Intellectual Freedom in Canada: Catholic Insight "human rights" case dismissed
I have just received word that the Canadian Human Rights Commission complaint against Catholic Insight has been dismissed. Clearly, the social engineers are on the run - for now. Go to Deborah Gyapong for more info for now.
This just in: Blazing Cat Fur informs me that Catholic Insight will do a press release within the hour (3:50 pm EST), and she has the story:
Update: Blazingcatfur spoke personally with Fr. de Valk who has confirmed that the CHRC has dismissed the complaint. A press release will be issued by Catholic Insight around 4 pm today.
Deborah Gyapong has a few details with more to come. Good news or is the CHRC just covering its butt in the hope they will be allowed to continue with business as usual?
For what it is worth, I will assume, in the absence of substantial policy change, that the "human rights" commissions are merely covering their butts by dismissing some cases while the heat is on.
Deborah Gyapong writes,
This is good news. It means that the political campaign for freedom of speech and freedom of religion is working. It means the CHRC does not want to be seen to treat big fish differently from little fish. It does not want to be seen as operating outside the rule of law. That is a good thing. It means the CHRC wants the scrutiny to go away and fast.
But Catholic Insight is still reeling under $20,000 of legal bills. The process is the punishment.
Thus the process--the ability for the CHRC and its provincial counterparts to pass judgment on speech or religious doctrine even to the extent of vetting and dismissing complaints---has to be removed.
That's where the real fight begins. Stopping them from just doing it again as soon as the current heat is off.
6:21 PM EST:
Here's Catholic Insight's editor Fr. Alphonse de Valk:
Is this the end of the persecution of C.I.?
It might be. It might not be. Judicial review of the Commission’s decision is still possible. The complainant has 30 days to bring an application in the Federal Court to review the Commission’s decision.
Fundamental freedoms of religion, expression, and the press are supposedly guaranteed by our Constitution, yet provincial and federal Human Rights Commissions have taken it upon themselves to judge what qualifies as “acceptable” public discourse. This is thanks principally to the vague “hate speech” provision contained in the Canadian Human Rights Act – Subsection 13(1) and subsequent jurisprudence, which makes it a “discriminatory practice” for individuals or
[ ... ]
Although none of these attacks against us have been successful, as Ezra Levant has so correctly noted, “the process is the punishment” and our magazine of modest budget has already been burdened to date by legal fees in excess of $20,000. All of the complainants’ expenses, of course, have been covered by public funds, whether those complaints are justified or not.
Meanwhile, Five Feet of Fury (Kathy Shaidle) says,
But what we REALLY need, and still aren't getting, is an informed and outraged citizenry.
In recovery, I heard the story of a family in which the father had molested every daughter, except one. In adulthood, they traded their stories, and discovered that the daughter who hadn't been raped was also the only one who'd fought back and simply said "No."
She tears a strip off the many Canadians who are willing to accept oppression rather than speak up. The worst is when they primly offer to pray for those with the courage to fight. (God hears prayers like THAT? Wow!):
Many people who cry poor are doing so because they can't admit they lack the WILL to fight. They know they could get donations or even free legal help, but what it is too late for them to get are balls and that is too embarrassing for them to admit.
And if more people had had balls -- if more people had said "Merry Christmas" after their bosses told them not to, and spoken up at stupid workplace "sensitivity training", and defied the p.c. status quo in any number of ways over the course of the last twenty years -- it is very possible that none of these Human Rights Cases would ever have come to be, and I wouldn't be getting sued right now.
You can always get another job. You only have one conscience.
Well anyway, not more than one.
My own view: For what it is worth, I think the human faces of fascism (= the meddle-in-everything human rights commissions) got a senior politico assigned to them who told them, “First off, get RID of the current lot of defendants that are making so much noise. Drop those charges. Start up again with a different group, and it may take years to reach this volume again. let me work on the sob stories for the legacy media. They’ll believe anything. They need to.”
The only way I can see beating this in the long term is a Bloggers’ Union, whose primary purpose is meddle-free blogging, and reformed writers’ organizations and press organizations who are more interested in getting the government out of newswriting and broadcasting and less interested in getting the government to give them money.
July 4, 2008, here and here are civil rights lawyer Ezra Levant on the Catholic Insight case:
The eighteen month nightmare imposed by the Canadian "Human Rights" Commission on Catholic Insight and its editor, Fr. Alophnse de Valk, is finally over. Like the CHRC's dismissal of the Canadian Islamic Congress's "Islamophobia" case against Maclean's magazine last week -- after dragging them through a slow and costly process too -- the CHRC's decision to abandon the "homophobia" charges against Catholic Insight must be seen for what it is: an attempt by the corrupt CHRC to get out of the media spotlight, and reduce the political pressure that is mounting for its abolition.
The CHRC is already being squeezed by three independent investigations, including including a criminal investigation by RCMP into the CHRC's conduct. The negative press they have been receiving for their anti-Catholic bigotry was simply too much for them to bear. So Fr. de Valk can go.
Is it a victory for him? Only if a $20,000 legal bill and eighteen months of abuse of process can be called a victory. Their nominal tormenter, Rob Wells, isn't out a dime -- not for his costs (paid for by taxpayers) or Fr. de Valk's costs (paid for by Fr. de Valk). But Wells is only the informer who fingered Fr. de Valk; were it not for the abusive CHRC, Wells couldn't do anything other than be a lone, powerless anti-Catholic bigot -- reduced to literally driving his vehicle in circles around churches, emblazoned with hate messages comparing Catholics to Nazis. That's actually what he does. That's stupendously vile; but it shouldn't be illegal. For such a bigot to be given access to the power of the state, via the CHRC, to legally prosecute his anti-Christian vendetta for a year and a half against Fr. de Valk is not just repulsive, it's a political scandal for which Jennifer Lynch's head should roll.
I'm trying to get a better copy of Sandy Kozak's "Investigation Report" that she filed with the Canadian Human Rights Commission in the Catholic Insight case. When I do, I'll post it. In the meantime, I'll just quote from it. Not even a whole sentence -- just a phrase:
"Notwithstanding the offensive nature of certain aspects of this material..."
Catholic Insight promulgates the teachings of the Catholic church.
So Catholic Insight was "offensive" because it taught Catholicism.
Actually, priests at my church have said that they could foresee going to jail for standing firm in the faith the the Church has always taught. It is interesting to reflect on how politicians used to dismiss traditional Christians' worries. Now the politicians are conveniently retired on a generous pension and the trad Christians are learning the hard way about politics in the age of social engineering.
Also July 4 2008, Osgoode Hall lawyer Jonathan Rosenthal, invited to debate civil rights lawyer Ezra Levant, launched an ad hominem attack:
He said he thought my wife ought to recommend that I take "counselling". For disagreeing with him!Here's the vid (ad plays first).
I admit I was surprised. I had Googled Rosenthal, and read his vanity entry on Wikipedia -- I thought I'd be up against a thoughtful debater. But besides showing his moral righteousness by denouncing swastikas ("an emblem of hate") he had nothing but ad hominem attacks. Telling me I was unfit to be a parent, and needed counselling, because I disgreed with him?
And then I remembered his Wikipedia entry: he lectures at Osgoode Hall Law School, home of Khurrum Awan and the other anti-free-speech sock puppets who have fronted Mohamed Elmasry's censorship suit against Maclean's magazine. Rosenthal's paucity of arguments all makes sense to me now.
I shot back a bit myself, saying that in Canada, everyone has the right to have children, we don't need a license -- even pompous, arrogant, liberal Toronto lawyers have the right to be dads! It wasn't my prettiest debate. But my point stands: if we have a political test for the state to break up parents, no-one is safe.
The child seizure case that is the subject of the debate involves a swastika, and ironically both of the lawyers duking it out on the question are Jewish. But Rosenthal's comments about Levant are typical, even stereotypical of the new morph of Canadian law into therapy and social engineering. And you don't need good legal arguments when you have the power to simply wreck someone's life.
July 5, 2008 David Warren writes in the Ottawa Citizen,
In the course of this last grim week, the Ontario government of Dalton McGuinty quietly announced a huge expansion of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, giving its apparatchiks enhanced powers of intrusion, removing the cap on fines, providing a new class of lawyers to assist in prosecutions, and opening 22 new “hearing and mediation rooms” around the province where these star chambers will conduct their quasi-legal proceedings.Well, I declare.
As a writer who does not subscribe to the “politically correct” ideology, it is reasonable to expect that, sooner or later, they will come for me. Of course I also realize that, in making this statement, I will be mocked by the usual leftwing jackals. But in light of what has already happened in this province and country, my assertion is reasonable. Moreover, I write with the sincerity of a man who has already tasted the New Canadian tyranny, and the threat of imprisonment without due process, under the feminist rewrite of Ontario family law.
I was born a free citizen of the Old Canada, and before her God I declare, that I will go to jail rather than acknowledge the legitimacy of any “human rights” commission. I invite other journalists and indeed, every other Canadian, to declare likewise.