Human Rights speech complaints

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Michelle
Human Rights speech complaints

 

Michelle

[url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic&f=2&t=009656]Co... from here.[/url]

[url=http://www.macleans.ca/canada/opinions/article.jsp?content=20080402_8898...'s latest on this.[/url]

quote:

Let's take it as read that Marc Lemire is guilty, if only because, if you're unfortunate enough to attract their attention, you're guilty: in the entire history of the CHRC, not a single defendant charged with a federal Section 13 "hate messages" crime has ever been acquitted. The sole exception was the "Canadian Nazi Party," which got off scot-free on the technicality that it did not, in fact, exist. But, if you do have the misfortune to exist, Section 13 has a 100 per cent conviction rate that the justice systems of Kim Jong Il and the Burmese junta can only envy, which you'd think might be a tad embarrassing to the justice system of a free country.

quote:

So Mr. Lemire is guilty, just as Maclean's is no doubt guilty (our own case comes up before the thought police in a few months' time). Section 13 is so poorly drawn, requires no evidence of any crime or likely crime, and does not recognize truth as a defence. That being so, how difficult can it be for a money-no-object agency of the Canadian state to convict a schlub like Marc Lemire?

Well, evidently it's trickier than it looks. Even in an ersatz legal system with a 100 per cent conviction rate, and none of the traditional demarcation lines between plaintiff, prosecutor, judge and jury, plus a serial plaintiff who is a former employee of the prosecutor, and no due process or otherwise objective procedures, even with the deck stacked overwhelmingly in its favour, the Canadian Human Rights Commission felt its "case" against Marc Lemire was a little weak. So they resorted to entrapment, telecommunications fraud, and identity theft. And at no point in their fun 'n' games did anyone think, "Whoa, I wonder if this is in compliance with our procedures." Why would you? How can you be in breach of your procedures when there are no procedures? You can do whatever you like to whomsoever you like.


And, incredibly!

quote:

So, in order to goad their target into saying something just a teensy-weensy bit offensive, both the chief investigator, Dean Steacy, and the "complainant," Richard Warman, began logging on to Mr. Lemire's site under their respective aliases. I say "respective aliases" but at one point Mr. Warman was logging on to Internet "hate sites" under Mr. Steacy's secret identity, "jadewarr." He'd misplaced some "hate message" or other, and so strolled over to the commission and was allowed to use the government's computers, passwords and covert hate-site membership ("jadewarr") until he'd found what he was looking for. Richard Warman is supposed to be a private citizen who has filed a "complaint," yet he's allowed full access to the state's investigation. If Mr. Warman got mugged, would he be permitted to wander into the Ottawa police forensics lab and fiddle around with hair and fibre samples from the scene? Dean Steacy denied in court that there was any collusion between the CHRC and their lone plaintiff, and one can see his point: who needs to "collude" when Mr. Warman enjoys open access to the system?

Does every Canadian citizen have the right to monkey around the CHRC computers on complaints they've got an interest in? If so, I'll be in at 10 a.m. next Thursday to poke around the files relating to the Maclean's case. If I need to bring two pieces of picture ID, do let me know.


And if this is true, it's also appalling:

quote:

In their latest act of improvised self-protection, the tribunal abolished the role of court stenographer for last Tuesday's hearing. The state has spent millions of your tax dollars dragging the proprietor of an unread website into the dock, but suddenly decided halfway through the case that scrapping the court stenographer is a vital saving of a few hundred bucks. And amazingly this innovation was introduced only on the day on which the "secret trial" was opened up to the press and public.

No stenographer? How conveeeeeeeeeeeeeenient.

Thought police, indeed.

[Edited to say: I changed the title of this thread so we could have a more general discussion about not only the Maclean's case but also CHRC speech cases in general.

[ 06 April 2008: Message edited by: Michelle ]

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

There are never stenos at labour boards, arbitration hearings or human rights tribunals. Michelle you seem to have fallen for a red herring. If one of the parties wants to hire a court reporter they have that right but they have to share the transcript to the other side for free.

There may be many things wrong with the system including some sections of the Act lets not just hurl mud for the sake of hurling mud.

Ghislaine

That is a small point, the overall issue that Michelle is discussing is still valid.

Proaxiom

Am I right in thinking there is no appeal process?

If so, that's probably why you don't need a stenographer. If the decision is final no matter what, there's no need for anyone to be able to review it later.

It's just a part of the question whether this can be considered a judicial process without any of the protections that modern justice systems tend to offer.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

That Steyn writes racist shit? I agree.

The question is, if we agree to do away with human rights tribunals, how do we deal with racists such as Steyn? And please do not tell me with rational discourse. In the history between racism and rational discourse, rational discourse has very, very poor record.

Steyn, for example, is the latest to jump on the International Islamic Conspiracy to scapegoat Muslims and mark them for popular hatred because, as you know, they just happen to live atop our resources.

So what recourse would you give the victims of hate from the merchants of hate?

ETA: It is my understanding anyone can hire their own stenographer as though that is the point.

ETAA: And why doesn't Steyn et al, care to write about this:
[url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic&f=3&t=002539]ht...

The simple truth is Steyn, et al, are part of the rich, white establishment with tools aplenty to speak freely and to quash free speech. SLAPPS are one one of their tools. Complaints to HR tribunals are on of the very few remaining for the rest of us.

[ 04 April 2008: Message edited by: Frustrated Mess ]

pogge

quote:


Originally posted by Ghislaine:
[b]That is a small point, the overall issue that Michelle is discussing is still valid.[/b]

Which issue? If Steyn got one thing wrong, why would you accept everything else he's written here at face value? If he wrote about Iraq, as an example, I would hope we'd all approach it with a little skepticism since he's been wrong about that for six years.

From the excerpt in the opening post:

quote:

...at one point Mr. Warman was logging on to Internet "hate sites" under Mr. Steacy's secret identity, "jadewarr." He'd misplaced some "hate message" or other, and so strolled over to the commission and was allowed to use the government's computers, passwords and covert hate-site membership ("jadewarr") until he'd found what he was looking for.

[url=http://www.macleans.ca/article.jsp?content=20080326_110442_5820&page=1]Here's[/url] a link to Kady O'Malley's live blogging of the hearing where I did a search on Warman's name. According to that record Steacy testified that as far he as knew Warman wasn't aware of the JadeWarr identity and didn't have the password. There is no mention in O'Malley's account that I could see of Warman logging in on the Commission's computers (unless he was mentioned under an alias). So confirmation of Steyn's accusation by an independent source would be nice.

Once again, there are some issues here worth discussing but the wingnuts, led by Steyn, Levant, Jonathan Kay, etc., are throwing shit in all directions on this and you have to clear that out of the way before you can get a good look at what's actually happening.

[ 04 April 2008: Message edited by: pogge ]

Khimia

"At the 9 second mark, Master Spy Steacy admits that Jadewarr was not exclusively his account. This came as a surprise to those assembled. You will hear me give scoff (15 second mark) at Master Spy Steacy’s contention that he had already informed us of that fact."

This blogger attended the session and has the digital audio transcription you may listen to it [url=http://www.socon.ca/or_bust/?p=819]Here[/url]

Michelle

quote:


Originally posted by kropotkin1951:
[b]There may be many things wrong with the system including some sections of the Act lets not just hurl mud for the sake of hurling mud.[/b]

Uh, yeah, I'm not. But thanks anyhow!

If there aren't court reporters at quasi-judicial tribunals that can force punishments on people then there should be. How else could you appeal?

Michelle

P.S. Who said anything in this thread about doing away with human rights tribunals completely? I just think that the thought crime section 13 is bullshit. I have no problem with having a tribunal that hears cases of real discrimination. But if you're going to have a tribunal that is allowed to level real punishments on people, you should at least pretend to be a real judicial process.

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by Michelle:
[b]
If there aren't court reporters at quasi-judicial tribunals that can force punishments on people then there should be. How else could you appeal?[/b]

There's no connection between a transcript and the ability to appeal. The appeal court reads the tribunal's decision and hears arguments about it - especially on errors of law, or unreasonableness, etc. It rarely comes down to "who said what" in the original hearing. If that were to happen, and if it were to be crucial, the appeal court could order the matter re-heard, with or without directions, before the same or another panel.

When an employer or a union seeks judicial review of an arbitrator's award, there is [b]never[/b] a transcript available, because it's simply too expensive and serves no useful purpose. Of course, it's much harder to overturn an arbitrator's award, because they are usually protected by a "privative clause" - i.e, a clause in the labour relations act saying the awards can't be appealed - meaning that you can only really challenge them for flagrant errors like exceeding their jurisdiction, or rendering an award which is "patently unreasonable". Successful challenges are very rare.

The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, however, does not have the same protection from ordinary appeal as do arbitrators, labour boards, etc. - so their decisions can be reversed more easily.

Michelle

Thanks. That's good to know! So was Steyn full of it when he said that the CHRC used to keep transcripts of their hearings but they've stopped now?

Proaxiom

quote:


Originally posted by Michelle:
[b]If there aren't court reporters at quasi-judicial tribunals that can force punishments on people then there should be. How else could you appeal?[/b]

Their website says their the tribunal's decisions are reviewable by Federal Court. There has to be something else here. Is Steyn full of shit about there being no record? It doesn't seem plausible that they could not be recording a hearing that could be subject to appeal.

Does Jeff House know what's going on here?

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by Michelle:
[b]Thanks. That's good to know! So was Steyn full of it when he said that the CHRC used to keep transcripts of their hearings but they've stopped now?[/b]

No clue. Never been at the CHRC. I've been to labour relations boards hearings which did transcripts (where the panel asked for one because of some reason or where counsel asked and the panel agreed), but I've been to lots of little ones (like certification hearings, little unfair labour practice ones, etc.) where they don't.

I think many courts work the same way, don't they?

Khimia

Steyn said that the tribunal chose to do away with the use of a stenographer to record a transcript. The Tribunal elected to tape the session for the 1st time. The digital audio transcript is available to order.

Proaxiom

I cross-posted the answer with my question yesterday and didn't notice.

Unionist, wouldn't the appeal court sometimes need access to testimony that was given in front of the tribunal?

Michelle

[url=http://www.nationalpost.com/todays_paper/story.html?id=423135]Rights group defends itself[/url]

quote:

At issue is Section 13.1 of the Human Rights Act, which makes it an offence to communicate by phone or Internet any message that is "likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt."

As a workload issue, it is insignificant, making up just 2% of the CHRC's work, far less than employment or housing disputes. As a reflection of the commission's priorities, however, it is top of the agenda, and for critics, it is the thin edge of the wedge.

"Freedom of expression is the lifeblood of any free and open society and the commission embraces freedom of expression," Mr. Goldberg said.

"I think if you remove all the rhetoric, at the base of the debate that's been going on ... is a centuries-old debate about the appropriate role of the state in limiting freedom of expression in certain precise areas."

He said the view of the Supreme Court, which has held that Section 13.1 is a justifiable infringement of the right to free expression, is "actually the predominant view among most of the states of the world. The view in the United States [that the right to free speech is near-absolute] is really a minority view."


There are lots of minority views that are also correct. This is one of the very few things that I think Canada and other countries with thought police should copy from the US.

ohara

As I understand it all decisions by the CHRT can be reviewed by the Federal Court indeed all the way to the Supreme Court as was done in the John Ross Taylor case which was the case that upheld Section 13 of the CHRC.

Secondly I find it only a bit disingenuous of you Michelle to speak of "thought crimes" and censorship when you lately have been very free at throwing around threats to a number of people on babble that you were willing to Ban for trying to deal with what they thought (and I underline that for fear I will be banned) may have been an ant-Semitic remark on another thread. It wasn't and it was well explained and accepted but the fear of being banned can put one hell of a chill on many here who may want to confront potential racism and choose not to for fear you will cancel their right to post here.

Michelle

Blah blah blah. Nice try at derailing the subject.

Take it to rabble reactions if you have a problem with my moderating. Having posting standards on a web site is not the same thing as legally prosecuting people.

Michelle

[url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic&f=15&t=001230]Here's a brand new thread where you can talk about what censoring fascists the moderators at babble are, and how we're making it impossible for you to practice your freedom of speech in Canadian society by enforcing babble policy on the only web site on the entire planet where you can express your views.[/url]

Proaxiom

quote:


From the quoted article in Michelle's post:
[b]The view in the United States [that the right to free speech is near-absolute] is really a minority view.[/b]

The right to free speech is far from absolute in the US. Saying something like "Let's all get our guns and violently overthrow the government!" is still prohibited.

Nobody disputes that words can cause harm. At issue tends to be how direct the harm must be for the government to punish the voicing of those words.

Almost everyone agrees that language directly inciting violence should be illegal. There is less agreement on whether language inciting hatred (which can lead to violence, but less directly) should be illegal.

It's a question of how high the bar should be, and implicitly how much we value the principle of free speech.

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by Proaxiom:
[b]I cross-posted the answer with my question yesterday and didn't notice.

Unionist, wouldn't the appeal court sometimes need access to testimony that was given in front of the tribunal?[/b]


I really don't think so. Appeal courts aren't designed to just re-hear the whole matter. And when would an appeal depend on who said what in response to some question on the witness stand? I never heard of an appeal that turned on the two parties saying, "She said - no he said...".

I could be wrong. But, I repeat, no labour arbitration judicial review has ever had the benefit of a transcript, but it really doesn't cramp the court's style at all. It's all about errors of law, excess of jurisdiction, denial of natural justice, etc. And, if it sounds really screwed up, the court just says, "hear the case over again, but do it right this time".

Michelle

I agree with you, Proaxiom. I think the US standards LOOK minimal to those of us who have to deal with much more legal interference when it comes to speech. I had no idea, until I started working for babble, just how regressive Canada's speech laws are. And not just the ridiculous "hate speech" thing. Also libel laws (which are ridiculously biased in favour of the complainant, especially if they're rich or famous).

Ghislaine

New developments:

The Privacy Commissioner will [url=http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/410352]"look into"[/url]the allegations that CHRC employees used an Ottawa woman's internet connection:

quote:

The unauthorized use of someone's computer or network could constitute a serious breach of privacy, the office of Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart said.

"The possibility that the (commission) was accessing someone else's computer without their permission and in effect using their network to communicate is something we're certainly going to look into," Colin McKay, who is Stoddart's communications director, said from Ottawa.

"Hacking into anyone else's network for your own purposes certainly seems like a breach of judgment at the very least."

Following a subpoena, Bell Canada revealed that one "Jadewarr" post in a chat room had originated from an Internet address belonging to Nelly Hechme, a woman who lives in an Ottawa high-rise close to the commission's office.

Hechme, 26, who apparently had an unsecured wireless Internet link, was reportedly dumbfounded by the use of her account and denied any connection to Steacy or the rights agency.

"We have to determine exactly what happened. It seems to be unauthorized access of the network then misrepresentation," McKay said.


pogge

Even newer developments:

1. [url=http://bigcitylib.blogspot.com/2008/04/your-daily-nazi-wifi-edition.html... reports[/url] that Mark Lemire did a wireless scan outside of CHRC HQ and discovered "numerous unsecured wireless access points in range." Lemire seems to think this bodes poorly for the CHRC but I don't see why. It only underlines what's already been discussed: given the combination of certain network settings and all the unprotected wireless connections out there, it's quite conceivable that a user could end up on someone else's IP address and not realize it.

I think the real question is: if someone at the CHRC wanted to connect without anyone being able to trace it back, why not do it right and use an anonymizing proxy server?

2. Those Who Shall Remain Linkless are reporting that Richard Warman is suing Ezra Levant, Free Dominion, Kathy Shaidle of [i]Five Feet of Fury[/i] and Kate McMillan of [i]Small Dead Animals[/i] (and possibly others). Apparently the main bone of contention is that post about Senator Anne Cools that some have alleged Warman posted. (But not me! Don't sue me!)

This, of course, ensures that we'll be hearing more about all of this.

Oops. Just double-checked at BigCityLib and discovered another post indicating that Warman's suit includes Jonathan Kay and the [i]National Post[/i].

[ 09 April 2008: Message edited by: pogge ]

Ghislaine

It is strange that he didn't include Macleans in the suit, as they have published the Cools allegations as well.

pogge

Don't assume he didn't. I haven't seen anything in the media about the lawsuit. I ended up at Levant's* and read part of a posting but when it started to ramble I didn't finish. And I just happened to see the latest post at BigCityLib and read the first paragraph. There may be more to the story.

* I'm purposely not linking to some of the sites involved to avoid drawing them back here.

Ghislaine

quote:


Originally posted by pogge:
[b]Don't assume he didn't. I haven't seen anything in the media about the lawsuit. I ended up at Levant's* and read part of a posting but when it started to ramble I didn't finish. And I just happened to see the latest post at BigCityLib and read the first paragraph. There may be more to the story.

* I'm purposely not linking to some of the sites involved to avoid drawing them back here.[/b]


I wont link either, but Levant linked to a copy of the lawsuit and Macleans/Mark Steyn aren't included. They arguably have the largest audience, so I found it strange they weren't listed.

Dr. Hilarius

Maclean's also has the msot money and therefore the most ability to defend themselves. He is probably deliberately targetting people who are more easy prey.

Petsy

Whoever he targets, good for him. I read the Levant site and he is way too much even for a right wing hardassed Conservative. He makes all kinds of allegations none of which he backs up. He claims that Jewish groups are "bankrolling" Warman without any proof, just his own wild imagination.

I look forward to this fight. Levant may have bitten off more than he could chew when he took on Richard Warman. Mr. Warman is a good lawyer and a man who takes his reputation seriously. This could get very interesting.

sanizadeh

quote:


Originally posted by Petsy:
[b]
I look forward to this fight. Levant may have bitten off more than he could chew when he took on Richard Warman. Mr. Warman is a good lawyer and a man who takes his reputation seriously. This could get very interesting.[/b]

Indeed interesting. In particular because Ezra Levant is also specialized in libel/defamation law. I doubt he would back off. At least this time the battle is fair: Two layers against each other, and in a real court of law, as it should be.

remind remind's picture

quote:


Originally posted by pogge:
[b]...Those Who Shall Remain Linkless are reporting that Richard Warman is suing Ezra Levant, Free Dominion, Kathy Shaidle of [i]Five Feet of Fury[/i] and Kate McMillan of [i]Small Dead Animals[/i] (and possibly others). Apparently the main bone of contention is that post about Senator Anne Cools that some have alleged Warman posted. (But not me! Don't sue me!)

This, of course, ensures that we'll be hearing more about all of this.

Oops. Just double-checked at BigCityLib and discovered another post indicating that Warman's suit includes Jonathan Kay and the [i]National Post[/i].[/b]


Fascinating actually, and it seems from the sleuthing some did that indeed that IP address, that said post on Cools came from, got around to several people, other than Warman. Or so bigcitylib blog said on March 21.

Petsy

And now its gone way too far, here Dawg.s Blog has a post showing that on Levant's site there are posts calling for Warman's muder. Surely this is against the law!!!

[url=http://drdawgsblawg.blogspot.com/]Dawg's blog[/url]

Cueball Cueball's picture

You people seem to be perfectly happy to have Anne Coulter call for the incineration of Mecca in a nuclear explosion, without a call for her arrest or legal sanctions against those who publish her screed.

What is up with that?

Petsy

Anne Coulter is an American. Sadly her stupidity is not governed by Canadian law.

Cueball Cueball's picture

I am sorry Anne Coulter is an American whose wild ravings a routinely published here in various venues, and not just on the internet, but in print. Certainly those who reporduce and actively disseminate hate propoganda are culpable?

Petsy

Yes probably so...but our hate laws are complaint driven. Have there been actual complaints against Canadian Bloggers and others who posted what you believe constitutes hate? If not I urge you to do so.

Cueball Cueball's picture

I'll tell you what will happen. It pretty simple.

It would be just like the Macleans case. When the Macleans case goes through, and the charge is made against a major media outlet for defaming Muslim people, then section 13 will be gone. It is very simple. It will be revised... in fact is being revised as we speak. This will be announced soon enough, if not before the Macleans case is brought to a hearing, then shortly after.

Petsy

So if you refuse to even lay a complaint (forgive the pun) don't complain

[ 10 April 2008: Message edited by: Petsy ]

pogge

quote:


Originally posted by Cueball:
[b] When the Macleans case goes through...[/b]

The Ontario Human Rights Commission [url=http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/resources/news/en/resources/news/statement]isn't going ahead[/url] with the complaint against Maclean's and Steyn though it certainly expresses a low opinion of some of the magazine's recent content. Is there another complaint in the works and does it involve Section 13? I've lost track but you may have to rethink your prediction.

[ 10 April 2008: Message edited by: pogge ]

Cueball Cueball's picture

Modify it I guess. But this is thematically in line with what I am saying of course.

Ghislaine

quote:


Originally posted by Cueball:
[b]I'll tell you what will happen. It pretty simple.

It would be just like the Macleans case. When the Macleans case goes through, and the charge is made against a major media outlet for defaming Muslim people, then section 13 will be gone. It is very simple. It will be revised... in fact is being revised as we speak. This will be announced soon enough, if not before the Macleans case is brought to a hearing, then shortly after.[/b]


We can only hope you are correct - but it seems that all politicians are ignoring this issues save for Keith Martin.

Cueball Cueball's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Petsy:
[b]So if you refuse to even lay a complaint (forgive the pun) don't complain

[ 10 April 2008: Message edited by: Petsy ][/b]


Section 13 is specifically geared to interdicting and censoring the internet, not powerful mainstream media houses that may do and say what they think as "fair comment'. The objective is clamp down on the loophole in the monopoly of centralized media. The Macleans thing has already been dropped apparently.

Well of course. Its Muslim people.

sangie

quote:


The Ontario Human Rights Commission isn't going ahead with the complaint against Maclean's and Steyn though it certainly expresses a low opinion of some of the magazine's recent content. Is there another complaint in the works and does it involve Section 13? I've lost track but you may have to rethink your prediction. -Pogge

That is the whole issue, Pogge. There has been other complaints. It seems that only when Muslims lodged a complaint that section 13 has become an issue.

But please read the following and notice if there will be any criticism of this travesty. I say travesty because a human rights commission is supposed to protect minorities against the abuse and tyranny of the majority, but here we have people from the dominant section of society claiming a "right to equality".


quote:

[b]Fantino asked to attend rights mediation[/b]

TheStar.com - Ontario - Fantino asked to attend rights mediation

April 07, 2008
THE CANADIAN PRESS

Ontario's top-ranking police officer is being pressured to attend an Ontario Human Rights Commission mediation session over an arrest made near a Six Nations occupation that some say shows the police treat aboriginal and non-aboriginal protesters differently.

Since police did not prevent aboriginal flags from flapping in the wind around the site – let alone put an end to the occupation altogether – Vandermaas said his case shows police are enforcing a double-standard.

The complaint is being reviewed by the human rights commission, which has set a mediation meeting for both Vandermaas and Fantino on Oct. 1, and Fantino has 30 days to tell the commission whether he will agree to mediation, documents show.

Neither party is obligated to attend the mediation meeting but will have to be at a "fact finding" meeting to give evidence as part of the commission's ongoing investigation.

After attempts to get the Caledonia occupation investigated by the provincial police, the community safety minister and the province's ombudsman, Vandermaas said the human rights commission investigation is the first time that allegations of two-tier policing are being examined.

[url=http://www.thestar.com/printArticle/411097]The Toronto Star April 9, 2008[/url]


ETA: Sorry, April 7 2008

[ 10 April 2008: Message edited by: sangie ]

pookie

From the Ontario Commission's statement on its acknowledgment that it has no jurisdiction to hear a complaint about a news article:

quote:

Denying a service because of human rights grounds such as race or creed can form the basis for a human rights complaint. However, the Ontario Human Rights Code (the “Code”) does not give the Commission the jurisdiction to deal with the content of magazine articles through the complaints process.

Nevertheless, the Commission has a broader mandate to promote and advance respect for human rights in Ontario, forward the dignity and worth of every Ontarian and take steps to alleviate tension and conflict in the community, including by speaking out on events that are inconsistent with the spirit of the Code.


So, although we have no jurisdiction, we think we have a duty to say that this article sucks.


quote:

While freedom of expression must be recognized as a cornerstone of a functioning democracy, the Commission has serious concerns about the content of a number of articles concerning Muslims that have been published by Maclean’s magazine and other media outlets. This type of media coverage has been identified as contributing to Islamophobia and promoting societal intolerance towards Muslim, Arab and South Asian Canadians. The Commission recognizes and understands the serious harm that such writings cause, both to the targeted communities and society as a whole. And, while we all recognize and promote the inherent value of freedom of expression, it should also be possible to challenge any institution that contributes to the dissemination of destructive, xenophobic opinions.

The Commission intends to further consider these issues in the coming months as it embarks on its new mandate, which places a renewed emphasis on addressing human rights tension and conflict through inquiries, consultation, public education, policy development and constructive debate and dialogue.

...

The Commission is concerned that since the September 2001 attacks, Islamophobic attitudes are becoming more prevalent in society and Muslims are increasingly the target of intolerance, including an unwillingness to consider accommodating some of their religious beliefs and practices.

Unfortunately, the Maclean’s article, and others like it, are examples of this. By portraying Muslims as all sharing the same negative characteristics, including being a threat to ‘the West’, this explicit expression of Islamophobia further perpetuates and promotes prejudice towards Muslims and others. [b] An extreme illustration of this is a “blog” discussion concerning the article that was brought to the attention of the Commission which, among many things, called for the mass killing, deportation or conversion of Muslim Canadians.[/b]


Was this blog operated by McLeans or Steyn? Or are news organizations now to be held to account for blog discussions of their content? Yikes.

quote:

It is often said that with rights come responsibilities. [b]It is the Commission’s view that the media has a responsibility to engage in fair and unbiased journalism. Bias includes both an unfair and one-sided portrayal of an issue [/b] as well as prejudicial attitudes towards individuals and groups based on creed, race, place of origin, ethnic origin and other Code grounds. Freedom of expression should be exercised through responsible reporting and not be used as a guise to target vulnerable groups and to further increase their marginalization or stigmatization in society.



Got that? "Biased journalism" should be the grounds for a human rights complaint.

Wow.

[url=http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/resources/news/en/resources/news/statement]stat...

Cueball Cueball's picture

You need glasses or what:

quote:

An extreme illustration of this is a “blog” discussion concerning the article that was brought to the attention of the Commission which, among many things, called for the mass killing, deportation or conversion of Muslim Canadians.

This is not evidence of "direct harm," caused by the article?

sangie

Pookie;

As a quasi-judicial body, the OHR Commission has no business commenting, once it found it has no jurisdiction.

But it is also a public institution that has an educational and political role. Hence its comments.

pogge

quote:


That is the whole issue, Pogge. There has been other complaints.

I should have been more specific in my post to Cueball. Section 13 is part of the [i]Canadian Human Rights Act[/i]. It's federal and falls under the jurisdiction of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Do provincial bodies [i]ever[/i] get involved in Section 13 actions? As far as I know, there was a complaint at one time concerning Macleans and Steyn in BC but none that involved the federal body.

In any event, the case you've pointed to doesn't look like it involves Section 13 so I'm not sure how it figures into this thread. The complainant is challenging his arrest. And that one is in the opening stages similar to the complaint in Alberta against Levant which ended up being dropped.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Of course it doesn't invoke section 13. Section 13 is devised to censor the internet. It is very specific. What is your point? My point is that there will be no succesful applications against any media outlet that defames Muslim people, at all in the near future in this country, regardless of the venue.

[ 10 April 2008: Message edited by: Cueball ]

sangie

Yes, the BC Commission has a parallel to the federal section 13.

quote:

Related complaints have been filed with the British Columbia Human Rights
Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Hearings have been
scheduled for the BC complaint from June 2 to 6 under s. 7(1) of the BC Human
Rights Code which prohibits publications that subject identifiable communities
to hate. The federal commission is investigating the complaints.

[url=http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/April2008/10/c4240.html]Canada News WIre[/url]

[ 10 April 2008: Message edited by: sangie ]

pogge

quote:


Originally posted by Cueball:
[b]Section 13 is devised to censor the internet. It is very specific.[/b]

quote:

[url=http://www.chrc-ccdp.ca/discrimination/watch_on_hate-en.asp#2]When the Act was enacted in 1977[/url], it was intended to deal with the phenomena of "telephone hate lines". Various groups advertised telephone numbers that could be phoned to hear a pre-recorded message that were often antisemitic and/or white supremacist in nature.

quote:

What is your point?

So far I've tried to offer some news and clarification. And then posed a question where I wasn't sure myself what the situation is. Why do you ask?

[ 10 April 2008: Message edited by: pogge ]

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