Written by Paul Fromm
Thursday, 02 July 2009 07:22
Montreal Gazette Slams Internet Censorship & Demands Repeal of Sec.
13 Rights
commission threatens our liberty
The GazettePublished: 21 hours ago

The Canadian Human Rights Commission appears to have learned little from its
adventures of the last few years. In its latest report to Parliament it
stubbornly defends its authority to police the Internet - or any other
electronic medium - for opinions that are "likely to" expose people to
hatred or contempt.

This is, as we have said previously in this space, an unacceptable assault
on free speech.

With frightening eagerness to rein in Canadians' free expression, the
commission finds the authority to restrict honest opinion in Section 13 of
the Human Rights Act, a notoriously vague bit of legal writing that forbids
transmissions "likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt."
The subjective power of that "likely to" makes everyone vulnerable to
bureaucratic whim, malice, or distemper.
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The section was designed to protect people - especially members of minority
groups - from any kind of hateful telecommunication messages. That was later
expanded to include the Internet, and as just about every organization of
any size has a Web presence now, that means that the commission can police
just about everyone, from newspaper columnists to Christian parsons.
Ironically, it could even include the commission itself, which published its
report on its website, complete with a verbatim citation from a telephone
message it had ruled to be hateful. The horror!

The report does ask Parliament to define hatred and contempt more clearly,
which could be an improvement. But the definition the report favours is the
woolly-minded one the Supreme Court read into the Human Rights Act 18 years
ago. The Supremes ruled that expressions of "unusually strong and deep-felt
emotions of detestation, calumny, and vilification" that are "ardent and
extreme" are not protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedom. In other
words, the commissioners are to judge not just the content of questionable
transmissions but the mental state of the transmitters.

The report does make suitable noises about freedom of expression being a
fundamental right and the commission not wanting to limit the rough and
tumble of democratic debate. But then it says that every citizen has the
right "to be treated with equality, dignity and respect," not just by the
state but by everyone - a frighteningly vague notion.

The report also asks for an amendment to the act that would allow it to
dismiss quickly any complaint it deems trivial or unfounded. That would have
saved it the embarrassment of having to rule on complaints against Maclean's
magazine columnist Mark Steyn and journalist Ezra Levant.

But it would be far better for Parliament simply to repeal Section 13, and
leave the question of hate speech to the criminal courts where it belongs -
if it belongs anywhere. If a citizen's liberties are to be threatened, that
citizen deserves the full protection of the law.

The commission likes to cite a Supreme Court decision that ruled its
speech-limiting powers constitutional. But that decision was simply
permissive, not obligatory. A courageous Parliament would ignore it and rein
in the commission.

© The Gazette (Montreal) 2009
Written by Paul Fromm
Tuesday, 23 June 2009 08:27
*Protest to Support Mother of Children Seized Because of Her White
Nationalist Politics*

Supporters of the Canadian Association for Free
Expression will hold a protest outside Family Court [408 York Street]] in
Winnipeg tomorrow morning (June 23) at 9:15 to support efforts of a 26-year
old Winnipeg mother trying to regain custody of her children. The children
-- a girl 8 and a boy 3 -- were seized by Manitoba Family Services in March
of 2008 after the girl came to school with a swastika painted in magic
marker on her wrist. Manitoba Family Services is seeking permanent custody
of the children alleging that the political views of their parents may cause
them emotional harm.

"This case is a scandal," says Paul Fromm, Director of
the Canadian Association for Free Expression. "I call this state kidnapping
of the children of dissidents."

"Absent serious physical abuse, parents have the right
to have and raise their children. Sadly, this is not the first time people
with unpopular religious or political views have had their children taken
away from them in this country," Fromm added from CAFE's office in Rexdale,

"Because she wanted family services to communicate
through her then lawyer, the mother has been denied visiting rights to the
children since February," Fromm explained." How can separating emotionally
vulnerable children from their natural parents possibly be in the children's
best interests? he asks.

"The young mother is penniless and can no longer
afford legal counsel," Fromm said. "Her supporters provided her with bus
fare to return to Winnipeg to fight for custody of her children," he added.

CAFE has raised money for and provided advice to the
young mother who cannot be named by court order.

- ---30--

Contact Paul Fromm, Director,
Canadian Association for Free Expression,
P.O. Box 332,
Rexdale, ON, M9W 5L3

905-278-2413 fax
Written by Paul Fromm
Tuesday, 23 June 2009 08:26
*Montreal Prof. Quits Green Party In Protest Over Richard Warman*

Dear Elizabeth May,

I hereby, and reluctantly, resign from the Green Party of Canada.

On the one hand, I admire and support you personally as leader of the Green

However, I am a fervent advocate of "...freedom of thought, belief, opinion
and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of

I.e., as long as it's not libelous and is "fair comment". In my opinion, in
this regard Canada is now governed by a double standard according to
"political correctness" and according to which ethnic group one belongs to.

Thus, I absolutely can not support a party who presents *Richard Warman* as
a candidate:

Blogger and former magazine publisher Ezra Levant who is being sued by
Warman and others for libel has argued that Warman's actions as a plaintiff
before the Canadian Human Rights Commissions are tantamount to censorship in
the name of human rights.[34][35] Warman is also suing Jonathan Kay and the
National Post, the operators of Free Dominion and several bloggers for
defamation in relation to comments made about him and his complaints to the
Commission. Levant says these "nuisance suit[s]" are part of Warman's
"maximum disruption" policy.[36]

Maclean's which had been the subject of an unrelated human rights complaint
concerning hate speech has reported that "Richard Warman says he's fighting
hate. Critics say free speech is the real victim." That article included
commentary or allegations that:

...[T]he slam-dunk quality to Warman's Section 13 cases are a cause for
worry, symbolizing the drift of human rights commissions into the boggy
territory of covert investigation and speech control. Those concerns
deepened two weeks ago with revelations that, for a time, Warman was acting
both as a complainant and an investigator at the commission. Even after he
left in 2004, he seemed to enjoy easy access to commission offices, stopping
by to chat with staff or get documents printed. ... Of the fact Warman and
investigators were going online undercover, [Keith] Martin says simply:
"That's appalling."[37]

The CHRT criticized Warman in March 2009 for having posted pseudonymously —
using the names Axetogrind and Pogue Mahone — to neo-Nazi sites such as
Stormfront and Vanguard News Network, as if in agreement with racist and
antisemitic messages posted there. In one post, in response to a comment in
January 2005 about American neo-Nazi leader Jeff Schoep, Warman wrote, "Keep
up the good work Commander Schoep!". The CHRT ruled that Warman's posts,
which he initially denied were his, could have precipitated further hate
messages from forum members, and that he had undermined his credibility. In
his defence, Warman said his posts had helped him identify members of the
neo-Nazi movement, and that at the time there was no "road map" for such
investigations. "With hindsight, he said, "things might have been done
differently today."[38][39]

[edit] Political activism

Warman ran as a Green Party of Canada candidate in the 1997 federal election
in the Windsor West riding, and in the 2000 federal election in
Ottawa—Orléans, placing fifth on both occasions.[40] He ran as the Green
Party of Ontario candidate in the 1995 Ontario provincial election in Simcoe
Centre, placing fifth, and in 1999 in Ottawa West—Nepean, placing


Yours sincerely,

Anthony Hilton
Montreal, Québec

Anthony Hilton

Assoc. Prof. of Psychology (ret.)

Concordia University

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