From Ezra Levant's Shakedown - 10
Levant respects our famous civil rights lawyer Alan Borovoy, even though Borovoy unwittingly helped this corrupt "human rights" system gain a foothold in Canada. Levant especially notes,
Borovoy doesn't us the term human rights. He sticks with the phrase civil rights, and he knows exactly what it means - fundamental individual freedoms, equality before the law, and natural justice. The phrase human rights in Canada has cme to mean any desire, entitlement, or grievance dressed up as aright. And, usually, that right is claimed by representatives of politically correct groups, not individual human beings. (p. 99)
Well, good for Borovoy then. I have long felt that that is a key issue, long misunderstood.
Civil rights are the rights of citizens. If you choose to be a citizen or landed immigrant in Canada, you acquire certain rights - including the right to tell government officials what you really think of their policies. Now, if (I am sure that none of my gentle readers would ever be in this position) someone were to make a fool of himself, showering unjustified abuse on civil servants and elected officials - and offering no solutions - he just wouldn't be consulted thereafter. That's all. Traditionally, there would be no follow-up other than politely ignoring him.
By contrast, "human rights" are a grab bag of the ambitions of activist groups, and can be made to mean whatever the groups and their supporters in government want. It can mean persecuting a comedian for stuff he said in a late night comedy routine which everyone had to know was off colour. (If they didn't know, why were they even there? How did they even know about the club anyway?) It can mean hounding a restaurant owner for refusing to allow someone to smoke pot on the premises or a surgeon for declining to act in a case where he just didn't feel confident about operating.
In other words, anything but what civil rights are traditionally intended to mean.
Where this became particularly interesting was when many readers of Ezra Levant's blog were upset with him recently for supporting the exclusion of British MP George Galloway from Canada. These readers seemed to think that "freedom of speech" means that anyone can come to Canada and say anything they want at any time, in any place.
No, no, no.
Freedom of speech is a civil right. It is a right of citizens of Canada. It is how we communicate freely with each other. (Until "human rights" interfered.)
We may sometimes find it necessary to refuse a foreigner access to Canada, if we have reason to believe that his presence here will do more harm than good. That is our right as a sovereign nation.
If the foreigner really wants to be a Canadian, he can apply for landed immigrant status, and then he will have civil rights here. Of course, that might not work out so well for a guy whose job is being a British MP ... well, into each life a little rain must fall, I supppose ...
See also: From Ezra Levant's Shakedown - 9; Shakedown - 8; Shakedown 7; Shakedown - 6; Levant's Shakedown - 5; Shakedown - 4; Shakedown - 3; Shakedown - 2; Shakedown - 1; From Mark Steyn's "Introduction" to Ezra Levant's "Shakedown"; Mark Steyn introduces Levant's work. Ezra Levant's Shakedown: A Preliminary Note