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Monday, May 18, 2009

Intellectual freedom in Canada: Randy Hillier, running for leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party, targets "human rights" commission

I received one of Hillier's fundraising letters a few days ago. His first action point is "an end to the Ontario Human Rights Commission which is attacking free speech in this province."

Actually, the Commission is attacking far more than that now, though free speech has been their major target for some years.

Blogging outrageous decisions is not enough; it is a political problem and requires a political solution.

I can never bring myself to lose the scare quotes (" ") when talking about the "human rights" commissions. That's because it is scary to think that the commissioners probably don't realize how Orwellian* their operation has become. But more and more of the public does realize, because the scope of Commission decisions has widened rapidly and is ever more tenuously linked to traditional concerns about fair play in employment and housing. (*This link takes you to Mark Steyn's testimony at a legislature hearing into the Ontario Commission. I was with the banned, and I taped it.)

In The National Post (May 15, 2009), Hillier writes,
Sincere principled dissent is not just something to be tolerated in a free and democratic society; it’s the very wellspring from which our democratic traditions flow. Without such principled dissent, it should be remembered, our society might never have rid itself of the scourge of slavery; women might still be denied the right to vote and Jews might still be barred from entering Canada, as they were for a time under the federal Liberal party’s policy of “none is too many.” - from "Randy Hillier: The right not to be pushed around by government"
The ruling Liberals, headed by Premier Dalton McGuinty, can either preempt Hillier on this growing issue or stoutly defend the Commission. The latter would link the Liberals to the Commission's persecutions.

I just wish Hillier hadn't made his second action point "bringing back the spring bear hunt to help our northern and rural communities" Many urbanites who have never seen a bear outside a zoo will be marching and sitting in at the drop of a hat. Here's the yay for the hunt and here's the nay. Make up your own mind.

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