Friday, October 9, 2009

Calgary Herald Holds Axe Over S 13

Says: Stop The Rot To Our Right For Free Speech

This morning the Calgary Herald comes out firmly once again in favour of free speech. They have called previously on Stelmach to drop S. 3(1) of the Alberta HRCM Act, the ugly fraternal twin of S. 13. so this is not unexpected, in either tone or strength.

The Editorial piece starts with:
The mills of Parliament grind slowly, but we urge that they eventually also grindsmall-- and once and for all, get the Canadian Human Rights Commission out of the business of policing your opinions.
They noted that Jack and Jill went up the hill (I mean Ezra and Mark), and made a point or two while they were there:
Unlike the code, with its rigorous standards of evidence and procedure, the federal commission system had by its lack of those same attributes become "corrupted and diseased beyond salvation," they declared.
I think the use of the terms "corrupted and diseased beyond salvation," were fairly tame for our two intrepid freedom fighters, who are never, and who were not at this juncture at a loss for words, just maybe being a little polite in the present company.

As the Herald heralds:
We agree. What else would one call it? People accused of simply sticking up for their passionately held beliefs may be convicted and fined without even the usual defences afforded by the law, in tribunals where hearsay and conjecture may be admitted as damaging evidence. How much more diseased can it get, than this self-same government agency actively trying to entrap people whose views offend them?

The same may be said of the federal body's provincial clones, Alberta's human rights commission among them, thanks to egregious decisions that, by persecuting those whose views no longer fit the wandering mainstream of public opinion, effectively closed off debate on matters of current concern.
The Herald also opines as follows:
When Ottawa gave the commissions extraordinary powers to adjudicate speech and publication, hoping thereby to combat discrimination, the end sought was praiseworthy.
Interesting statement, but a throwaway line that slips off the tongue or keys easily but has no depth to it. Think about it for a bit and see if in the light of day the sentence has any veracity, and whether the end it has come to could have been predicted. If you are having difficulty, remember George Orwell and 1984.

However, it is all in all a very good editorial piece and concludes well:

Canadians who exercise the right of free speech that is this country's heritage, may have to face the scorn of their neighbours if their ideas are strange, marginal, rude or iconoclastic.

They should not, however, have to fear the wrath of a government agency.

It is Ottawa's moment to restore an old liberty: The system, rotten for years, has conceded its own decay.

How true. One of our intrepid freedom fighters brought up Gille Marchildon for a time, the head of EGALE, the gay rights lobby group, who had 3 reasons for not wanting to ban speech, 1) it let you know who your enemies were, 2) it provided teachable moments, and most importantly 3) it then required of individuals that they exercise their civic duty when offended by something going on in society by telling someone, or writing a letter to the editor or some other form of action.

Of course, we all know what happened to Stephen Boissoin when he exercised his civic duty over 7 years ago, by sending a letter to the editor about something that offended his sensibilities as well as his Christian beliefs. That's why S. 13 needs to go.

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