Canada’s Star Chamber dismisses hate crime complaint against Mark Steyn

posted at 4:23 pm on October 10, 2008 by Allahpundit

Great for Steyn, a hollow victory for everyone else. As Ezra Levant put it after his own Star Chamber case was dismissed, “I haven’t been given my freedom of the press. I’ve simply had the government censor approve what I said. That’s a completely different thing.” Normally it’s the end of a legal opinion that’s the most important part, but not this time. Scroll down to page 7 and see for yourself what offense, precisely, he was charged with. Steyn’s off the hook only because the plaintiffs couldn’t show, by some arbitrary measure of “likelihood,” that his article on Islam and demography would subject them to “hatred or contempt.” A meaningful victory would see the statute invalidated as incompatible with free speech; as it is, he’s merely lived to fight be sued another day. Free advice to Canadian critics of Islam who can’t afford legal fees: Watch what you say.

Update: I’ve written at least a half dozen posts about Levant so I assume our readers are already on this wavelength, but needless to say it’s only because he and Steyn were willing to go to the mat on this and stand up to the cretins who are trying to silence them that the human rights commissions are suddenly timid about convicting. It doesn’t solve the basic problem of the statute, but they’ve done a huge service for freedom of expression by putting the tribunals under the media microscope.


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Great news!

He is a warrior for us.

fred5678 on October 10, 2008 at 4:26 PM

You can’t call haters “haters” in Canada–that’s hate speech.

eea on October 10, 2008 at 4:26 PM

Soon to be us when Obama wins. This is becoming a scary scary world.

petunia on October 10, 2008 at 4:26 PM

Free advice to Canadian critics of Islam who can’t afford legal fees: Watch what you say.

Oh, Canada! Thou dwellest in dhimmitude!

ManlyRash on October 10, 2008 at 4:27 PM

“I haven’t been given my freedom of the press. I’ve simply had the government censor approve what I said. That’s a completely different thing.”

Not even a hollow victory. This is a defeat for free speech and a triumph for those who want government censorship. They have succeeded in showing the population that you will be put through hell if you cross us. Whether you ultimately win or lose doesn’t matter. You will be put through the ringer. They have achieved the chilling effect they wanted.

D0WNT0WN on October 10, 2008 at 4:28 PM

Just once, I’d love to go to the Canadian border, step across the line, yell out
“Muhammed was a demon-possessed child molester!”,
& jump back into the good ol’ USA.

eea on October 10, 2008 at 4:28 PM

Now when does the trial for his accuser in this case begin? You know, the same guy who on Canadian TV called for the death of every Israeli over the age of 18?

Vashta.Nerada on October 10, 2008 at 4:29 PM

Gloves off:

Okay, you want to end illegal immigration? You want to solve a government spending problem? You want to solve crime by getting criminals off the street and working somewhere… anywhere? You want to ultimately reduce gangs and gang violence?

Stop ALL welfare now… all kinds to any single person. Period. Yes, there will initially be turmoil and riots. There will be great violence. Stick to it. In the end, all those “jobs that Americans won’t do” will be being done by… Americans. Those same Americans won’t have time to be hanging around causing trouble, fighting, having kids out of wedlock… unless they want to starve to death, they will be working at ANY job they can get.

There… rant over. I am so sick of tip toeing around any and every group… f*ck ‘em.

CC

CapedConservative on October 10, 2008 at 4:32 PM

Total CYA move on the part of the Kanada Kangaroo Kourt. Ruling against Stein in a high profile case would’ve opened them up to much more scrutiny- something they definitely don’t want to see. So they buried it on a Friday, hoping to live another day to trample on the rights of someone who dares utter a non-PC thought but without the means to fight an expensive pseudo-court case.

Hollowpoint on October 10, 2008 at 4:34 PM

it’s only because he and Steyn were willing to go to the mat on this and stand up to the cretins who are trying to silence them

There are many kinds of courage, and Steyn and Ezra showed it. I applaud them. Buy Steyn’s books!

Spirit of 1776 on October 10, 2008 at 4:35 PM

CapedConservative on October 10, 2008 at 4:32 PM

I’m intrigued by your ideas and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

lorien1973 on October 10, 2008 at 4:35 PM

Y

ou can’t call haters “haters” in Canada–that’s hate speech.

eea on October 10,

It is the government that has the power to practice real hate.

JellyToast on October 10, 2008 at 4:38 PM

The process itself is the punishment. The “complainant” suffers NOTHING, pays no price, incurs no expense. The accused, however, is punished by having to hire a lawyer, to appear, and to defend.

I’m sure democrats just LOVE this idea.

JustTruth101 on October 10, 2008 at 4:38 PM

CapedConservative on October 10, 2008 at 4:32 PM

You hard hearted bastard! You Conservatives are all alike, unfeeling toward your fellow human beings, hateful toward those less fortunate than you, and you probably kick puppies too.

/sarc

DerKrieger on October 10, 2008 at 4:39 PM

CapedConservative on October 10, 2008 at 4:32 PM

I’m intrigued by your ideas and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

lorien1973 on October 10, 2008 at 4:35 PM

I’ll take twelve.

*eats*

Grue in the Attic on October 10, 2008 at 4:44 PM

CapedConservative on October 10, 2008 at 4:32 PM

I’m intrigued by your ideas and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

lorien1973 on October 10, 2008 at 4:35 PM

Count me in as well.

I remember when African-American women and poor white women started companies cleaning homes, babysitting, etc. Now both groups are collecting welfare while the Latino ladies I see around town now have house cleaning companies or supply breakfast tacos to downtown businesses, or watch the kiddos, etc. fulfilling the American dream because they will not collect welfare.

calguyintexas on October 10, 2008 at 4:47 PM

I’m intrigued by your ideas and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

lorien1973 on October 10, 2008 at 4:35 PM

DerKrieger on October 10, 2008 at 4:39 PM

I think I apologized (sort of) at the end for the rant.

My sister and I were talking the other day… we were small children in rural PA… our parents and grandparents heated their homes with the good old pot-bellied stove back then. No one ever told us not to touch it… they knew that if we did, which we did do, it would only happen once… no following us around telling us 10 times a day not to touch it. One set of burned fingers… one lesson permanently learned. It is obvious that our permanent welfare class will NEVER be solved by any government program… just more money thrown at a problem created by the government in the first place. I fail to see how this group of people doesn’t understand just how much the Democrats have truly enslaved them. Huey Newton (Black Panther founder) understood this when the Great Society was passed and was strongly opposed to it at the time because he saw exactly what we have today. To repeat my favorite celebrity line that seems to be applying to more and more situations:

Ron White – “You can’t fix stupid.”

CC

CapedConservative on October 10, 2008 at 4:49 PM

There are two big problems with the decision. Problem No. 1 is that the decision says…at length…that the freedom of speech “is not absolute” (and they’re not talking about the oft cited yelling of “Fire!” in a crowded, unburning, theatre). They then go on to balance the competing “rights”…the other right being, I guess, not to be made to feel bad.

Problem No.2 is that Macleans, Steyn et.al., despite their best efforts,won. This means they can’t appeal to a real court so as to fix Problem No. 1

Blaise on October 10, 2008 at 4:54 PM

Thank gawd,as a Canadian,the whole star chamber,
kangeroo court aspect is nuts to begin with!

Kudo’s to Mark Steyn,whether he’s a American or
Canadian,he is on the force of good!

canopfor on October 10, 2008 at 4:57 PM

Ron White – “You can’t fix stupid.”

CC

CapedConservative on October 10, 2008 at 4:49 PM

Yeah, that about sums it up.

Maybe toss in Engvall’s signs as well.

*eats*

Grue in the Attic on October 10, 2008 at 4:57 PM

Sorry, this is yet another loss for justice… although they declined to convict him, a conviction would have at least moved it to a proper court, eventually resulting in a chance at invalidating the law.

The downside is that the law still exists, and baring an actual conservative majority, the law will still exist until it claims more and more victims.

Ultimately, unless you have deep pockets, they can still order you to apologize for your opinion, pay your accuser tens of thousands of dollars, and not ever publish your opinion ever again.

Canadian Imperialist Running Dog on October 10, 2008 at 5:01 PM

CapedConservative on October 10, 2008 at 4:49 PM

I’ve had similar thoughts, actually. Though mine is less drastic.

If you are unemployed, need welfare or food stamps. Fine. We’ll provide them. But you’ll work for it.

You’ll clean up trash at the side of the road, clean a building. Take out trash at government offices. Something to earn that money. No more sitting around and collecting a check. Whatever menial, unskilled job is available, you have to take it. Any time off for “sickness” or whatever is deducted from your meager check. All rates payable at the minimum wage.

Don’t like those jobs? You are free to find one on your own.

lorien1973 on October 10, 2008 at 5:23 PM

lorien1973 on October 10, 2008 at 5:23 PM

This is very good too :)

Oh, and add the restriction that the money recieved MUST be spent on NECESSITIES ONLY. Groceries (no fancy/fast food), bills, rent, medical, etc. No more welfare cases living in ramshackle shacks with ten kids and a BIG SCREEN TV.

*eats*

Grue in the Attic on October 10, 2008 at 5:45 PM

Oh, and actually ENFORCE it.

*eats*

Grue in the Attic on October 10, 2008 at 5:46 PM

Even cutting grass has the chance of upward mobility… two mowers… four mowers… truck… crew… two trucks… and so on. Welfare has zero mobility.

CC

CapedConservative on October 10, 2008 at 6:27 PM

Just wait until we start charging people with Hate Crimes for speaking out against immorality in this country… oh… that’s already happening. (Granted, the charges in this case were dropped; however, give the liberals more time to shift the cultural hegemony in this country further away from Christianity and we’ll see much more of this.)

Send_Me on October 10, 2008 at 6:29 PM

I remember when African-American women and poor white women started companies cleaning homes, babysitting, etc. Now both groups are collecting welfare while the Latino ladies I see around town now have house cleaning companies or supply breakfast tacos to downtown businesses, or watch the kiddos, etc. fulfilling the American dream because they will not collect welfare.

calguyintexas on October 10, 2008 at 4:47 PM

That’s a nice thought and there are many hard working Latinas but you are seriously deluded if you think many of them are not collecting welfare.

mrsmwp on October 10, 2008 at 6:44 PM

Nothing was solved with this and a these “tribunals” will continue to use intimidation tactics to stifle speech as long as they are allowed to exist. Since Canada doesn’t seem to be embarrassed about this, I’ll just have to be embarrassed for them.

TBinSTL on October 10, 2008 at 6:46 PM

If anyone tries to create these sort of ‘courts’ or ‘proceedings’ in the country, they need to be….terminated with Extreme Prejudice

You can purge this comment and ban me, but anyone who directly participates in trying to destroy the fundamental basis of America deserves to be rubbed out–and if no one else will do it, I will.

I’m not kidding: I lost my sense of humor this past week.

If you think That Guy at the McCain rally yesterday was man, I am Him X 10

Janos Hunyadi on October 10, 2008 at 6:58 PM

…..mad ( really, really crazy-mad _

Janos Hunyadi on October 10, 2008 at 6:58 PM

Mark Steyn Rocks!
Can’t you folks in the Great White North who love free speech contact your elected representitives and get that dog of a law overturned as unconstitutional. Imagine it is something like gay marrage and find a judge willing to rule on it, just like what happened in Connecticut today.

dentalque on October 10, 2008 at 7:10 PM

So is there any discussion among sane Canadians about doing away with this self-appointed chamber toot sweet, or are sane Canadians in a minority and too polite to speak up?

NahnCee on October 10, 2008 at 7:30 PM

It doesn’t solve the basic problem of the statute, but they’ve done a huge service for freedom of expression by putting the tribunals under the media microscope.

Indeed. Too bad that Canadians, in droves, haven’t fought to eliminate this totalitarian nonsense in their yet free country.

Entelechy on October 10, 2008 at 7:32 PM

And yes, the two gentlemen s/b celebrated as world heroes for freedom for us all.

Entelechy on October 10, 2008 at 7:33 PM

Re. burying the story by a Friday release, it’s also the Friday of the Thanksgiving long weekend and Canada’s federal election is on Tuesday. So it’s the equivalent of the government agencies that released bad news stories about their departments on 9/12/2001.

Can’t you folks in the Great White North who love free speech contact your elected representitives and get that dog of a law overturned as unconstitutional.

A Liberal MP (who used to be a Conservative MP) is sponsoring a Private Members Bill to toss the Section 13 of the Human Rights Code that leads to this. But this case against Steyn was in a provincial HRC.

The minority Conservative government wouldn’t touch it for fear of being labelled racist, anti-poor etc.

andycanuck on October 10, 2008 at 7:40 PM

…good for Steyn….

…and Allah’s right…just because they missed a few infidels doesn’t mean that fascism still isn’t on the march….

…the plaintiffs in this case, their enablers, and the government probably intend to keep their eye on Mr. S, as well as on Mr. Levant…their days are numbered unless something changes….

…hey! We can send Mr. Obama to Canada…he’d fit right in…and he’s into “change”, he says…just the man for the job….

Puritan1648 on October 10, 2008 at 7:40 PM

Despite my intense dislike of Mark Steyn (who self-censors when it suits him) I’m glad he’s off the hook.

I hope he and Levant keep fighting to get these ridiculous hate-speech laws stricken from the books.

aengus on October 10, 2008 at 7:42 PM

Still, doesn’t it cost time and money for representation? What ever the result, it can drive someone broke. Lawyers are not cheap, not always going to get someone to work for your cause for free.

StuLongIsland on October 10, 2008 at 8:18 PM

Really Stein wanted to keep his alleged hate speech case alive so it would get a lot of negative press and a possible review in a higher court (although I believe the Canadian supreme court has already sanction these human rights tribunals

docdave on October 10, 2008 at 8:43 PM

Congrats, Steyn!!!!

tickleddragon on October 10, 2008 at 9:32 PM

Mark Steyn (who self-censors when it suits him)

Wha–?
It is a desirable trait to be able to control one’s tongue…& to be able to control one’s keyboard. Learn it, love it.

jgapinoy on October 10, 2008 at 10:25 PM

Mark Steyn (who self-censors when it suits him)

Wha–?
It is a desirable trait to be able to control one’s tongue…& to be able to control one’s keyboard. Learn it, love it.

jgapinoy on October 10, 2008 at 10:25 PM

Yes I know that. I was only talking about political speech.

Steyn wrote an article for the Spectator in 2000 making fun of John McCain’s piloting skills. It archived on findarticles.com for six and a half years. It suddenly disappeared when the presidential campaign began.

aengus on October 11, 2008 at 10:06 AM

Sheesh, someone always wants to divert the issue to something that helps the left. Think about that aengus, or have you already?

Buzzy on October 11, 2008 at 12:17 PM

Sheesh, someone always wants to divert the issue to something that helps the left. Think about that aengus, or have you already?

I’m only interested in the truth. Whether it helps the left or helps the right is secondary.

aengus on October 11, 2008 at 12:54 PM

Those two guys are my heroes! Coolest Canadians around. And the Human rights tribunal is the biggest load of crap ever!

TDBURN on October 11, 2008 at 1:18 PM

Dear Mark, you deserve every success; you’ve earned it for being a brave, unwavering truth-teller. Take it from me, a middle eastern woman who has fought for freedom. YOU ROCK and keep on truckin’! : )

Nastaran on October 11, 2008 at 1:18 PM