Thursday, September 3, 2009

In Which Free Canadians Speak Of Free Canada

Our friend Denyse O'Leary says the following of the momentus decision:

The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has ruled that Section 13 - Canada's human rights hate speech law - is an unconstitutional violation of the Charter right to free expression because of its penalty provisions.

The underlying problem is our Constitution:

Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law: Guarantee of Rights and Freedoms

Rights and freedoms in Canada

1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society. Fundamental Freedoms

Fundamental freedoms

2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

(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.

That is vague, pious twaddle. It means nothing by comparison with

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The key element of your First Amendment is “Congress shall make no law.” In Canada, it was never clear that we had the right of appeal against the shocking abuses of extra-legal commissions and tribunals that have blundered into religious, media, medical, and entertainment issues, among others. The few people who could afford to appeal were afraid to. What if the court rules that we don’t really have the right?

Until now. Today, a tribunal judge refused to convict on the grounds that Section 13, Canada's human rights hate speech law “violates the Charter right to free expression because it carries the threat of punitive fines.” (National Post) That creates the opportunity for anyone successfully targeted by the Commissions and Tribunals, of which we have fourteen across the country, to appeal to real courts, if they can afford it.

The decision does not deal with the shocking abuses of process by which the Commission gained convictions, nor with the fact that the complainant is funded by government but the defendant must pay his own expenses. Most defendants, civil rights lawyer Ezra Levant found, are poor and can not afford legal representation, so they just lose and pay dearly. But now those abuses, and many others, can be addressed in turn.

More here:

Hope this helps.

Again, yee ha!.

Cheers, Denyse