyn piece, well maybe they do—but the contention in the complaint is that the Steyn article exposes Muslims to hatred by itself. So they’re contradicting themselves.

2:58 PM
Coda to the preceding: this all assumes normal rules of evidence apply. Or indeed, any. But as they don’t in this case, well, we’re about to hear the tribunal’s ruling.

3:00 PM
Glory glory—they’re ruling prior articles (i.e., prior to Steyn’s Oct. 23 2006 piece) out of bounds, but allowing subsequent articles. Solomonic, or incoherent? I report, you decide.

3:02 PM
Now we’re hearing about the Muslim law students’ famous meeting with Maclean’s—almost a year after the article appeared—when they demanded the magazine publish their reply.

3:16 PM
They met with Ken Whyte (publisher and editor-in-chief), Mark Stevenson (editor) and Julian Porter (lawyer). The students presented their complaints for about five or ten minutes. Whyte replied, according to Awan, that Maclean’s “wasn’t interested” in publishing their reply or in making “a donation” to a race relations group. Whyte said he “didn’t share” his concerns about Steyn’s piece, and that there were “important subtleties and distinctions” in the piece he was overlooking, and you can’t characterize us as anti-Muslim. Awan told him Maclean’s has published a whole bunch of anti-islamic articles. And the famous “we’d rather go bankrupt” line—as in, we’d rather go bankrupt then let someone else edit our magazine, which is what the students’ demands amounted to—not, as Awan suggests, that we would rather go bankrupt than publish any sort of reply. In fact, Maclean’s published 27 letters in the weeks following Steyn’s piece.

3:26 PM
All of this, so far, is within their rights. They have a right to be offended by Steyn’s piece. They have a right to complain about it, to denounce it, argue against it, ridicule it, and so on. They also have a right to issue whatever outrageous demands to Maclean’s they like, just as Maclean’s has a right to give these the back of their hand. What they don’t, or shouldn’t have a right to do is what happened next: taking their case to the cops. Or rather not the cops, but multiple human rights tribunals.

3:30 PM
I’m infamous! Awan just cited my own article on the case (“Got a complaint? Call 1-800-Human Rights“), as evidence of I’m not sure what…

3:41 PM
L-o-n-g discussion about subsequent backing and forthing between Maclean’s and the students, wherein they offered to withdraw their complaints if Maclean’s yielded to their demands. This strikes me as supremely beside the point. If the article was as damaging as alleged, if it was sufficient by itself to expose Muslims to hatred, that would remain the case regardless of whether Maclean’s published a rebuttal. Or if counter-arguments were sufficient to mitigate the damage, well, that’s really Maclean’s point, isn’t it? The students’ “offer,” it seems to me, is revealing: if all they want is a right of reply, then all they’re saying is that they disagree with it. Which takes it out of the realm of the courts, kangaroo or otherwise.

3:50 PM
Back from a break, as the tribunal members wrestle with yet another ruling on admissibility in the absence of rules of evidence. They’ve decided again to sort-of admit questioning about the “impact,” not of Steyn’s article, but of various, mostly obscure blogs who were allegedly “inspired” by Steyn’s piece. Understand: we’re now to be subjected to the state’s inquisition, not for anything that appeared in the magazine, but for whatever lunatic ramblings might appear anywhere in the blogosphere!

3:58 PM
And of course, as McConchie is pointing out, the tribunal has already ruled that it doesn’t have jurisdiction over internet posts…

3:59 PM
Overruled.

4:10 PM
Now we’re into, not even blogs, but comments left on a YouTube post. Is bathroom grafitti next?

4:27 PM
The YouTube post was of Steyn’s face-off with the students on TVO’s The Agenda. Joseph’s last flourish before we adjourn for the day: Steyn was rude to them off camera! So the tribunal is now to consider overheard comments from the green room…

4:31 PM
Good night. And I mean that in so many ways…


 

Liveblogging the BC Human Rights Tribunal—Day I, Part II

  1. Msg for Tarek Fatah:

    I’m heartened that you are posting in this comment thread. I’m greatly disturbed that some are concluding that this case is one between “White Canadians” and “Muslim Canadians”. I don’t see it that way at all.

    Rather, this is a fight between fascists disguised as politically correct bureaucrats and … everyone else who doesn’t view themselves as a permanent victim.

    While you and Mark Steyn describe things in very different ways, I think your paths end up in pretty much the same place.

  2. Meta liveblogging continues at my place…I was disappointed we will be denied the burlesque of Dr. Miller discussing the concept of media balance. However we can still look forward to Dr. Rippon on Steyn’s failure to comprehend the Koran.

  3. I agree with the Tribunal’s ruling that Prof. Miller’s testimony was irrelevant. The relationship between the Koran and various Islamic socieities is a fascinating topic for university study, but it has nothing to do with this complaint.

  4. I see Andrew’s liveblogging has turned into the Small Dead Animals message board between this one and his prior liveblog.

    The ranting in here is quite the sight.

  5. Will MacLeans get to ask the sock about this letter from the Secretary of State ?

    Will the Roo allow the question?

  6. Oops – I got the Drs. Miller and Ripon mixed up. Sorry – mistake like that could happen to anyone.

  7. The Fahion police need to know what Ms. McNaughton is wearing on this auspicious occassion. Submit your report immediately.

  8. comment by Sheila on 2 June 2008: freedom of speech is NOT just an American concept – it is a democratic concept. And last time I checked Canada was a democratic country – though maybe not much longer.

    The protection of minorities is also a democratic concept. Thus, if certain minorities feel constantly insulted or even threatened there’s a duty to act. Just because the majority insist that minorities have no right to feel offended and insulted, that doesn’t mean they aren’t and don’t need protecting.

  9. Frank, nobody needs to be protected by the government against insults and hurt feelings. Minorites need to be protected against things like employment discrimination etc.

  10. You can feel offended in a democracy, but there is no such right enshrined in the Charter.

  11. comment by Ryan on Monday, June 2, 2008 at 5:02 pm: Frank, nobody needs to be protected by the government against insults and hurt feelings. Minorites need to be protected against things like employment discrimination etc.

    It’s not for you to decide whether the vulnerable need protection. That’s why we have courts.

  12. Sure Scott, just click your heels together and repeat, ‘The ranting here is quite a sight. The ranting here is quite a sight . . .’

    It still won’t make the problem go away, i.e. Canada’s Human Rights Commission are an abomination in the face of a freedom loving society.

    This nonsense should never have made it to the hearing stage, but since it did, you are going to hear ranting. Too bad.

  13. Frank, minorities don’t need pseudo government pit bulls ripping apart the rights of their opposition in the name of equality. If they destroy fundamental rights, they destroy fundamental rights… including their own.

    Frankly, today I am ashamed to be a Canadian. This whole thing is pathetic.

  14. Jay Currie was too modest to admit it but you just have to check out this posting on 5 Feet of Fury that he has referred to. UNBELIEVABLE! Unbelievable that is, if it wasn’t about the CBC.

  15. It’s not for you to decide whether the vulnerable need protection. That’s why we have courts.

    And, if this thing was being heard in a court, I’d have a modicum of respect for the case as at least truth, evidence and fair process would be a factor.

  16. 1. Should not right-thinking Canadians everywhere flood this pseudo-court with petitions regarding their own aggrievements … in other words, just monitor the writings and public statements of various Muslim hate-monger apologists and then file a complaint — no, make that dozens of complaints, each turning on some separate nuance — claiming hurt feelings and intimidation ?

    2. As a legal matter, under what kind of system is the truth not a defense to hate speech ?

  17. There are NO rules of evidence? I don’t get that. Would that mean that if they ruled one type of material admissible in one hearing, and the same type inadmissible in another, I wouldn’t have grounds for an appeal? How do their decisions hold up if there are no consistent rules to judge them by? How do the real courts decide if an appeal is warranted if there is no standard?

  18. comment by Laura on Monday, June 2, 2008 at 5:04 pm: You can feel offended in a democracy, but there is no such right enshrined in the Charter.

    Charters and Constitutions are constantly updated to reflect changing cirmcumstances. By your argument, if slavery is enshrined in a Charter no one has any right to complain?

  19. There is no “right” in Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms to not be insulted.

    People who play the perpetual victim need to get a life and worry about real abuses – like using fascist policies to gag someone.

    Stringer: Why do you want to live in a country that persists in using these fascist kangaroo courts to stifle a free press?

    If we don’t have freedom of the press in Canada, then we are not truly free and should not call ourselves a democracy.

  20. More live analysis – and colour commentary – over at Ezra Levant’s. I fear he is unimpressed.

  21. Frank, speech which does not offend needs no protection from anyone. Free speech protection is totally meaningless unless it protects speech which someone finds offensive. Hate Speech laws are ipso facto attacks on free speech.

    Logic 101 anyone?

  22. Did they really ask Awan how he felt? In detail? Is the way that the article made someone feel really going to be used as evidence in this farcical proceeding?

    Of course the fact that truth is not a defence in this case is something that trancends the farcical and ventures into the Kafka-esque. The fact that the truth can be used to incite hate, and therefore must be censored is beyond belief. The sooner this matter gets to the Supreme Court, the better, in my opinion.

    Human Rights Commission Double-plus Ungood!!

  23. ‘Guantanamo Bay?’

    Pray tell, what does Guantanamo Bay have to do with the case currently being heard at the BCHRT? Please explain the significance of your comment.

  24. Charters and Constitutions are constantly updated to reflect changing cirmcumstances. By your argument, if slavery is enshrined in a Charter no one has any right to complain?

    wow Frank Stringer, as the lone pro-censorship voice in these comments i thought i’d cut you some slack but now you’ve truly done it and deserve to be put in your place.

    you obviously have not the slightest clue what you’re talking about do you?

    let me give you a hint. our constitution was changed only once in the past, in 1982, and that was to include the charter in it (im excluding the statute of westminster in 1931 as that was an english statute). it took a huge amount of negotiating between premiers and the feds, and led to quebec not signing on to our constitution. mulroney tried to address that with meech lake and failed. and then the charlotetown accord also failed.

    so no, constitutions dont change all the time. In fact it is EXACTLY the opposite.

    and you know what’s guaranteed by our charter? freedom of expression is.

    and you know what’s not in our charter? the right not to be offended.

    go to school and learn a few things before you start making a fool of yourself publicly.

  25. Khurrum Awan is a grown man, yet he is sitting there, telling a tribunal how reading a magazine hurt his feelings….

  26. This is downright frightening. How did you Canadians let things get this far?

  27. Careful sanwin. Frank will have you hauled before the commission if you don’t look out!

  28. I don’t mind Frank Stringer’s comments. It gives me a window into an amazing world of ‘reasoning’ that so many Canadians inhabit. Just ignore him if you don’t want to engage him, or find him ‘tedious’ etc.

    And fer gawd’s sake, its ‘tenets’ of the law, not ‘tenants’….

  29. Frank writes:

    “Just because the majority insist that minorities have no right to feel offended and insulted, that doesn’t mean they aren’t and don’t need protecting.”

    Everyone has the right to feel offended and insulted, Frank–I have never seen anyone claim otherwise. I have been known to experience both emotions, sometimes simultaneously in response to bad arguments made on internet message boards, but I have never felt like it was anyone’s business except my own (and perhaps my long-suffering wife’s).

    The relevant question is how the law should respond to the subjective feelings of individuals when no substantive harm can be proven. Should we grant individuals an effective right to veto any speech they find uncongenial? Or should we say instead, “Hey, we’re all grownups here. If you say something I don’t like, I’ll be happy to argue the point with you, and I expect you to do likewise.” Seems to me the latter approach has served us well over several centuries, and the former approach is, well … totalitarian.

  30. It is worse than you know, folks: Not only does having this kangaroo court with no evidence rules and no rights for participants violate all the basic precepts of a democratic and just society….when they take on the TRAPPINGS and APPEARANCES and RITUALS of a REAL court, even to the point of judging admissability of participants, having lawyers represent people, etc. etc., they DIMINISH the authority and value of real courts by diluting their real protections in the minds and expectations of the population. Everytime a non-“court” like this one happens, people not only lose respect, rightfully, for ITS nonsense, they lose respect for REAL courts and REAL rights. The entire Canadian population should have contempt for this nonsense, but to the degree that it engenders contempt for REAL courts, the work of the anti-democratic forces is being done.

  31. When an idea or issue of due or entitlement conflicts with someone else’s notion of due or entitlement, that idea or issue is called a “right”.

    The government of Canada has two pieces of legislation dealing with these matters in terms of definition. One is John Diefenbaker’s Bill of Rights (contrary to common misconception this was never repealed or replaced and is still invoked in court, I know this to be lawfull fact).

    The other is Pierre Trudeau’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms (which is deemed by the Department of Justice, by Supreme Court ruling to be an enhancemant of the first and not a replacement).

    Where in either of these documents is it stated or implied that anyone has a “right”to live a life free of being offended by what others have to say?

    Where in either of these documents is it stated or implied that someone deemed to be “wrong” in a context of “political correctness” does not have every “right”to be “wrong”?

    The enabling legislation of the “human rights commissions”needs to be pruned back. These appointed offices were never meant to be permanently installed policy engines of the “Political Correctness Party of Canada” exempt of all taxpayer and voter scrutiny and review.

  32. Maybe all media should be prevented from reporting on terror acts committed by Muslims since those acts very much cause people to hate Muslims. If the media were responsible journalists there would not report such acts! This responsible journalism nonsence will lead to a one page newspaper reporting on social events and who visited whom in the community. No media person should put up with anything that is going on in this circus of Human Rights Commissions

  33. “…since in my experience the CIC sees Islamophobia virtually everywhere…”

    Well, of course they do. They work very hard and put in lots of overtime searching high and low for anything that might “offend” their delicate constitutions.

  34. Where in either of these documents is it stated or implied that anyone has a “right”to live a life free of being offended by what others have to say?

    Where in either of these documents is it stated or implied that someone deemed to be “wrong” in a context of “political correctness” does not have every “right”to be “wrong”?

    Well, see, the doctrine of multiculturalism emanates some penumbras, one of which empowers the state to make you be “nice,” or else.

  35. By the way, this is a good example of why ALL so-called “hate crimes” laws are bad law. If somebody burns a cross on your lawn, let’s say, in Georgia, it is ARSON and TRESPASS and potentially ASSAULT. So why not prosecute that BEHAVIOR pure and simple? Add in “hate” crime and now you have to have a court judge not just the behavior but the “attitude” or “belief” the person who did it had when they did it. That’s not only nearly impossible to do fairly and completely, it is forcing the law to jump a HIGHER hurdle than behavior alone and more likely to let a “hateful” criminal get OFF.

    Beliefs and expressions of them are protected, period. BEHAVIOR that does physical harm to people, property, etc. etc. is a CRIME. It isn’t the shouting of “fire” in the theater that technically is the crime, it is the CAUSING OF INJURY it directly results in.

  36. Sigh. Frank, the Gitmo thing:

    Assume for the sake of argument that everything you claim about Gitmo is true and that free-speech defenders are guilty up to their eyeballs of hypocrisy and double standards.

    That still has no bearing–none, zero, zilch, zip, nada–on the issue at hand. Either the argument against censorship is valid on its own merits or it isn’t, regardless of who makes that argument. This is elementary–the devil himself could be arguing in favour of HRCs and feelings-based censorship, and–while we certainly could question his motivations–that would have no bearing on the merits of the argument itself.

  37. John W: “Beliefs and expressions of them are protected, period. BEHAVIOR that does physical harm to people, property, etc. etc. is a CRIME.”

    Amen brother.

    Amen

  38. “Maybe all media should be prevented from reporting on terror acts committed by Muslims since those acts very much cause people to hate Muslims”

    Are you kidding me???? Stand and be counted I say, if you cause harm, let it be known.
    Or are Muslums a distinct society, where they dont have to be accountable… maybe there is a place in Quebec…
    This country is getting ridiculous, this shouldn’t have even be heard before ANY tribunal, it isnt even news worthy, except another “visible minority” feels slighted, so we spent tens of thousands of dollars to make them feel better.

  39. First, Macleans is not facing charges. The BCHRT is quasi-judicial body responsible for accepting, screening, mediating and adjudicating human rights complaints. There are no charges.

    Second, since nobody has discussed Gitmo (that is, besides you) and this live blog deals with the current BCHRT hearing, how is it that you know precisely what anybody else posting here thinks?

    Your argument is a red herring. Do you have a better one?

  40. I’m just trying to imagine Tom Jefferson in Philladelphia, Gladstone or Disraeli in Whitehall, or maybe Ghandi in Bombay and somebody says “Hey, guys, while you’re protecting rights and standing up for freedom, how about the right not to be OFFENDED? Why not make it illegal to do anything that might possibly make anyone feel…you know…ooky-awful? I mean, wouldn’t that be GREAT?”

    Can you imagine the long, blank stares those gentlemen would return? Or imagine the looks on the faces of those in cells in the Gulag, Buchenwald, or the Killing Fields of Cambodia if you suggested to them that their abused rights were in any way equal to that “right” to go through life unoffended by another person’s opinon?

    Disgusting, demeaning, and degrading, this whole sorry episode. Why don’t millions of Canadians sue this ‘court’ IN this ‘court’ on the grounds that IT is offending THEM??!?!?

  41. Jan, whether you call them ‘charges’ or not, they are facing fines, forced printing of more nonsense with the negative reputational and financial effects on their business that would cause, and other actual, real, and painful sanctions. It really doesn’t matter if you call a “fine” a “booboo” or an “inconvenience”–you still have to pay it.

  42. Good thing Christians don’t run to HR every time they are slighted, sometimes it feels like we are constantly pandering to over emotional teenage drama queen girls.

  43. Re: Your comment “Roger McConchie is making a kind of “prior history” argument, i.e. the complainants are saying that the other 20 articles provide “context.” But the complaint has to do with just the Steyn article. Just as a defendant’s prior record cannot be used against him (except as “similar fact” evidence, to show a modus operandi), so Maclean’s prior articles can’t be used to prove the harm caused by Steyn’s piece. The common thread: you have to prove guilt based on the facts of the case at hand.”

    I’m just waiting for Mr. Joseph’s argument that the whole matter is res judicata and the complaint is justified no matter what the evidence, because Barbara Hall said so.

  44. “The common thread: you have to prove guilt based on the facts of the case at hand.”

    Facts, truth – oh, oh. Such things aren’t considered a defence by the Captain Kangaroos who preside over these farces.

  45. Frank Stringer said:

    “The protection of minorities is also a democratic concept. Thus, if certain minorities feel constantly insulted or even threatened there’s a duty to act. Just because the majority insist that minorities have no right to feel offended and insulted, that doesn’t mean they aren’t and don’t need protecting.”

    As a Christian, I am constantly encountering hate from certain Canadians. As an american, can I bring a case against those Canadian individuals who are openly voicing hatred of my demographic?

    This trial is a joke…and is making Canada a joke!

  46. The BCHRT is quasi-judicial body responsible for accepting, screening, mediating and adjudicating human rights complaints.

    Got that? They accept, screen and adjudicate “complaints.” If found “guilty” of the “complaint” the defendant (or whatever) is not punished. He is “sanctioned.”

    Damn, this is creepy.

  47. I wish someone would ask Khurrum Awan whether it is true that he spent all evening trying to mobilise a ‘Muslim demonstration’ against Macleans outside the kangaroo court.

    Of course its irrelevant, but Canadians deserve to know that his efforts to make this into a Muslim vs. Macleans dispute failed.

  48. comment by Jan on Monday, June 2, 2008 at 5:57 pm: …since nobody has discussed Gitmo (that is, besides you) and this live blog deals with the current BCHRT hearing, how is it that you know precisely what anybody else posting here thinks?

    Steyn talks a lot about Gitmo in book America Alone (partially reproduced by Macleans), and when he does it’s in a not too sympathetic or gracious manner. And so it seems reasonable to suppose that Steyn’s supporters are inclined to agree with his attitude as far as Gitmo is concerned, which as I say is deplorable and hypocritical.

  49. Canadian Charter of Rights

    a) freedom of conscience and religion;
    b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
    c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
    d) freedom of association.

  50. Solomonic, or incoherent?

    Can I vote for “insane”?

  51. Jan, whether you call them ‘charges’ or not, they are facing fines, forced printing of more nonsense with the negative reputational and financial effects on their business that would cause, and other actual, real, and painful sanctions. It really doesn’t matter if you call a “fine” a “booboo” or an “inconvenience”–you still have to pay it.

    Sure John, I agree with you. I was simply responding to Frank Stringer’s assertion with respect to Gitmo (charges vs. non-charges):

    At least Macleans have got actual charges to face, not to mention a large team of well paid lawyers and experts. So that’s alright, then?

    I gather Frank doesn’t see the mere fact of having to wage a defense in the face of spurious charges as a hardship or penalty, especially, that is, in this instance without ‘charges’.

  52. the freedom of the enlightenment versus the fascism of the left.

  53. Have you actually read America Alone, Frank? I happen to have it on E-book, and it is mentioned once in the entire book, on Page 14. He illustrates that the guards in Gitmo are required to handle the Koran with gloves so as not to offend the prisoners. That is the only time it is mentioned.

  54. I’ve got to agree with Frank Stringer on the GITMO thing — Steyn and Levant are right that free speech is an ancient right in Common Law, but so is the right to jury trial and habeas corpus. I don’t see them complaining about,say, the Padilla case.

  55. Mitchell Young:

    I’ve got to agree with Frank Stringer on the GITMO thing — Steyn and Levant are right that free speech is an ancient right in Common Law, but so is the right to jury trial and habeas corpus.

    Am I getting this right? Are you arguing that the fact a foreign country may have violated habeas corpus is a justification to gut freedom of expression in Canada?

    Is there a HRC apologist with a brain out there somewhere?

  56. Do I agree with everything that is written in Macleans? No. Do I think that Mark Steyn wrote out of context about Muslims? Perhaps. Do I think that Macleans should be punished for publishing Mark Steyn’s racist diatribe about Muslims? You betcha! I’ll cancel my subscription. I just hafta subscribe first.

    The problem when I hear the word “context” is that I understand this as being the same as “it should be written from my point of view.” I remember a couple of years ago when Deborah Ellis wrote “Three Wishes” about children’s perspective of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Jewish community complained to different school boards across Ontario that Ellis did not have the right context of the situation in the lands between the Med and the Dead Seas. I interpreted that as being Ellis didn’t espouse a pro-Israeli pro-Jewish point of view. Whether or not Ellis was right, it was her book and she could write what she thought. The same holds true for Steyn, Andrew Coyne, and Macleans magazine.

    Is Steyn a racist? He could be. The problem with Steyn’s writing is that what he writes could be true or his opinion but still be considered racist. I could comment that women who wear headscarves look ugly. That’s my opinion, but someone else could call me a racist. I don’t like South Asian music; I find it irritating. Am I a racist for saying such a thing? I don’t like country music either. I guess that makes me anti-American.

    If the complainants do not like what was written in Macleans. They can write a letter to the editor, write a longer reply that Macleans may consider publishing, write a blog, or go on TVOntario to complain about Macleans. They have no right to manage or control the content of Macleans magazine. The publishers of Macleans hires people to write and manage the content of the magazine. In a free society, the publishers need not fear control by government censors or street roaming religious vigilantes. The complaint against Macleans needs to be dismissed ASAP.

  57. At a time when our spineless elected leaders are to still mustering up the courage put a stop to this insanity, it’s heartening to see Macleans willing to fight these extremist bullies at great finacial cost. (Teams of legal experts don’t come cheap.)

    I also want to say how much I admire Muslim Canadians like Tarek Fatah and “Muslim Steynfan” who courageously speak out against radical Islamism. You are a credit to your religion and your country.

    This is a scary time for the state of our democracy. As a Christian and a freedom loving Canadian, I hope and pray that this does not mark a swan song for free speech in this country.

    Vive la Canada libre!

  58. Antbody know if this circus is being videotaped?

  59. This should be called what it plainly is: Aggressive, smashmouth, authoritarian politics masquerading as “hurt feeling.”

    Despicable.

    O Canada.

  60. Am I getting this right? Are you arguing that the fact a foreign country may have violated habeas corpus is a justification to gut freedom of expression in Canada?

    Umm, did I write that…no. I simply think it would be covering a flank if Steyn and Levant and others wouldn’t be so cavalier about some of the abuses committed in the war on terror. It’s a more general point. Free speech isn’t much good if the government can lock you up without charge for, 42 days at a stretch, as the UK is now contemplating. And since both of these guys and others are basing part of their rhetorical case on ancient ‘Anglo-Saxon’ liberty, I have no problem bringing in foreign examples from other Common Law countries.

  61. “… or you can simply go to Steynonline and look up the many positive comments that I’ve posted there ….”

    Funny, I just did, and found no evidence of your many positive remarks, Frank.

  62. Frank Stinger paraphrased “Some of my best comments are at Steyn’s”

  63. comment by Sheila on Monday, June 2, 2008 at 6:00 pm: Facts, truth – oh, oh. Such things aren’t considered a defence by the Captain Kangaroos who preside over these farces.

    Steyn’s writings are often very well researched and backed up with facts – that’s a fact. But as much as admire what he says and I do have a problem with how he says it. Basically, though he deploys facts to support his agenda, what he also does is manipulate the specifics and the details in a somewhat disingenuous manner, and whichever way you look at it that’s called shit-stirring. Sure, facts are facts, but a great deal depends on which facts you select and how you set them out. Shit-stirring isn’t illegal – but maybe it should be?

  64. comment by Mitchell Young on Monday, June 2, 2008 at 6:30 pm: Am I getting this right? Are you arguing that the fact a foreign country may have violated habeas corpus is a justification to gut freedom of expression in Canada?

    Foreign country, maybe. But isn’t Steyn’s book called America Alone?

  65. Frank Stringer:

    Foreign country, maybe. But isn’t Steyn’s book called America Alone?

    You’re kidding. Please say you’re kidding.

  66. Note to Sheila:

    Speaking as a boomer generation member in good standing, I have to respectfully correct you. This silly, offensive, and utterly undemocratic tribunal is, indeed, the classic definition of a “kangaroo court”…but it has NO relation or resemblance to the late, great Bob Keeshan, aka. “Captain Kangaroo” who was a beloved children’s TV pioneer and who, along with his dear aides Mr. Greenjeans and Bunnyrabbit, will always be a force for democracy, decency, and for eating your vegetables and drinking your milk. Now its late. And its a school night. Time for bed. (smile)

  67. Shit-stirring isn’t illegal – but maybe it should be?

    Given your presence on this blog, are you sure you want to ‘shit-stirring’ as illegal?

  68. Someone just alerted me to the fact that Amazon.ca is packaging Mark Steyn’s book in a promotional bundle with my book, Chasing a Mirage, in their “Better Together” deal.

    http://www.amazon.ca/Chasing-Mirage-Tragic-lllusion-Islamic/dp/0470841168/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1212446825&sr=8-1

    “We told you so,” the Islamists will now say. “Amazon has confirmed it: Tarek Fatah is a neo-con agent of Zionism masquerading as a marxist Muslim.”

    My goose is cooked :-)

  69. Sure, facts are facts, but a great deal depends on which facts you select and how you set them out.

    Are there facts that contradict Steyn’s arguments? Present them! Or is this a case of, “There are some facts that Man was not meant to know and some truths best left unsaid”?

  70. Macleans editor leaning “right” on this – what a shocker. About those taxpayer subsidies Macleans get eh?

  71. I think I just fell in love with DangerGirl. Goosebumps.

  72. “Shit-stirring isn’t illegal – but maybe it should be?”

    SWEET-SMOKING-JESUS – what the hell is that about ????

    This is somebody’s idea of a joke, right? You wacky Canucks…

  73. “Shit-stirring isn’t illegal – but maybe it should be?”

    Now we’re getting somewhere.

  74. Tarek, I’ve already got Mark Steyn’s book, but I will buy yours separately.

    Thank you very much for participating on this blog. You are a breath of fresh air in the media.

    Normal everyday life confirms to me there are many, many more like you.

  75. I was in the hearing for the morning, and will go back later this week.

    a few points:

    1. Muslims and Islam should have no immunity to criticism, but that’s really what they’re arguing for.
    2. If these hate speech laws aren’t repealed or constitutionally overturned, the no debate zones of Canadian life, enforced by law, will continue to enlarge, to our greater danger.
    3. these complainants and sock puppets aren’t in fear of Islamophobia – they wouldn’t be parading their sorry grievances and wounded muslim souls all around the country if they were. In fact, the less compelling the majority culture becomes in Canada, the more minorities are empowered to lecture and admonish and, yes, control, with the help of the HRC’s.
    4. it seems to me that their loud complaints about Islamophobia are indeed likely to create hate – but of the West from within Islamic countries.
    5. I humbly suggest that Elmo and the Socks phoney concerns for human rights, right of reply, right to dissent, responsible journalism etc. etc. (which are mainly a desire for power within Canada a free from criticism) need to be preached in Saudi, Indonesia, Pakistan – and every other muslim majority country in the world far more than here.
    6. so sorry muslims have been maligned about potential for violence, and sincerely hope Maclean’s doesn’t get into more trouble by reporting the suicide bombing at the Danish embassy in Pakistan today. SSSSHHHHHH – mum’s the word.

  76. Agreed, Jan.

  77. The moderators would like to keep this discussion more-or-less on topic and will delete comments that aren’t. As an example, we consider the Guantanamo Bay discussion not even remotely on topic.

  78. Tarek, how can they call you a neo-con, they’re to busy calling you an apostate. You haven’t earned “infidel” yet though. Keep working, you’ll get there.

  79. Fact Checker, one of the best definitions of a liberal I’ve ever heard is somebody who doesn’t have anything at stake — at the moment.

    Frank thinks “shit-stirring” ought to be illegal because what he considers “shit-stirring” isn’t likely to be considered “shit-stirring” by the HRC — at the moment.

    When it is, he’ll be outraged — outraged! — , get a new internet nickname, and start posting about how terrible it is to have your freedom of speech regulated by fascists.

  80. Frank: Every time you post some off-topic nonsense, a Unicorn dies.

  81. Still going past 3:30pm? I thought these public sector bureaucrats would have the day wrapped up by now. They must be getting overtime.

  82. Damn, I’ve been edited! As a Yank, can I get in on this whole HRC thing now? I think I’ve been terribly wronged, in some terrible way. (Plus, I could use some new wheels).

    I will confess to be being Polish myself, but my daughter IS 50% Mexican — if that helps….

  83. Intizar,

    Im not Muslim, but yours is probably the best post I’ve seen since this whole thing started.

  84. Hey! What happened to Intizar’s post? Who censored it?

  85. Ezra Levant:

    “Awan is now complaining about comments made on TVO’s website, after their debate with Mark Steyn.” 6:16 CDT

  86. Gail,

    Count 8 posts up from yours

  87. 1:42 PM – …He says Steyn didn’t distinguish between diffferent types of Muslims, painted all with a broad brush. He’s going through the more inflammatory passages in the article…

    Hmmm… “Inflammatory” = Definition: Arousing to action, especially anger, belligerence, and tending to inflame or cause tumult. (synonymous with ‘seditious’).

  88. Thank you so much for a needed laugh…I read through all the comments and finally on the last one…”Almost Ali”…I got a real belly laugh…
    This whole unfolding of the loss of freedom of speech and individual rights in Canadian Society is so ‘f’ing depressing… I am wondering if I am now beginning to suffer from Islamaphobia…and need medical assistance…is there a list of symptoms…Will the therapy for the disease be covered by Ontario Health Care? Will the illness be considered in any charges made so that victims can claim lienacy on the grounds of mental illness?

  89. Would someone in B.C. please ask Mr.Awan if he teared up after reading the article or did he just get a little misty?

  90. Oops! Thanks, Bill!

  91. comment by Bob Williams on Monday, June 2, 2008 at 6:17 pm:

    “Am I getting this right? Are you arguing that the fact a foreign country may have violated habeas corpus is a justification to gut freedom of expression in Canada?”

    I guess in the fascist fantasy world, two wrongs make everything a-ok. He’s an idiot, forget him.

    I don’t get the Gitmo crap here – this topic is not about GITMO! Stay with the tour if you’re able Frankie boy.

    This news blog is about the erasure of free speech and freedom of the press here and now in CANADA.

    I suggest people ignore morons who are incapable of staying on topic.

  92. I wonder if Andrew’s blackberry ran out of batteries.

  93. Dear Mr Fatah:

    Best of luck with your book sales, and your thoughtful comments here are much appreciated

  94. I am getting the impression that Canada is not REALLY a country. I think it is a great big honking American Univeristy.

    em>Ooh! That hurt my feeling, so I’m going to petition the Dean Of Multicultural Programs to have you fined and expelled.

  95. could someone spell that for me pleace….

  96. Perhaps it is his thumbs, not the battery in his Blackberry. He has done an amazing job today; he should try his hand a test criket commentary.

    And to the gentleman who asked about who I was backing in the Indian Twenty20 league, Rajputana! Who could stand against the Rajputs, even the Mughals couldn’t do without Jodha Bai :-)

  97. What a bunch of hooey this trial is…

  98. The so-called human rights court has all the characteristics of the old British Star Chamber

    “the Court of Star Chamber became a political weapon, bringing actions against opponents to the decrees and edicts of Henry VIII. Wolsey also encouraged petitioners to use the Court of the Star Chamber as a court of original jurisdiction”

    History repeating itself again??

  99. Mr. Fatah
    I also am thankful for your insightful reasoned contributions to this blog and all of your previously published columns.

    Has anyone else had a chance to read Tahir Aslam Gora’s article in the Hamilton Spectator on May 29th? You should…

    http://thespec.com/Opinions/article/376845

  100. comment by Jennifer Zandstra on Monday, June 2, 2008 at 7:50 pm:

    “What a bunch of hooey this trial is…”

    You’re partly right, Jennifer. It should be dismissed as a bunch of hooey, but unfortunately these HRCs wield a lot of omnipotent power.

    Part of the problem is complacency on the part of average Canadians, myself included. But no time to wallow, we need remove the power from these kangaroo courts by disbanding the HRCs.

  101. Questions if I may:

    I’m not Canadian (but my mom was!)

    1. Does the Canadian legal system permit any interlocutory relief–a request to a higher court to shut down this proceeding for example–on the grounds that it has no jurisdiction or is proceeding illegally?

    2 I understand this court can award damages–are there any limits to what can be awarded? Caps on damages for example?

    3. Will there be a written or video record of the proceeding?

    4. Given the demands in England for “no go” zones, the demands at Harvard and other US schools for “women only” hours in pools and gyms, etc., and demands that female Muslim medical residents in England not have to wash up to the elbow, all of which have been pretty much agreed to except for the elbow washing [for now], how do media expect to avoid the same “accomodation” process as is demanded here? The right to have “accomodations” that no one else asks for but which the Muslims insist they obtain? I mean US schools have dropped names like “Crusader” but Muslim teams get to use names that would upset the crusaders, etc. So how do media plan to stay aloof from this marginalization of norms that everyone else understood as fixed? Is there a legal barrier and if so what is it?

    I apologize if these seem naive.

  102. comment by Frank Stringer on Monday, June 2, 2008 at 5:05 pm: “It’s not for you to decide whether the vulnerable need protection. That’s why we have courts.”

    You’re flippant, but we’re not here to bandy words. We don’t “have courts” to allow you to run away from earnest discussion of the just or the good at the moment that your laziness or your anxiety overcomes your argumentativeness.

  103. Every time some pompous Canadian lectures me about how much better their country is in comparison to the United States, I think of these ridiculous “Human Rights Committees” and just laugh. What kind of country would permit such nonsense to occur on a regular basis? Any country that makes asinine “Hate Speech” laws to protect crybabies from being offended richly deserves any scorn heaped upon it.

  104. Mark,

    If this whole thing doesnt turn out right im getting a Green Card believe me.

    BCL,

    I supposed you can perform a line by line refutation of the facts presented in his book.

    Actually no.

  105. Mark: there are plenty of campus speeech code committees here in the US that will give that court a run for its money.

  106. I’m starting to worry about Mr. Coyne. I hope he hasn’t been taken into custody and charged with Second Degree Aggravated Sarcasm.

  107. As Ezra Levant did, will someone take in a videocamera to record tomorrow, or has this been explicitly prohibited?

  108. If “hate speech” is whatever sort of speech a liberal hates, then probably Canada needs more of it.

    These sorts of laws, and these sorts of complaints, show just what a deal of ruin there is in a nation (Adam Smith).

    A few choice quotes:

    “Canada’s not a real country” – Lucien Bouchard
    “Canada – the world’s greatest hotel” – Yann Martel
    “Canada – a community of communities” – former PM Joe Clark

    What’s past the bottom of the slippery slope…?

    If Elmo and the socks are so concerned about Muslims and how they’re treated, they should really try filing a few complaints in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sudan, Iran etc. etc. Go, kids, go.

  109. Erik:

    The Tribunal prohibited it this morning, as well as any cameras or cellphones with cameras.

  110. “The moderators would like to keep this discussion more-or-less on topic and will delete comments that aren’t. As an example, we consider the Guantanamo Bay discussion not even remotely on topic.”

    I find that offensive; as I am a poor debater, you have injured my delicate sensibilities and exposed me to ridicule and hatred, and I demand that Macleans Online publish my rebuttal, which will consist of the word “Gitmo” 5000 times (because although a reader might not “get it” after the first 4000 times, those last 1000 will surely convince all). Also, I wanna be on the cover of Macleans. And a pony and a plastic rocket.

    Actually, the pony isn’t for me, it’s for my friend Frank. It can be the horse he rode in on.

    Otherwise, look out! I’ll take you to all the HRCs, and surely at least one will rule in my favour. Of course, you could just donate $2.5 million to #some_charity and I’ll go away, at least until the next time you offend me.

  111. “a canadian”: Sorry that your feelings were obviously hurt but Mark’s point is right on target. Canadian ‘laws’ and ‘freedom of expression’ are at risk with what’s happening in that kangaroo court today. No amount of feel-good, CBC-inspired anti-americanism will change the fact that when Canadians’ right to freedom of expression is curtailed by an appointed politically correct bureaucrat, the American Constitution’s 1st Ammendment will look awfully good from this side of the border.

  112. (Apologies for OT discussion of the subcontinent’s favorite game)

    Tarek, Did you catch the quotes from Royals’ Captain Shane Warne?:

    “The best part about the IPL is, as well as having four or five different cultures in your team, unearthing some of the young Indian players. In Swapnil Asnodkar, you’ve got a player who can open the batting in any form of the game.

    “[All-rounder] Ravindra Jadeja is only 19 years old and to see him hit back-foot sixes over cover at a crucial stage against Mumbai and the way he’s fielded and worked has been great.

    “Munaf Patel and Siddharth Trivedi could walk into the Indian side and open the bowling. Yes, the Australian players have done well, but the young Indian players are what make me proud to be captain of the Royals.”

    Rajputs rule!

  113. Mr. Coyne:
    “Now we’re into, not even blogs, but comments left on a YouTube post.”

    This is a travesty. This is a disgrace. Hell, are they going to hunt down youtube comments to see if they were posted in Canda? Does it matter?

    Where is the outrage, Canada? Have you been so cowed and intimidated by Big Nanny? Does anybody realize what’s going on up there? I am disheartened. How infantile you’ve become! How supine!

  114. p.s. to Pompous, who said::

    “Why should you care? You don’t live here. You live in a country where the Pentagon (and thus the Government) pays generals to propogandize to its own people over the pubic airwaves.”

    Why should you care? You don’t live here.

    See how easy it is to play that stupid game?

    When you gather together the neurons to actually make an argument, report back to me.

  115. I realize I am only a foolish American, but I think there is a difference between some in the military presenting their point of view (paid or not) and a government bureau attempting to shut down free speech. Call me crazy, but if the military present their view, the news media are free to take it up or turn it down. If the BCHRC gets its way, however, you Canadian subjects will only be able to speak what your ruling class (read: bureaucrats) allow.

    I’d think you’d be a little more concerned about that and a little less concerned with a tiny bit of data in the larger stream of media.

    But then, perhaps you are OK with the loss of your free speech rights? After all, you have that comfy social security system to rely upon.

  116. I suppose it’s lost on you that subsidizing a private news organization has nothing to do having generals, who are government employees, “propogandize” (sic) on public airwaves.

    As a citizen of democracy, the health of which is intricately tied to being well-information, I consider this a distinction without a difference.

    Would it make you happier if the generals appeared only to condemn their government rather than support it?

    Do you even know what the issue is that I’m referring to? The Pentagon’s initative to recruit retired generals who passed themselves of as neutral experts on the major networks? It’s certainly caused outrage among American citizens, as it rightly should.

  117. But then, perhaps you are OK with the loss of your free speech rights? After all, you have that comfy social security system to rely upon.

    What? Single-payer health care? We pay for that, you know.

  118. Why should you care? You don’t live here.

    See how easy it is to play that stupid game?

    And I’m not over at some American venue, being all pompous and smug and everthing and proclaiming the superiorty of our legal order.

    There. Clear enough for you, or do I have to mime in out for you?

  119. Try the mime – it’s a terrible thing to waste.

  120. It’s causing outrage amongst American citizens? Where? I haven’t heard anyone talk about it. It’s largely a non-issue.

    Right, because it’s not on the teevee. As for non-issue, that’s just your opinion. Do you have any evidence to back that up?

    You appear breezily unconcerned with the loss of one of your fundamental rights

    *I* have freedom of expression, which is broader than the freedom under the American legal order. Which means I can hear swear words and see a nipple flash (and sometimes more) on the teevee. The only right I appear to be losing is the right to be exposed to hatred, vilification and defamation; if need to be exposed to that, I know where to find it…

  121. I’m enjoying watching Frank Stringer get beaten to a pulp (metaphorically, of course) on this thread. He is a whiny little boy who rings the doorbell and runs.

    It’s important to remember the words of John Diefenbaker at times like these…

    “I am a Canadian,
    free to speak without fear,
    free to worship in my own way,
    free to stand for what I think right,
    free to oppose what I believe wrong,
    or free to choose those
    who shall govern my country.
    This heritage of freedom
    I pledge to uphold
    for myself and all mankind.”

  122. Wow, this must break some record for the most comments to a post in a single day. I’m not even going to bother posting mine. Um, too late … dang!

  123. The only right I appear to be losing is the right to be exposed to hatred, vilification and defamation; if need to be exposed to that, I know where to find it…

    My head is spinning.

    Does it occur to you that you might be losing the right to give offense?

  124. Everyone knows free speech is much freer in America ! Why do you think Mark Steyn immigrated to the US? Don’t be so thin skinned Anna. Why not try to be objective about the truth of Canada. . . oh ya,

    YOU ARE CANADIAN ! EH!!

    A disgusted Canadian,
    Gail Parker

  125. Steve Miller is right . . .

    “If a bureaucrat can determine what you are allowed to say in public, you are effectively silenced from expressing an unpopular or offensive idea.”

    Now wake up Canada! Don’t be so defensive ! Face up to the truth ! Canada does not have a First Amendment – an enshrined right to Free Speech !

    Gail Parker

  126. “I don’t see why I’d need to engage in group defamation to offend people.”

    Somwetimes you can offend groups by saying accurate and truthful things about them.

    Would you ban that too?

    And what in the Maclean’s article is defamatory?

  127. This entire fiasco makes me sick to be Canadian. Decisions made by the tribunal that would not withstand a first year law school moot, evidence allowed from youtube posters, a Ontario resident providing evidence as to how he was affected, notwithstanding he is not a resident of BC (to which the tribinal should only have jurisdiction). In actual fact, I hope they rule against Macleans, because they have the deep pockets to fight this all the way.

  128. Somwetimes you can offend groups by saying accurate and truthful things about them.

    Well, accuracy and truth are defenses in cases like this.

    And I just know the subtext of this comment. “I’m not a racist or a bigot; those people really are like that!”

    Feh. Heard it.

  129. And what in the Maclean’s article is defamatory?

    What don’t you read the complaint? Or is some lack of freeness stopping you from doing that?

  130. … still waiting for my pony and plastic rocket…

  131. Muezzin, I’m not sure if you are aware of this but as http://www.macleans.ca is a privately run website, they have a right to post and moderate whatever they want. Similar to the way in which papers have a right to not run a letter to the editor that they receive. The moderation is not an infringement on your “liberty of expression”.

  132. Well, accuracy and truth are defenses in cases like this.Can you provide a citation to legal authority for that? Muchas gracias.

    And I just know the subtext of this comment.

    Of course you do, sweetie. Otherwise you might have to face plain words plainly.

  133. “Human Rights Commissions, as they are evolving, are an attack on our fundamental freedoms and the basic existence of a democratic society…It is in fact totalitarianism. I find this is very scary stuff.”
    Stephen Harper
    -January 11, 1999

    Conservative supporters, why don’t you lobby your party? Oh wait, I forgot… Stephen Harper has abandoned many of his previous beliefs. Onward freedom fighters! Me, I’m going to watch dogs chase balls into the ocean.

  134. A *Pompous* Canadian:

    “*I* have freedom of expression, which is broader than the freedom under the American legal order… I can hear swear words…see a nipple flash The only right I appear to be losing is the right to be exposed to hatred, vilification and defamation; if need to be ”

    It maks one despair for this country when a fellow citizen trades the ‘right’ to a peek or to hear or use a crass word trumps his right to express a belief or opinion.

    Amazingly, they really don’t understand that they are losing the same priceless virtue as those with whom they disagree. As long as someone else’s ox is bing gored….

  135. I haven’t read Mark Steyn’s book yet but its next on line on my shelf. He was born in Toronto but must have been educated in British schools. Mark Steyn speaks at CPAC convention about conservatism and comments on being an American…5 parts on Youtube.

    Gail Parker

  136. It maks one despair for this country when a fellow citizen trades the ‘right’ to a peek or to hear or use a crass word trumps his right to express a belief or opinion.

    How so? Steyn’s book (published by Regnery, no less) is widely available in Canada.

    So I get to hear and watch the dirty stuff *and* read Steyn’s work. I’ll leave it to others to decide whether there’s difference there.

  137. So I get to hear and watch the dirty stuff *and* read Steyn’s work.

    At least until the injunction comes down…

    I’ll leave it to others to decide whether there’s difference there.

    Sadly, you are probably well advised to do just that.

  138. WOW 169 post first day.

    The story in cbc didnt get any. Well I posted one.

    I read the blog, soooooooooo how do you stay awake, or keep from laughing out loud?

  139. “I’ll leave it to others to decide whether there’s difference there.”

    For heaven’s sake Pompous, don’t you see what is so plainly before your face? It’ all about you being able to decide whether there’s a difference. The HR industry is attempting to deprive you of that right.

    THEY will determine for you whether there’s a difference by controlling what you may hear or see. That’s the danger, plain and simple.

  140. All comments submitted after now will go into moderation until approximately 9am tomorrow.

    Two things to bear in mind:

    1. We’re applying a very strict threshold for possibly defamatory statements against just about anyone or anything.
    2. If a comment is reasonably civil and has something remotely to do with the topic at hand, or free speech in Canada in general, it’s fine. Comments designed mainly to provoke a reaction from another commenter aren’t. Nor are the comments provoked by such comments.

  141. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Might be a good wait for that, my friends. But it’s your site. Please exercise your rights as private citizens, but IMHO it’s a necessary predicate for people committed to free speech to tolerate a few sharp words and I do believe Steyn has been known to hone far sharper edges than I could bring to bear.

    Sleep tight, Canada. A lot of us are keeping you in our prayers.

  142. This is repugnant. How is this type of nonsense allowed in a free and democratic country?

    I sincerely hope Macleans LOSES, so they can appeal this to a court that has jurisdiction to throw this entire HRC racket into the junk-bin of history. Disgusting.

  143. Great,

    Now go out and buy an air card, slip it into the PCMCIA slot on your computer and connect your computer telephonically to the www. OK, just wanted to use the word telephonically in a sentence. Keep up the good work!

  144. Looking north from down under I see a Canada renowned by these:– Gretsky, Mark Steyn, the Canadian Army [including the Vandoos with whom the Anzacs had much joy in belting the mutual crap out of each other]
    The HRC is a poster child for all thats pathetic, and worse, its what Canada will be known for.
    Most unfortunate eh!

  145. For those who are asking the Harper government to do something about this; I believe you are going to the wrong government. For this particular trial anyway. It is called the BC Human Rights Tribunal for a reason. Not to say that the CHRC is any better or worse then this Roo court but we must also put pressure on all levels of government.

  146. This is not a court.
    This is not a trial.
    Those being brought before it owe it nothing and should accept nothing it says or does.

  147. You know things are bad when the NYT reporter is stunned.

  148. Oh Canada!

  149. When do you think we’ll be able to get the transcript of these proceedings? I’m sure Day 1 alone has provided enough rope for these fools to hang themselves and their ridiculous Tribunal.

  150. I am proud to say that I am in the third generation of my family to serve my country in our Armed Forces.

    I am very afraid that what I see is that Canada is slowly (or maybe not so slowly) becoming something very different from the country that my family has served.

    I will always be proud of the country that Canada used to be.

  151. The most impartial liveblog journalism since Steyn’s coverage clear-eyed coverage of the Black trial. Well done again Macleans.

  152. hunter is succinctly accurate…

    “This is not a court.
    This is not a trial.
    Those being brought before it owe it nothing and should accept nothing it says or does.

    Truth journalism always attracts rational intelligence. Lets give some credit to these bloggers.

    Gail Parker

  153. I notice one of my comments has been flagged.

    I apologize if was considered offensive (I didn’t think it was so) but will keep that in mind going forward.

  154. This hearing has huge implications. But for those of you who think Canada has had anything resembling free speech up til now, let me fill you in.

    We in the west are particularly aware of the oppression of speech. Have any of you checked the channel line up lately in Alberta? Are you aware of the grey market satelite squash? Did you know that Sheila Copps took the American invented version of Time, Macleans, Reader’s Digest, and many others and ruled there be a “Canadian” versions of these publications. What about the new satelite radio? Oh yes, Canada had to have its own version of Sirius and XM too. This intellectual property was stolen by Canadians in the first place from America.

    Coercive monopolies run Canada’s media and are controlled by Eastern Canada. Calgary is a prime example. It used to have its own local TV stations and radio but the content has changed to anti-west and antii-American since these govt controlled monopolies took hold.

    All you have to do is watch the weather channel for 10 minutes and I guarantee you will see the weather reporter standing right in front of Alberta for most of the show.

    If Mark Steyn loses this hearing I believe it will pave the way to destroy our last vestage of free speech in Canada…the internet.

    Gail Parker

  155. At an HRT in BC
    Poor Steyn’s in the dock, dear me
    For writing rude things
    In a mag called Macleans
    Oh! Canada – land of the free?

  156. I’m not sure what everybody’s freaking out about. The tribunal hasn’t judged one way or the other yet. The system may work just fine.

    I know that if someone started screaming about how are stealing our jobs, revelling in violence, unsanitary, dangerous, and possibly contagious, I’d far rather there be an HRC in place so that the situation could avoid the courts and expensive lawyers to get it stopped.

    Now, there are some concerning things here about truth and public interest not being valid defenses but that’s a problem with the law and needs to be addressed by the government, not by vilifying the people working on the tribunals or the entire process.

  157. Erg.. between “how” and “are” in the second paragrah I had [insert group you are part of here] but with the greater-than/less-than signs.. it seems to have eaten it.

  158. This whole proceeding would seem silly in the extreme were it not actually taking place under government auspices. So what’s really at issue here anyway? Is it really all about how some reader felt when he read an essay? Reason is out the window now, and feelings are the paramount consideration? Welcome to bizarro-world.

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