Doug Collins on Reds Riot in Vancouver
I said there was a lot of talk about hate groups these days, and that
the law-abiding Free Speech League has been described that way. But if
anyone wanted to see hate in action, they had only to be present tonight
in the Vancouver Public Library.
I described the rioters as B.C. Attorney General Ujjal Dosanjh's shock
troops - Red Fascists whose aim was to terrify people into staying away
from the library.
Why the A.G.'s shock troops? Because the chief organizer of this riot
was Alan Dutton of CAERS, the Canadian Anti-Racism and Research Society,
which should more properly be called the Anti-Free Speech League. Dutton
is a communist and receives government grants through the Multiculturalism
and Immigration Community Liaison Branch of about $100,000 a year, a unit
controlled by Dosanjh. So far this year, Dutton has been given $92,000. Last
year it was about $99,000. In the three years up to 1996 he got $741,000 from
all government sources, federal as well as provincial. I said it was disgraceful
that taxpayers should be forced to subsidize such a man, for this was not the
first time he had prevented people from
speaking. He even boasts about
Dutton does physically what the NDP government does by other means.
It was interesting, I said, that while Dutton directs his Red Fascists,
the Attorney General is trying to quash my application for a judicial review
of the Human Rights Code, which in effect is an appeal designed to render
ultra vires a law that totalitarians would approve of. Dutton and Dosanjh
move in symbiotic tandem.
The Code is a blatant attempt to censor free speech and a free press,
and has been described as such by the B.C. Press Council, whose counsel
has stated that the law "is an attempt to stifle speech that is not
criminal". I showed the audience a front page newspaper headline of
June 24, 1993, which read: "B.C. ends free speech guarantee."
- In a tribunal hearing, the truth is no defence.
- There is no appeal within the framework of the Act. All that a victim
of this legislation can do, is to apply to the courts for a judicial review,
which is expensive.
- Artistic and academic work is no defence.
- The tribunal's adjudicator is judge, jury and prosecutor.
- Complainants get legal aid, no matter how wealthy they are. If Bill
Gates were to make a complaint, he could get legal aid. The target of the
complaint does not, unless is he is a pauper. The North Shore News was
forced to spend $203,000 defending me in my first tribunal, and it was
money down the drain even though I was acquitted of spreading hatred. The
verdict might have been different, but the adjudicator knew quite well
that a guilty verdict would have led to a judicial review in which it would
be shown that the B.C. law is unconstitutional. Nevertheless, she took
the opportunity of describing the Hollywood Propaganda column as "mean-spirited"
and "anti-Semitic" (but obviously not anti-Semitic enough to
warrant a guilty verdict).
To repeat, costs are not recoverable. which means that newspaper publishers
are not lightly going to risk having complaints laid against their writers.
I told the audience that the law is a Heresy Act and a Censorship Law.
It states: �No person shall publish, issue or display or cause to be published
issued or displayed any statement or publication, notice, sign, symbol,
emblem or other representation that �indicates discrimination or an intention
to discriminate against a person or a group or class of persons, or is
likely to expose a person or a group of persons to hatred or contempt:
No proof of actual harm is necessary. "Likely" is good enough.
It is clear that anyone who tells a Newfie joke could be hauled before
a tribunal for exposing Newfoundlanders to "hatred or contempt".
As stated, I have been named before two tribunals. I refused to appear
before the second one, however, describing it as a kangaroo court.
The complaint in the second case was lodged by Harry Abrams of the Victoria
branch of B'Nai Brith. It involved four columns, including "Hollywood
Propaganda", which had been dismissed by the previous tribunal. Clearly,
the rights maniacs have never heard of something called double jeopardy.
The adjudicator fined the North Shore News and me $2,000, ordered the
newspaper to print his reasons for judgment (which no ordinary court could
do, and is a direct interference with freedom of the press ) and instructed
me not to write anything that might annoy Jews in future, which amounts
to prior restraint. As I told the audience - those who managed to get past
the leftist lunatics, that is, - I have marched on regardless.
Interestingly, he in effect admitted that the columns were not hate
"Individually, the columns do not express hatred or contempt.,
but collectively they do."
I described that as a neat piece of politically correct alchemy.
As I told the audience, I have marched on regardless.
To the accompaniment of an incredible din, I read out part of the Press
Council statement on the decision made by the second tribunal.
�The B.C. Press Council Wednesday issued a statement deploring the decision
of the Human Rights Tribunal in the Doug Collins case, saying it appears
to be the first time in Canadian history that a government-appointed tribunal
such as this has convicted a newspaper and its columnist of violating content
standards set by a legislature.
�The Council maintains the position it has held since 1993, namely that
the speech restriction in the revised code are an unjustified violation
of the principle of freedom of the press.�
The Press Council has also stated that the B.C. Human Rights Code is
the most significant legislative infringement of press freedom in the history
of B.C., and that nothing like it has been seen since the Province entered
Confederation in 1871.
The Hollywood Propaganda column did not say that the Holocaust as such
was propaganda. It referred to the fact that "Schindler's List"
must have been the 555th. movie or TV feature on the same subject - a never
ending stream - and that I was tired of hate literature in the form of
After the Canadian Jewish Congress had stated it was pondering legal
action against me, I wrote a second column in which I said that I too was
pondering, but not pandering. And certainly not to the CJC.
I pointed out, too, that if I had been writing hate literature I would
have been prosecuted under the federal hate laws, which makes such stuff
a criminal offence.
Why the speech-restricting Code? Here I turned to the statement by the
Human Rights Commission lawyer at the first tribunal, who declared: "The
criminal standard of proof (under the federal hate laws) makes enforcement
of the hate laws difficult." In other words, they need their own,
catch-all (and unconstitutional) law .
Cabinet minister Corky Evans said, "we need this law because the
courts don't always do what we want them to do."
Mike Harcourt, who was premier when the Rights Act was changed to eliminate
the free speech guarantee, stated:
"We can have liberty as long as it doesn't offend anyone!"
Compare such rubbish, I said, with statements make by Americans defending
the speech-guaranteeing First Amendment:
Oliver Wendell Holmes: "Freedom of speech involves the right to
think the unthinkable, discuss the unmentionable, and challenge the unchallengeable."
Judge Robert Warren: "The suppression of speech, even where it
has little value and great costs, amounts to government thought control."
What is free speech? As George Orwell told his critics in the 1940s:
"Free speech is my right to say what you don't want to hear."
There was more , but it will probably have to wait for a book. The fight
will go on, I said, and we must win. If we don't, say goodbye to whatever
remains of free speech in the True North.
My E-Mail address is [email protected]
And if you want my book _Here We Go Again!,_ which contains 100 columns
including the offending ones and many others like them, get in touch with
me and I will give you the requisite address. The book costs $18.95 post