Case dismissed: Canada’s Star Chamber rules for Steyn in hate-crime complaint

posted at 12:45 pm on June 27, 2008 by Allahpundit

He’s not off the hook yet. Remember, there were two complaints pending against him for his Maclean’s article about Islam and demography, one before the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the other before the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal. The latter’s still being processed; as of this morning, the former no longer is. A snippet from the decision quoted on Steyn’s website states that his views were “not of an extreme nature” within the meaning of Canadian statutes, but that’s pure pretext. Ezra Levant, another conservative Canadian martyr to free speech (and there are many), peers through the smokescreen:

With an RCMP investigation, a Privacy Commission investigation and a pending Parliamentary investigation, they’re already fighting a multi-front P.R. war, and losing badly. Not a day goes by when the CHRC isn’t pummelled in the media. Holding a show trial of Maclean’s and Steyn, like the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal did earlier this month, would be writing their own political death sentence…

“There’s nothing to see here, people! So turn your TV cameras off, and let us continue on our work without your scrutiny! We promise not to target famous Canadians — at least not for a little while. We’ll keep picking on under-lawyered weaklings. We’ll continue to build up our jurisprudence, continue our 100% conviction rate, continue building legal precedents. So when we come for Maclean’s next time, we won’t have to blink.”

The only question remaining is whether Heather MacNaughton, chief kangaroo of the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, will convict Maclean’s. The “jurisprudence” is there; Maclean’s surely is “guilty” of “likely” “exposing” someone to “hatred or contempt”. Everyone’s guilty of that; so the only question is who gets charged.

…and how often they’re charged. Presumably, a separate complaint could be filed with the human rights tribunal of any province where Maclean’s was circulated. Follow the link to the National Review piece up top and you’ll see that Steyn initially was looking at three proceedings, not two. (The third apparently wasn’t taken up.) So it’s on now to British Columbia, where the Maclean’s case will jockey for position on the docket with a hate crimes complaint against a stand-up comedian for making gay jokes in a comedy club. Yes, really. Watch the clip at the end of that last link for the particulars. Exit quotation: “How can I be arrested because I’m an a**hole?”


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The Labatt boycott, c’est finis!

mymanpotsandpans on June 27, 2008 at 12:47 PM

Yay! Keep fighting the good fight, Mark.

aero on June 27, 2008 at 12:49 PM

Good news for Mark.
L

letget on June 27, 2008 at 12:52 PM

Take off – hoser’s.

Lunkinator on June 27, 2008 at 12:53 PM

The Human Right Inquisitors may let Steyn off because he’s a big name and they are afraid of the publicity, but what about the less-known blogger? We can’t afford to celebrate yet.

thuja on June 27, 2008 at 12:54 PM

The “jurisprudence” is there; Maclean’s surely is “guilty” of “likely” “exposing” someone to “hatred or contempt”. Everyone’s guilty of that; so the only question is who gets charged.

This is where “hate crime” legislation leads. Anyone who is for “hate crime” or “hate speech” legislation is against free speech. Democrats are of course on the leading edge of this charge over the cliff too.

Maxx on June 27, 2008 at 12:55 PM

“How can I be arrested because I’m an a**hole?”

You can get arrested in Canada for dropping a cigarette on the ground by accident (in BC I have a friend who got a fine!). And people wonder why we look at Canada the way we do.

upinak on June 27, 2008 at 12:56 PM

Show trials, eh

Hummer53 on June 27, 2008 at 12:56 PM

Ann Coulter, I think, recently said that the Canadian Human Rights Commission has NEVER not found someone brought before them “guilty.” Is this a first for them, then?

That would be momentous if so!

inviolet on June 27, 2008 at 12:57 PM

Blame Canada! (I do every day for everything – them damn flappy heads!!!).

HawaiiLwyr on June 27, 2008 at 12:57 PM

Thank you Billy Jeff for bringing Hate Crime laws, among other very bad things, to our shores.

BowHuntingTexas on June 27, 2008 at 12:57 PM

They hooked him up to the Brain-O-Meter and just decided that it was futile, they didn’t have a chance against him. It was like Scanners.

Akzed on June 27, 2008 at 12:58 PM

The HRC is starting to be afraid for its own existence, I guess. And I think thier days are numbered just because of hubris.

snaggletoothie on June 27, 2008 at 12:58 PM

The banality of fascist evil is even more banal than previously imagined.

Beagle on June 27, 2008 at 12:59 PM

Okay,Canada’s regained its sense’s again,I hope!

canopfor on June 27, 2008 at 1:02 PM

Heather Mc Naughton must have been wooed by Mr. Steyn’s hotness. Raawwrr!

NTWR on June 27, 2008 at 1:05 PM

Steyn wanted to lose remember. This is the HRC affecting a faux-reasonable position, potemkin due process. Steyn is the first acquittal of the HRC.

Don’t confuse knee-jerk self-preservation with actual judicial competence or substantive merit.

Beagle on June 27, 2008 at 1:06 PM

yea!

ctmom on June 27, 2008 at 1:17 PM

Enough to make you want to vomit. Tyranny of the minority.

spmat on June 27, 2008 at 1:18 PM

Smart Man – glad to hear this – brilliant writer.

jake-the-goose on June 27, 2008 at 1:21 PM

Like all bullies when confronted they run away.

ronsfi on June 27, 2008 at 1:31 PM

They don’t need to be let off the hook this easily. I hope we see a parade of high profile personalities deliberately offending precious Canadian sensitivities and hopefully being hauled before these weasels in order to keep this issue in the forefront. This is a great example of the sunlight as disinfectant thing.

mugged on June 27, 2008 at 1:32 PM

Styne adressed this during the trial a couple weeks ago. The nightmare scenario for the CHRC is that, on appeal, the entire CHRC would disolve as being not in the Canadian Constitution. Basicly, the case was too stupid to bring, and the defendents too smart and wealthy, that the entire existence of the human rights commission judicial system was put in jeapordy.

So they ruled to keep their cush jobs and only be totalitarian against the poor and the stupid.

percysunshine on June 27, 2008 at 1:33 PM

inviolet –

No one has ever been acquitted of charges stemming from Section 13 (hate messages) of the Canadian Human Rights Act and that, unfortunately, remains true. The arguments in the Steyn/Macleans case have yet to be heard so there’s no acquittal per se.

The CHRC realizes that a) they’re on politically shaky ground right now, and b) a conviction would be appealed in the real courts which would take a dim view of the CHRC complaint process. Remember there are no rules of evidence, truth is not a defence, and the adjudicators need not have any legal training or expertise.

Oh. And don’t forget that they will reject your complaint pro forma if they don’t like who your siblings are (see paragraph 9)

Scary stuff.

landshark on June 27, 2008 at 1:34 PM

Ann Coulter, I think, recently said that the Canadian Human Rights Commission has NEVER not found someone brought before them “guilty.” Is this a first for them, then?

No. They dropped the case, they didn’t find him not guilty. There’s a difference, so their 100% conviction rate under Section 13(1) is still intact.

And the third case that wasn’t taken up was from Ontario’s HRC, that saw its brown-shirted commissioner (former Toronto mayor, Barbara Hall) issue a letter (you’ll be able to find it at Steyn’s site, I’m sure) saying that they weren’t going to hear the case but opined that Steyn was guilty.

andycanuck on June 27, 2008 at 1:34 PM

The problem for the Human Rights Commission here was they bit off more than they could chew — By taking on Mark Steyn, who has a considerable following not just in Canada but in the United States and Great Britain, they went after someone who had the support to be able to fight back, and shine a spotlight in at least part of the media on the HRC’s past actions (and the fact that his co-defendant was Maclean’s and not a perceived “conservative” publication helped put even more pressure on the HRC to finally blemish their “perfect record”).

A less-well known person who can’t draw the same sort of media attention as Steyn will no doubt still find the deck stacked against them before the HRC, unless pressure against them is kept up and the Canadia government is forced to make changes.

jon1979 on June 27, 2008 at 1:35 PM

Remember: they didn’t acquit him, or find him not guilty, they simply dropped the charges. Their 100% attack rate is still safe.

bikermailman on June 27, 2008 at 1:39 PM

Quintesson: Quiet or you’ll be held in contempt of this court.
Hot Rod: I have nothing but contempt for this court.

lorien1973 on June 27, 2008 at 1:39 PM

how can people like this sleep at night? They think they are doing moral superiority work I guess.

kirkill on June 27, 2008 at 1:39 PM

Orwellian twits. Good on Steyn; he’s priceless.

Jaibones on June 27, 2008 at 1:41 PM

Don’t confuse knee-jerk self-preservation with actual judicial competence or substantive merit.

Beagle on June 27, 2008 at 1:06 PM

Exactly.

Why the Canadian people haven’t taken to the streets and demanded an end to these illegal tribunals is a mystery to me.

TheBigOldDog on June 27, 2008 at 1:45 PM

landshark on June 27, 2008 at 1:34 PM

andycanuck on June 27, 2008 at 1:34 PM

Wow. Thanks for the info.

inviolet on June 27, 2008 at 1:49 PM

This kind of reminds me of lib Harry Reids attack on Rush Limbaugh last year over a mischaracterization of what Rush said on the radio which implied he was disparaging US troops. Rush auctiond the ‘Cease and Desist’ Senate letter for $2.1 million and donated the money to a military family charity organization. Steyn, like Rush, has millions of opinion consumers who are more than willing to make phone calls and send e-mails…chuckle

The libs are definately biting off more than they can chew.

percysunshine on June 27, 2008 at 1:50 PM

Wonder if Torquemada MacNaughton has a Ph.D in free speech suppression.

whitetop on June 27, 2008 at 1:55 PM

Ifthe proceedings wrapped up with a rendition of the Lumberjack Song, would that be considered “hate speech?”

Sgt. Hartman on June 27, 2008 at 2:02 PM

“Why the Canadian people haven’t taken to the streets and demanded an end to these illegal tribunals is a mystery to me.” Posted by TheBigOldDog

It’s mainly because these Commissions and Tribunals worked from under their slimy rocks, in the dark, persecuting indefensible citizens who had no access to the press, money or high powered lawyers to defend them, coupled with a self created grievance industry powered by so called “Human Rights Lawyers” running around spouting of their great service to humanity while the opposite was true. All this went quite unnoticed until a Muslim Imam tackled Ezra Levant in Alberta for printing the Mo cartoons two years ago or so. A Kangaroo court emerged and then Canadians started to wake up. But you are right, it really took too long. We have one of these Commissions in all ten Provinces and the Federal one and you can be charged in all of them at the same time. Mark Steyn & Macleans Magazine was charged in three of them. British Columbia is the remaining hold out who thinks it’s OK to persecute stand up Comedians for telling jokes to an (minority) audience who payed and elected to go see him in the first place. The hard work has just begun to end this tyranny.

Sounder on June 27, 2008 at 2:05 PM

this is a vision of the future in america…

where any criticism of gays, muslims, anyone the left ‘anoints’ will be a hate crime

right4life on June 27, 2008 at 2:30 PM

KUDOS!

Repeal PC hate crime legislation that is biased against normalcy and prejudices the judicial system to deny freedom of speech!

maverick muse on June 27, 2008 at 2:37 PM

Problem is that until now, the CHRC was going after people that were universally despised fringe idiots. This is the first time they’ve decided to go mainstream. One of those “first they came for the nutters, and I did nothing” deals.

There were some foul people who did get nailed to the wall. They didn’t actually physically hurt anyone, they were just hateful little douchebags.

Krydor on June 27, 2008 at 3:01 PM

You understand, theat they didn’t find him innocent, they just chose to not go forward… In the grand scheme of things, this is the worst possible outcome, had it actually gone to point of having a hearing, they would have had to come to some sort of conclusions, which could be then challenged in a proper court of law.

Canadian Imperialist Running Dog on June 27, 2008 at 3:06 PM

Bumper sticker: FREE MARK STEYN!

Speakup on June 27, 2008 at 3:08 PM

It should have never came to this.

Telling the truth is not a crime.

Kini on June 27, 2008 at 3:16 PM

HOORAY FOR MARK STEYN!! HOORAY FOR FREE SPEECH!!

Troy Rasmussen on June 27, 2008 at 3:42 PM

thuja on June 27, 2008 at 12:54 PM

Good point, Thuja.
Everyone that operates a blog in Canada might want to check out Ezra Levant’s union of bloggers over at EzraLevant.com. It’s the NATO of the Canadian blogosphere…. scratch that, it’s the League of Democracies.

joewm315 on June 27, 2008 at 3:46 PM

I always thought South Park was funny until this. Now I think Parker and Stone captured the HRC perfectly in caricature.

Anyone else notice that there’s not just one offensive HRC?

drjohn on June 27, 2008 at 3:54 PM

right4life on June 27, 2008 at 2:30 PM

this is a vision of the future in america…

where any criticism of gays, muslims, anyone the left ‘anoints’ will be a hate crime

Wait, I’m confused. You mean you can’t make fun of a conservative gay, or a Republican Muslim? Please qualify your statement! Open season on those two. You know how the game is played.

Paul-Cincy on June 27, 2008 at 4:11 PM

This was never a hate crime and should have never been investigated as such in the first place, secondly what the hell took them (CHRC) so long to make their decision on such a clear cut case?

Was it to delay the inevitable egg on their face for going ahead with an investigation of a hate crime that a person with one functioning synapse could figure out never ocurred…me thinks so!

Just insane!!

Liberty or Death on June 27, 2008 at 4:54 PM

Hey…it is Canada! Crummy country with crummy government run by crummy people who pass crummy laws imposed on crummy citizens who elect the crummy government…crummy place to live…they deserve every bit of what they have created!

sabbott on June 27, 2008 at 4:56 PM

This will not happen in America because we will not allow it! We are a free people and shall remain free!

sabbott on June 27, 2008 at 4:58 PM

CHRC still has a 100% record, because they declined to hear the case, just as the Ontario commission did. They didn’t issue a vituperative denunciation of Steyn and Maclean’s judging them guilty without trial, unlike the Ontario commission.

So it’s 2 out of 3 so far, but as evidenced by the progress of the comedy complaint, the BCHRC is staffed by a special brand of idiot. OHRC and CHRC understand that discretion is necessary, or else they’ll get their asses kicked. BCHRC, not so much. Thank god for that, or else we’d be stuck with a set of victims that are almost entirely assholes, or else easily written off conservative pastors.

Taking on Maclean’s, owned by one of the largest cable firms in the country, in turn owned by the 4th richest man ($4.5B) in the country, is pretty much the dumbest thing that you could possibly do. Well besides taking on the Thomsons, the richest family ($27B, #10 worldwide). Thank god for enemies who bie off more than they can chew! The CIC has the same strategic sense that Saddam Hussein exhibited – let’s take on the US in set piece tank battles, it’ll be legendary! Saddam was right, after a fashion, but didn’t exactly get what he wanted or expected. Cue the Nelson laugh!

libertarianuberalles on June 27, 2008 at 5:01 PM

Why the Canadian people haven’t taken to the streets and demanded an end to these illegal tribunals is a mystery to me.

TheBigOldDog on June 27, 2008 at 1:45 PM

Sounder covered some good points but here’s another reason that is just frightening; the number of Canadian elitists (journalists, authors, various other artsy-fartsy types) who simply shrugged and said that Steyn is getting what he deserves. The idea that they could be next doesn’t occur to them.
But they sure as hell are quick to scream “censorship” when the government puts forward a bill witholding tax credits from art projects that may not be in keeping with the interests of society or somesuch.

landshark on June 27, 2008 at 5:12 PM

OK I followed the links about the Canadian comedian who heckled the lesbians in Vancouver and is now standing trial by the HRC. They were in the front row making out, and they heckled him, and he heckled them back. My take on it, to sum up his affront succinctly, though it was more than that, is that he told them they both needed a penis. That’s about it. I hope this post isn’t held up for the use of the word penis. Penis. But I can see how that would piss them off. Hit them below the belt for not being hit below the belt. Very primal stuff experienced at a deep unconscious level. But do we really need to call in the feds for that? I don’t think so.

Paul-Cincy on June 27, 2008 at 5:28 PM

To clarify, he said they both needed some penis, saying that’s why they were so cranky. Maybe not the thing you should say to a lesbian. On the other hand, not a reason for the government to step in either.

Paul-Cincy on June 27, 2008 at 5:37 PM

Can we please put a nice big fence around Canada, already?

Let Mark out, and leave the rest in there…

seanrobins on June 27, 2008 at 5:40 PM

To clarify, he said they both needed some penis, saying that’s why they were so cranky.

After they had thrown two drinks in his face.

aengus on June 27, 2008 at 5:42 PM

landshark on June 27, 2008 at 5:12 PM

Lots of people (PEN for example) stood up for him.

aengus on June 27, 2008 at 5:42 PM

But, seriously . . .

Our First Amendment is a pretty amazing and unique thing, in terms of the world . . .

It is truly incredible how little the First Amendment is emulated around the globe, even in places we normally consider “Western-style” democracies (whatever that is).

The abillity to express one’s beliefs around the world is practically non-existent… And we are even letting it slip here, with “hate speech” laws and “PC”

We’d better watch out!

seanrobins on June 27, 2008 at 5:43 PM

Hey…it is Canada! Crummy country with crummy government run by crummy people who pass crummy laws imposed on crummy citizens who elect the crummy government…crummy place to live…they deserve every bit of what they have created!

sabbott

You realize that some of us crummy people read and, by golly, post here, right? I suspect that even if you did, you wouldn’t care. Way to reinforce the Ugly American stereotype.

Betcha you love to stick our flag on your luggage when you go overseas.

Krydor on June 27, 2008 at 5:46 PM

I think homosexuality is abnormal. I think Rodney King was beat because he was a resisting, violent criminal, not because he was black. I believe a lot of the problems of the black community are due to drug use, premarital sex, a lack of devotion to education, and a poor work ethic. I believe Jews are smart. Asians too. Call me a bigot. Let the arrows of derision fly. To quote Dan Quayle, “I wear their scorn as a badge of honor”. Call the Human Rights Commission. They can kiss my white ass.

Paul-Cincy on June 27, 2008 at 5:51 PM

sabbott, I don’t know what we did to set you off, although our leftards here might have, we have a large bloombing crop of ‘em here, but you need to realize the leftards grab onto your every word, just like yours, and run with it to prove all of America thinks and behaves unfairly, yep, they sell the anti US propaganda provided by guys and gals just like you. The rest of us ‘severely normal’ Canadians don’t approve of their message, nor yours much either, frankly.

Sounder on June 27, 2008 at 6:34 PM

Bumper sticker: FREE MARK STEYN!

Speakup on June 27, 2008 at 3:08 PM

What have you done exactly to free Mark Steyn? :)

Ezra Levant’s family has a lot of history with these Stalinist civil rights commissions:

Alberta’s human rights commission tried to shake down my father, Vigna-style, 25 years ago. Here’s how my dad put it in a recent letter to the Calgary Herald:

Almost three decades ago, the AHRC came down heavily on my group radiology practice, demanding that we place a male X-ray technician at female fertility tests, as we had exercised “gender discrimination” by hiring a female technician.

Thousands of dollars in legal fees, seven months of letters of explanation of medical procedure, of female patient sensitivity, and AHRC visits, were of no avail in convincing the arbiters of hurt. Not only were they ignorant of medical procedures, patient vulnerability and sensitivity, as well as physician liability, they were intruding on physician-patient relationships.

It was only when confronted by the radiologist stating that he was prepared to go to prison to uphold his patients’ rights, rather than give in to the kangaroo court, did these commissioners back down.

My dad fought his fight against the thugs of the human rights commissions. Now it’s my turn.

If you have time, read the whole story….

Buy Danish on June 27, 2008 at 10:59 PM

With an RCMP investigation, a Privacy Commission investigation and a pending Parliamentary investigation, they’re already fighting a multi-front P.R. war, and losing badly.

My how far the RCMP have fallen. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

When I was in the sixth grade, for some reason, the RCMP came to our school and gave a presentation along with others. Canada being about 8 miles from the border in North Dakota, it wasn’t out of place.

Anyhoo….I remember the guy in the Dudley Dooright costume, and his description of the RCMP, and that when they were on parade with their horses, that the horses were trained to go after and stomp the hat of any other RCMP rider who lost his hat in drill.

…now they’re investigating speech crimes.

Later in life I played hockey for a Canadian team that had a Border Patrol agent and an RCMP trooper on the team among others. The RCMP guy was an individual who was professional, yet hard as nails, and could be nasty when he wanted….but always remembered he was RCMP.

Shocking how far Canada has fallen.

91Veteran on June 28, 2008 at 3:23 AM

The world has gone nuts!

OldEnglish on June 28, 2008 at 5:03 AM