The “professional” Canadian human rights community—you know, the ones who make money from so called hate speech—received another body blow last week when the Court of Queen’s Bench overturned the Alberta Human Rights Commission’s conviction of Rev. Stephen Boissoin for alleged “hate speech.” (See Ezra Levant’s blog for details at Rev. Stephen Boissoin's conviction overturned.)
Shamefully, it took seven long years for Rev. Boissoin to receive justice. In a letter he wrote to the editor of the Red Deer Advocate in 2002, Rev. Boissoin was critical of the “gay agenda” (details here). For this, he was sentenced by the Human Rights Panels of Alberta to a lifetime of never again making negative comments about gays. And he was legally compelled to write a letter of apology, and in so doing, to renounce his religious beliefs on the matter. He also was to pay damages to the complainant and one of his witnesses. Yes, apparently, it is profitable to make successful human rights complaints.
In another small victory of sorts for justice in Canada, earlier in the year the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal’s adjudicator, Athanasios Hadjis, refused to apply Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act to a complaint brought by Ottawa lawyer Richard Warman against Marc Lemire, a webmaster of freedomsite.org, finding the anti-hate law targeting telephone and Internet messages unconstitutional.
Some of us had hoped Hadjis’s decision marked the beginning of the end of using Section 13 to make it illegal to write politically incorrect things on the Internet. We thought we’d be free to hurt each others feelings without fear of prosecution by the state. But apparently we were wrong for the Canadian Human Rights Commission is seeking a judicial review of Hadjis’s ruling and now we must wait for a federal court to decide.
I wonder how much longer it will take for Ontario’s premier, Dalton McGuinty, to come to his senses and offer much-deserved relief to Burlington, Ontario restaurateur, Ted Kindos of Gator Ted’s? Back in February, I wrote here about Mr. Kindos’s predicament.
According to a newsletter from Burlington’s Progressive Conservative MP Joyce Savoline, there has been very little progress made by the current Government to help Mr. Kindos. Says Ms. Savoline:
“After three years, and over $30,000, Ted Kindos is still facing a tribunal before the Human Rights Commission, and is still in a no-win situation. Should he follow the rules of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, the Human Rights Commission will shut him down. If he were to listen to the Human Rights Commission, and allow the medicinal marijuana smoking to continue, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario will close his doors.”
On February 17, in response to a question asked in the Legislature regarding progress with Ted Kindos’s case, the Minister of Government Services, Ted McMeekin, stated, “… this government is determined to make sure that we find a way to support Ted Kindos… .”
Indeed! It is now December 7 and where is the support from the Ontario government promised by Mr. McMeekin? But should we be surprised? This Ontario government has left a long trail of broken promises since early in its first term.
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© 2009 Russell G. Campbell
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