Frightening human rights law up north
Re: Tony Blankley’s Commentary piece in the April 28 edition titled “Euro-Muslim tension” (page 30), Mr. Blankley is in error when he stated that the enfeebled Canadian officials “promptly filed criminal charges” against Mark Steyn, the author of the book “America Alone.”
In fact, the complainant Muslim students and the head honcho of one of the Islamic organizations in Canada filed what is called a “complaint” with the Canadian Human Rights Commission and two other provincial commissions.
These commissions promptly accepted the complaints, deeming them to be legitimate, and have put Mr. Steyn et. al. to the test of showing cause why he and the magazine that ran the excerpts from his book and why they should not be penalized before the Human Rights Tribunal for having committed the offense of publishing something that was — now get this — “likely to expose” the person or persons to “contempt or hatred.”
Think about that for a moment. This law is enshrined as Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act and effectively says that if something is published which a group feels is “likely” to subject them to contempt, the onus is on the accused to justify that it just ain’t so.
There is no burden of proof on the tribunal or the commission to prove their case. Once accepted, the complaint casts the onus on the ac- cused to “disprove” the issue. Moreover, the complainant need never show up thereafter, even for the trial of the accused, since the tribunal calls upon the accused to justify or otherwise excuse itself, often at terrific cost in legal fees and the like. There is absolutely no cost or consequence to the complainant.
And this is what they call a “Human Rights Act.” I can think of nothing more ironic than having an organization legislated into existence which denies the accused the right to have the case proven against him. That is the nub of this entire fiasco currently being hotly debated in Canada. In maintaining this charade of a court against free speech and particularly free opinion, the left-wing branch of Canadian elitism is actually fostering increased dislike and condemnation of the very people who file the complaints in the first place.
I refer Mr. Blankley to the blog of Ezra Levant, a publisher who, in his video-recorded interview with the investigative branch of the commission, simply told the interviewer that neither she nor the commission was entitled to challenge what he was thinking, or what his opinion was about any matter whatever. Would that there were more Ezra Levants in Canada. Gerald Langlois Ontario, Canada