Tag Archives: Free Speech
Detroit Free Press – “The United States is correct that it need not wait until people are killed before it arrests conspirators,” U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts said in a 36-page decision. “But, the Defendants are also correct: their right to engage in hate-filled, venomous speech, is a right that deserves First Amendment protection.”
National Post – A Canadian human rights group is accusing the University of Ottawa of “spying” and attempting to stifle free speech after top university administrators considered preventing a well-known Burmese activist from speaking on campus.
Canadian Friends of Burma says it will ask the Ontario government to grant provincial ombudsman Andre Marin power to investigate the conduct of the University of Ottawa administrators in relation to the event.
Chilliwack Times, Open Letter to Readers – There has been much discussion lately about “free speech” in Canada. I use parentheses [sic] to denote a term that causes many individuals to have a gag reflex as they consider the term to be a uniquely American concept that has no relevancy with our sense of Canadian values. Call it “freedom of expression” or what have you, but I do have concerns about our willingness to acquiesce to seemingly arbitrary standards of conduct and speech imposed by quasi-judicial bodies. Their willingness to take away your right to expression should concern all of us.
The Stir – It’s a sad day for animal rights groups. The Supreme Court just struck down a federal law designed to stop the sale and marketing of dogfight videos and videos showing other acts of animal cruelty.
The court, in an 8-1 decision, ruled that the law was an unconstitutional violation of free speech…
The last time the Supreme Court carved out an exception to First Amendment free speech protection was in 1982 when it banned the distribution of child pornography.
Kansas City Star – Animal rights groups were naturally disappointed by the ruling, but said they would continue to press for a more specific law, one that might pass constitutional muster.
And let’s face it: This was a victory for free speech because it once again validated the view that the government doesn’t have all-encompassing powers to shut down speech it doesn’t like or deem appropriate.
Deborah Gyapong – Political correctness, media feeding frenzies charging “raaaaacism!,” ‘human rights’ commissions undermining fundamental rights, have also played their role in hamstringing the police departments. Who is to blame? We are for not demanding political accountability and for not insisting on free speech and association rights without the threat of violence or bullying tactics to shut it down.
FFoF – Now, I think petitions are a waste of time, and would simply encourage all of you to violate Section 13 and thereby render this law unenforceable and obsolete.
SoCon or Bust – Here. This is a petition that has the backing of MPs…so it is going to be presented in the Commons.
What a gutter Canada has become that we have to ask our own Parliament to protect the right to speak freely.
Maclean’s – Because, after all, nothing says “restraint” and “respect” and “civility” more than a snarling mob using the threat of violence to shut down those it dislikes—and all for that beloved “Canadian tradition.” Strange that the more Canada congratulates itself on its “tolerance” the less it’s prepared to tolerate.
National Post: With All Of These Human Rights Convictions Going Into The Toilet, Let’s Try To Regulate Speech Better
National Post – As ever more prominent human rights hate speech convictions fail on judicial review, the credibility of human rights commissions is not the only thing at stake. The contradictory rulings suggest Canada is overdue for a comprehensive analysis of its approach to hate speech, to resolve the Supreme Court’s own disagreement about how to regulate the darkest emotion.
CP – Cousineau told the hearing Friday that if Ismail had apologized in the beginning, assured Pardy that this would not happen again at his restaurant and offered her compensation, the issue may never have reached the tribunal.
“Perhaps if that had happened we wouldn’t be here today,” Cousineau said.
Calgary Herald – Almost eight years after a controversial letter to the editor appeared in a central Alberta newspaper, the legal battle over whether a former pastor’s comments against homosexuals violate Alberta’s hate laws continues.
In December , the Court of Queen’s Bench ruled that Stephen Boissoin’s letter to editor  against the manner homosexuality is being taught in school was “jarring, offensive, bewildering, puerile, nonsensical and insulting,” but not hateful…
University of Calgary professor Darren Lund launched the original complaint against Boissoin.
On March 26 , Lund filed an appeal based on what he views as Justice Wilson’s “problematic” ruling, which factors in the intention of an individual writing hateful comments while human rights law focuses on the effect of such a publication.
Punchline – Here’s what we think: We obviously don’t condone the act of making fun of people based on whom they like to have sex with—especially if it’s not done with any sense of tact, art or humor. But we also don’t condone people showing up late to a comedy show, sitting in the front row and acting like complete assholes to the comedian onstage. One of the signs of a seasoned comedian is the ability to skillfully – and that sometimes includes being harsh – deal with hecklers…
Both parties were out of line.
Winnipeg Free Press – But it’s not that simple. Members of minority groups can and do feel harassed, if not threatened, in some environments. Comedy clubs are frequented by enthusiastically imbibing young men.
Some of them, hearing “there’s the dyke table” from an irritated comedian who proceeds to unleash a torrent of abuse, could take it as permission to act out their own aggressions.
Camrose Canadian – As Canadians, we take great pride in touting the notion that we live in a free country, where freedom of speech and expression are guaranteed as a fundamental right entrenched in our society. But are we as a people truly committed to upholding this principle in all cases, or would it be more accurately described as a privilege?
Montreal Gazette – Senator Doug Finley led a call Tuesday to scrap a section of Canada’s Human Rights Act that he and other Conservative senators say is being used to stifle free speech in Canada…
“Despite our 400-year tradition of free speech, the tyrannical instinct to censor still exists,” Finley said. “We saw it on a university campus last week. And we see it every week in Canada’s misleadingly named human rights commissions.”
Calgary Herald – American comedian Lenny Bruce showed long ago that anyone who walks into the arena of a comedy club leaves the polite confines of normal society behind.
Dean Steacy, Canadian Human Rights Commission investigator, quoted in the National Post, 2008 – “Freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don’t give it any value.”
National Post, Hugh MacIntyre – Plus I find her assertion that she is suffering post-traumatic stress from being called bad names a little over the top. Does she wake up screaming every night because some comedian insulted her? I somehow doubt it.
Five Feet of Fury – Yep, this is an amazing coincidence, but let’s have fun with it anyway: the government is finally closing down three Canadian Human Rights Commission offices!…
DWE – Great News. Justice Minister Says Human Rights Commission Answers To No One
Steyn Online – If this doesn’t kill the laziest trope of the brain-dead statist control freak, nothing will. This was a literal re-enactment of the full Oliver Wendell: In Ottawa, the fire alarm was set off even though there was no fire but only a visiting conservative blonde.
CBS – The website Encyclopedia Dramatica has been targeted by the Australian Human Rights Commission, a government agency, for containing racist content.
In January, Google Australia pulled down links to an article on Australian Aborigines contained on the site at the government’s request, and now the commission may file charges against the site’s American owner.
For the unfamiliar, Encyclopedia Dramatica is like Wikipedia, except instead of striving for a neutral point-of-view, contributors aim for an offensive and adolescent one.
Paula Simons, Edmonton Journal – Our criminal code already contains criminal sanctions to deal with true hate speech, speech so provocative and vicious and unjustified that it encourages or incites hatred and violence. Other speech — even speech that’s rude, malicious, or blasphemous, even speech that hurts our feelings, infuriates us or challenges our core moral beliefs — should be protected by our constitution.
Steyn Online – I’m freer than I’ve ever been in Canada. I can say what I like and no “human rights” commission will accept a complaint against me ever again. Go on, try it. Because they know that, if they do, it’s not about me, it’s about them…If you stand up to the state enforcers and you fight them nimbly and publicly, they lose. When you go Magna Carta on Jennifer Lynch’s medieval ass, she can’t take it, and like all bullies she’ll slink off to kick around an easier victim.
George Jonas, National Post - In Saskatchewan, a human rights law, so called, makes it an offence for anyone to say, sing, dance, mime, write or draw anything that exposes, or tends to expose, other people to hatred or ridicule, or belittles or otherwise affronts their dignity, on the basis of certain prohibited grounds, including sexual orientation.
All right — I mean, it’s not all right, it’s anything but all right, but it’s the law.