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Monday, June 18, 2012

Stain on Canadian democracy removed

In voting 153-to-136 in support of amendments removing sections 13 and 54 from the Canadian Human Rights Act, the Conservatives in Ottawa under Stephen Harper’s leadership took a historic step in defending free speech.

Section 13 has the Orwellian clause of the human rights act, which reads “any matter that is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt” is prohibited.
The weasel word here is “likely” and, by invoking it, authorities have shut down freedom of expression, as the University of Ottawa did when it cancelled the appearance of Ann Coulter, an American conservative author and political commentator, in March 2010.
In times to come, historians might likely note that with this vote Canada turned a corner in its long downward slide into the bog of multiculturalism and political correctness, and began its climb back to once again becoming a robust liberal democracy.
The idea of protecting free speech by placing limits on it, as Section 13 did, in a democracy such as ours, was retrogressive.
Yet this idea was sold to the public by the country’s political-intellectual elite as a policy indicative of Canadian exceptionalism.
Canada’s Chief Justice, Beverley McLachlin, speaking to an American audience in April 2004, told them forthrightly that “we in Canada are more tolerant of state limitation on free expression than are Americans.”
Instead, Section 13 represented an elite consensus around the opinion that Canadians could not be trusted with their freedom.
Increasingly disconnected with the general populace, Canada’s ruling elite seemed to forget ordinary Canadians went abroad twice within a generation in the last century to protect the freedom of others.
Ordinary Canadians helped defeat the Nazis — possibly history’s worst offenders of freedom — and yet, ironically, the ruling elite considered they could be corrupted sufficiently by some fringe political club or lonely misanthrope to pose a threat to individuals or minority groups in a liberal democratic society.
The temptation of those in power to control or censor free speech, however good the intention, is indicative of the totalitarian instinct lurking inside many of us.
It is a slippery slope that once taken has ended too often, as history illustrates, in some of the worst excesses committed against freedom of individuals.
“The origin of freedom lies in breathing,” wrote Elias Canetti, recipient of the 1981 Nobel Prize in Literature. In other words, free speech is the foundation upon which all other freedoms rest.
And we forget this at our peril, warned Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese human rights activist, political prisoner, and the recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize for Peace.
While denied permission by the Chinese leadership to receive the Nobel Prize, Liu Xiaobo sent the following message to his well-wishers: “Freedom of expression is the foundation of human rights, the source of humanity, and the mother of truth. To strangle freedom of speech is to trample on human rights, stifle humanity, and suppress truth.”
Once Bill C-304 — the private member’s bill moved by Alberta Conservative MP Brian Storseth — receives royal assent and comes into force repealing Section 13, a stain on Canadian democracy will have been removed and free speech made more secure.

By Salim Mansur ,QMI Agency
June 16, 2012

Personal opinion; This is a step in the right direction, but more has to be done to ensure our democracy and freedom.
Example; I sent an email to this corrupt women's shelter's director in carleton place, erin lee todd, polite and diplomatic explaining my daughters medical condition and if her organisation would put her on welfare, not only would they destroy her future I lovingly guided her towards, but she would put her very life in danger...
In turn I got a visit from her girlfriend from the carleton opp, one a. atkinson, who threatened me with a non existent warrant(according to 5 rcmp officers and 3 federal court officers and a lawyer) .
Though a fine did exist, no ontario wide warrant was in place as I was told, simply a local fine.
What amazed me is the warning i got from this person; "we warned you"...
So, in my opinion, this issue has but one result; I was not "allowed" to criticize the shelter's decisions on my own daughter, I was not allowed to dispute their manipulations for funding, I was not allowed to even politely and diplomatically explain the family situation to her.
And if I dared, "we have ways of getting even" a local cop told me to my face, was a reality. They do have ways of getting even....
To close, according to this situation, our kids belong to them, to do whatever they want with, and if we dare to fight back as I did, beware.
and that is a direct attack of the freedom of speech not to mention the rights of the family.


Anonymous said...

good one keep up the good work

Anonymous said...

I caught an interview of Coulter on Fox one day when I was slumming and she was advocating for recovery and sale of any and all items that might become available for purchase from Japan after the nuclear plants leaked radiation. She thought it would be a great opportunity for some budding American entrepreneur to bring the stuff State side.

Even O'Reilly couldn't abide by that crazyness and called her on it. To which she stammered and stuttered.

A real peach that one.