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Friday, June 27, 2008

The CHRC rejects the complaint against Maclean's: Good news for liberty or not?

The Canadian Human Rights Commission rejected the complaint against Maclean's magazine.

Meanwhile, the left-wing blogosphere is taking this as a sign that the HRC system works.

So is the rejection of the complaint a good thing or not? Here's Ezra Levant's take.

And don't forget, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal still has a chance to uphold the complaint against Maclean's. But I think they, too, just might opt for dismissal.

Oh well. The BCHRT is also busy investigating a comedian for telling awful jokes ranting like a lunatic at some heckling audience members. Even Warren Kinsella thinks that case is making it hard to defend the Tribunal.

Updated for accuracy.

Posted by Terrence Watson on June 27, 2008 | Permalink


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Indeed, in a way, this is bad news. The defenders will claim our fears are unfounded. The CHRC is hoping that the Martin motion, the RCMP investigation, and Parliamentary Inquiry go knowhere. Well, we all know that the RCMP is a stooge for the liberal establishment anyhow.

Posted by: Faramir | 2008-06-27 12:18:12 PM

I agree with Levant.

A lever that can be used to silence or punish political oponents is bad for us all in the end.

This may seem hysterical or xenophobic, but the CHRC would be very useful to a growing political Islam.

Posted by: TM | 2008-06-27 1:36:51 PM


It doesn't seem hysterical or xenophobic to me. Even though the complaint against Maclean's was dismissed, the fear of having to face such a complaint does and will have a "chilling effect" on speech about Islam.

Even if all such complaints were dismissed, fear of fines and a biased process should be enough to get people to shut up about things other people don't want us to talk about.

And that would be a very congenial development for Mohamed Elmasry, I'm sure.


Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2008-06-27 1:47:31 PM

The BCHRT is also busy investigating a comedian for telling awful jokes.

Well, no. It helps to get the facts straight.

A person who happens to be a comedian objected to being heckled by a couple of lesbians. He threw a torrent of abuse at them in a public place, based upon their sexual orientation.

A lot of alcohol was involved on everybody's part. But people ought to be able to go into a public place and have a drink without being exposed to loud homophobic ridicule, while the owner of the place does nothing about it.

I'm not saying he wasn't severely provoked. But if you're going to take a shot at the BCHRT, at least be accurate. The incident had nothing to do with on-stage jokes, and everything to do with a performer losing his cool, bigtime.

Posted by: Dr.Dawg | 2008-06-27 1:53:21 PM

Dr. Dawg,

You're right, of course.

Although I thought the word "awful" (construed in a non-sarcastic way) was adequate to describe my opinion of the offensive things the comedian said.

So it was not a joke, but a rant. I'll change the post accordingly.

(To be honest, isn't ranting what most comedians do nowadays? The great and talented Eddie Izzard excepted.)

Thanks, Dawg.


Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2008-06-27 1:59:10 PM

And the case against Guy Earle is being brought under Section 8 of the BC Code, which is about discriminating in the delivery of services (Dr. Dawgs point about going out and having a drink without getting abused by a club agent/employee), not section 7, which is the provincial equiv. to section 13 (and what Steyn was charged under in B.C.). There was also a certain amount of physical contact made by the comedian with the complainant. This case is going to tribunal because there is a reasonable possibility the complainant can make their case, but the comedian has not been found guilty yet.

As for Steyn, well if you think the HRCs are out of control its clearly a BAD THING that he was acquitted. But I don't think the outcome was difficult to predict. The issue is, should the investigation have taken place in the first place? The tribunal said his material was offensive but not offensive enough to forbid. Was it offensive enough to investigate? Opinions may differ.

(IMHO Levant will PROBABLY get off as well, but of the three or four lawyers I have heard discuss the case, one or two think he was a little closer to the line).

Posted by: bigcitylib | 2008-06-27 2:17:08 PM

Dr. D,

People should be able to go to a public place without being ridiculed I agree. But to put laws in place to prevent it are worse than the ridicule in the first place.

By the way, was this a public or private place?

Posted by: TM | 2008-06-27 2:18:44 PM

Islam is only a tiny part of this picture. ANY
so-called "protected" group can use this stick any time they please.
Get rid of the HRCs and

Posted by: atric | 2008-06-27 2:20:33 PM

Anyone who goes to a comedy club, sits in the front row, heckles the performer and then acts in a rude and lascivious manner, has a reasonable expectation to be ridiculed by the comic.
This was a set-up deal pure and simple. Look how they were able to muster up dozens of well-organized protesters with signs, in less than 24 hours.
Whether it was for revenge, personal gain or to "raise awareness of homophobia" we probably will never know.

Posted by: atric | 2008-06-27 2:28:11 PM


On the second point I agree 100%

On the first, I wish you were right. Hopefully you will be proven right. Read America Alone by Mark Steyn and tell me if you still think that way.

Most people who come from a Judeo/Christian bakground cannot fathome how Islam could be a threat. After all, most Muslims are moderate. But Islam IS political.

You may not agree with Mark Steyn, and people like him, but study them for a while. It is eye opening.

Posted by: TM | 2008-06-27 2:29:23 PM

atric, I was referring to your firt comment at 2:20:33, not 2:28:11.

Posted by: TM | 2008-06-27 2:31:31 PM

So, after how many months, and how much expense and how much outrage and abuse from all around the world, the CHRC has reached the decision which it was obligated by law to make the day the complaint was received?

Or perhaps Elmasry just wouldn't agree to share the spoils as generously as Richard Warman does, and it was dropped because there was no money in it?

Either way, it sounds like time to act against these crooks.

Posted by: ebt | 2008-06-27 3:02:06 PM

TM. I didn't mean to trivialize the Mohammedan threat vis a vis the HRCs, but that they are not the only act in town. I have read and own a hard copy of Steyn's "America Alone" and take it to heart. My point was ( and I guess I stated it very poorly ) is that the threat comes from many sources, not just Mohammedism itself. This problem with the HRCs does not live in one form, but many forms and we should not just focus on Mohammedians but rather the Bad Attitudes at large.

Posted by: atric | 2008-06-27 4:31:29 PM

atric - I agree totally with your comments. As for the comment that one should be able to attend a comedy performance without being (understand feeling) offended, this is typical leftist fascist rot. If I find any performance or whatever distasteful or offensive, I have the right to leave. The main problem is that these "people's tribunals" exist at all and the second is the leftist belief that hurting anyone's (except white males, Christians and conservatives) feelings must be against the law.

Posted by: Alain | 2008-06-27 7:14:39 PM

Whatever happened to fisticuffs as an answer to having your feelings hurt? It worked just fine for centuries.

Posted by: dp | 2008-06-27 10:23:18 PM

This is bad news. It will remove the impetus for reform in this area. It lets the Feds push this back on the BC Government, which doesn't appear to be inclined to do anything at all about this nonsense.

Posted by: Adam Yoshida | 2008-06-27 10:31:16 PM

As a B.C. taxpayer I am amazed that the B.C.H.R.T. has nothing better to do than investigate jokes made at a nightclub that advertises "edgy" humour. Heckle and Jeckle were shocked, shocked that a comedian would retaliate with sexist remarks. These two over refreshed harpies should have been evicted from the premises for liquor offences.

Posted by: Michael Shaw | 2008-06-28 1:03:09 PM

Ezra will not 'get off', BCL, even if the complaint were dropped today. He has already been forced to pay out hundreds of thousands of dollars in defending himself against these ridiculous charges. I think that one of the reasons it has dragged out over 800 days now is that the star chamber is trying to bankrupt him.

Posted by: Jon | 2008-06-29 5:25:15 PM

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