The Shotgun Blog
Friday, December 21, 2007
For four years my personal website, www.ezralevant.com, has pointed to the Western Standard's website. Now that the Standard has ceased publishing its print edition, and Matthew Johnston and his energetic team have bought the Standard's online assets (including this blog), it makes sense for me to fire up my own site again.
I'm sure I'll still cross-post most of my items over here, too -- including news about my looming meeting with the Alberta human rights commission.
Even though the print magazine is deceased, and the name Western Standard and its websites are sold, the corporate entity that published the Western Standard with the Danish cartoons nearly two years ago still exists, and is still being "investigated" by the commission. I am still president of that company, and I intend to meet these complaints and beat them. Keep watching this page, or my own, for updates. My first hearing is scheduled for January 11th.
Posted by Ezra Levant on December 21, 2007 | Permalink
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Since I can't spell his name, the man who took the Western Standard to the HRC, for the Danish cartoons has now dropped his most recent complaint against this website. It said on the news today that Matthew Johnston had apologized and removed the offending comments from the site. He wins. We lose.
Posted by: MikeP | 2007-12-21 6:02:46 PM
[offensive comment deleted and IP address reported]
Posted by: Conservative Carl | 2007-12-21 6:02:59 PM
Matthew Johnston has done the right thing. Those removed comments had nothing to do with freedom of speech. In the US, in England, in Canada - the whole free world over- those types of comments (advocating violence) have never been considered protected by any doctrines of free speech.
Posted by: Nbob | 2007-12-21 7:29:20 PM
What do you have to say about all this?
Posted by: robert | 2007-12-21 8:14:42 PM
A wise man chooses his own time to do battle.
Good Move Matthew.
Posted by: JC | 2007-12-21 8:15:57 PM
Good luck Ezra, we will be rooting for you in your future adventures.
I think the upcoming battle with Macleans and Mark Steyn might just bring about a taming of the HRC.
They are out of hand and not doing any good for anyone but some emotionally juvenile Muslims who can't handle the truth.
They are up against some deeper pockets and deeper thinkers on this case. Let's hope they die in this idiotic effort to scold great men and fine publications.
This is Canada for god sake we are supposed to be free here!
Posted by: John West | 2007-12-22 1:03:03 AM
I hope you're right John but look at the interview that Mark Steyn did with Hugh Hewitt:
>HH: Thank you. I’ve got to start, I want to talk politics with you, but I’ve got to start first to alert the audience. I thought it was a joke, these Muslim radicals bringing complaints against you in Canada. But I’m close to boycotting Canada, because their Human Rights Commission hasn’t thrown this stuff out in the back with the trash.
MS: Well, the Human Rights Commission up there is, you know, almost the textbook definition of a kangaroo court, in the sense that of the complaints that have been brought under this section, since it was introduced almost thirty years ago now, no defendant has ever won.
Posted by: Speller | 2007-12-22 1:14:24 AM
I posted in the Glimmer of Hope thread below so won't repeat much of this.
As regards the MacLeans/CIC complaint, I'm hoping that the public airing of the backlash of this complaint is making people sit up (if not stand up) and take notice. The media still has a long way to go in terms of getting/keeping this issue out there - but at least it is a start as the issue is appearing provincially, federally, and internationally. The really quiet area so far is BC, and this has to be a concern.
I have to hope that the four individuals who filed the CIC complaint with the three Human Rights Commissions have learned something in the last few days.
That they negotiated with the National Post and were granted "space time" suggests that they may well have at least learned something about how to approach free speech in this country.
That something, I hope, is that because of the national and international backlash that has occurred because of their filing/causes for filing - they are getting the distinct impression that many of us are not going to stand for any more legally bullying by radical elements using the HRCs as a tool - which is precisely what this group of four's filing is all about.
If they have learned their lesson - they certainly have the capacity to get together with MacLeans, come to an understanding, and put these complaints to bed before letting them get into the kangaroo courts of human rights commissions - as did Mathew Johnston and the WS blog. It is about the will to do and this ball is fully in their court right now.
If they haven't learned a damn thing and are wont not to pursue a negotiation with Macleans - then the chips will fall where they may. From what has been made public so far, it would seem that MacLeans is going to be on solid ground. It may well be a first time in history where a decision goes against the plaintiff(s).
I would not bet a dime on there being solid ground if this filing is heard by the BC HRC - probably the most used tool in the arsenal to promote Legal Bullying, Legal Chill, and Legal Freeze.
If the complaints stand and this is what it takes to bring the CHRC to its knees, then it will be a good thing. If all of the publicity is going to bring provincial HRCs to their knees as well, then this would be a good thing.
What I would like to see are negotiated settlements as regards re the WS/S.S. issue and the CIC/Macleans issue before the HRCs even get into it and create a mangled mess that we will never get out from under.
If this happens, then we can focus all of our resources on pressing for the dismantling the Human Rights Commissions - period - and close this insane loophole that is ripping our cultural fabric to shreds in the name of Official Multiculturalism - one adjudication at a time by patronage-appointed adjudicators (not judges).
If the principals can't see their way to negotiating, then bring it on. It will get very messy, involve a lot of money, and it will take longer to accomplish - but somehow these HRCs must be dealt with.
Posted by: calgary clipper | 2007-12-22 8:09:41 AM
Enforced Multiculturalism only serves to divide us further. When you give one side ammunition...the other side wants a howitzer...and so it goes. One big happy family, my ass.
Posted by: JC | 2007-12-22 8:20:22 AM
I disagree slightly Calgary Clipper. Matthew Johnston should not have apologized or removed the remarks from his website. Now this guy is emboldened and next time will be quicker to invoke HRC at the slightest whim. The only way to bring out in the open what these people are trying to do, and to expose the kangaroo court system that is HRC, is to let these complaints proceed. As it stands now with Matthew Johnston's apology, by next week the public will have forgotten it, but this guy will be pushing another trumped up victim complaint.
Posted by: MikeP | 2007-12-22 8:54:11 AM
That is one of the roles of HRC's - to promote negotiation and mediation.
There are 3 phases to a complaint.
The commissions will accept any complaint that appears to fall with in its mandate then -
1. The parties are offered a chance to meet and come to an understanding.
The meetings are much like a pre-trial in small claims court. The plaintiff outlines its claim, the defendant responds and then the mediator gives a preliminary assessment of the case ( i.e. the claim has merit, the claim has some merit but the damages sought are too high, the claim has no merit, etc.). Hopefully a settlement is reached before the matter goes to trial.
2. If the "defendant" chooses not to attend the mediation session or an understanding is not reached the complaint is referred for investigation.
3. If the investigation concludes the complaint has merit it is then brought before a tribunal for a hearing.
The reason "plaintiffs" are 100 % at the tribunal stage is because the frivolous cases or those without merit are filtered out at phase 1 and 2.
A recent example would be a complaint made by a gay man against Bishop Fred Henry. They met, the HRC gave its opinion that the case had no merit and would not survive an investigation and the complaint was withdrawn.
So far as I'm aware the Macleans case has not even proceeded to phase 1 yet. At this point Steyn is playing the persecuted martyr and, no doubt, selling lots of copies of his book.
Posted by: calgary clipper | 2007-12-22 9:21:23 AM
It's early in the morn - that last post was from me and addressed to calgary clipper - it's not by clipper. sorry bout that!
Must - Get - Coffee
Posted by: Nbob | 2007-12-22 9:24:25 AM
The last post under my nic - 22 Dec at 9:21:23 was in fact made by somebody else.
Posted by: calgary clipper | 2007-12-22 9:28:18 AM
My sleepy brain thought I was sending you an email and not posting a comment so I put your name in the name section - DUH-
Saw my mistake the second I hit post but it was too late to take it back.
My bad - sorry once again
Posted by: Nbob | 2007-12-22 9:44:42 AM
For a moment, I thought Fact Check was up to his old tricks again, posting under other people's nics.
Posted by: obc | 2007-12-22 9:59:21 AM
nbob - not to worry :), it happens
The process is there all right, but the two principals can get their heads together before it even gets to the phase 1 - their choice. To let it get even this far is giving legitimacy to the HR Tribunals in the area of free speech that I don't agree should be in their purview.
One huge problem is that the public often does not know for sure if a complaint has even been laid. The radical elements have relied on doing things very quietly, the HRC do this as well, and then bingo - we have a decision that to often negatively affects society at large.
In the CIC/Mac case it became public very quickly - it has been/still is being aired in public as it should be. The principals can sit back - assess where the public is in all of this and hopefully can get things straight between themselves.
Both the WS Blog and S.S. were likely on pretty thin ground and probably both realized this as well. Apparently S.S is the "head" Imam now (his predecessor is now in TO) so he also must become much more astute at reading what will/wont be tolerated by the public and more than a few of his own followers.
Perhaps he might be getting the message that his continual playing the victim/racist card in the MSM and then running to the HRC is not going to play well. However by having this huge bully-lever of the HRC at his disposal for free, he is wont to use it. People are billied/inhibited from taking him on in public and Libel Chill moves to Libel Freeze. Take away the lever and lets do things openly and publicly.
Posted by: calgary clipper | 2007-12-22 10:30:04 AM
What do you have to say about all this?
Posted by: robert | 21-Dec-07 8:14:42 PM
Posted by: robert | 2007-12-22 11:48:06 AM
Keep up the good fight, Ezra. You are our last, best hope. We are surely looking backwards through a bizarre Looking Glass as we throw away our most cherished freedoms. Words fail to describe the frightful impasse that has come about while we have been busily entertaining ourselves at the latest movie, or looking to impress our friends with the new, coolest gizmo. Of course we would be ready to act when there was a REAL NEED, we promised ourselves. Well, that time is now. Are we ready to take some non-violent action like staging sit-ins or protests in front of Stelmach's Legislative mansion? I'm waiting. So is Ezra, and probably Mark Steyn.
Posted by: Roberta McDonald | 2008-01-18 11:25:50 PM
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