This morning I was heartened to read some very strong words coming out of newspapers in Ottawa and Vancouver. It reassures me that I'm not the one living in a Twilight Zone. Other Canadians are as outraged as I am.
Here's a glorious article in the Ottawa Citizen by David Warren. Don't let these key parts escape your attention:
- The truth is no defence, reasonable intention is no defence, nor material harmlessness, there are no rules of evidence, no precedents, nor case law of any kind.
- The commissars running the tribunals need have no legal training, exhibit none, and owe their appointments to networking among leftwing activists.
- This is a news story that should be on the front page of every newspaper in Canada, every day until it is resolved.
- The Left may think they have found the ideal method to silence anyone who challenges their insane, "politically correct" ideas, but have instead created a monster that can as easily eat them next.
- Most of the victims of these neo-Maoist tribunals have been "little people," with nothing like the resources Maclean's magazine has put in play to defend itself and Steyn, and no media reporting whatever. They have been persecuted, stripped of their livelihoods and savings, demonized among their neighbours, made to endure humiliating "re-education" programs - without lawyers, without assistance of any kind -- all for exercising rights that any Canadian would have taken for granted a mere generation ago.
- The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal is murdering its own reputation by putting on trial an offensive article published by Maclean's magazine two years ago.
- No matter how it rules in this case, the tribunal looks like a kangaroo court as a result.
- Our human rights bureaucrats are pushovers and our legislation is so loosey-goosey anybody can complain about anything, and does. And why not? To complain is to win -- the standard is hurt feelings, not actual damage or harm -- and the tribunal may "compensate that person for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect or to any of them."
- As chairwoman MacNaughton has already reminded everyone, the strict rules of evidence do not apply in this Mickey Mouse world.
- Sensitivity is a wonderful thing, but it doesn't trump our constitutional right to free speech: If you don't like Don Rickles, sarcasm or being insulted, develop thicker skin or stay home.