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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Intellectual freedom in Canada: "Human rights" commissions smartening up?

Franklin Carter at the Book and Periodical Council's Freedom of Expression Committee tells me that:

Alberta's Human Rights and Citizenship Commission has dismissed nine complaints filed against the Edmonton Journal and the Calgary Herald in connection with a controversial editorial published seven years ago.

The complaints were lodged by Muslim and Palestinian organizations and their supporters, who argued the editorial was likely to incite hatred or contempt toward Palestinian Arabs and Muslims, contrary to Alberta's Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Act.

In the Edmonton Journal, Karen Kleiss reports:


The Calgary Herald calls for the abolition of section 3 of Alberta's human rights act. Section 3 makes complaints such as those described in the previous report possible:

Maclean's magazine calls upon Prime Minister Stephen Harper to repeal section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. Section 13 made the lodging of "hate speech" complaints against Maclean's, Marc Lemire, former MP Jim Pankiw and others possible
Who knows, the Commissions may be getting their collective act together.

As I have said elsewhere, government has no business policing media, because government is one of the competitors for time and space in media. Policing media turns the media into a public relations agency for the government, which is not what the citizen wants, needs, or should expect to pay for.

The fact that some media are pretty nasty is hardly the point. You can cancel your subscription, twiddle the tuning button, flick the remote, or go to another Web site or blog. Or start your own Web site or blog.

If you don't, it is your own fault and no one owes you anything.

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