The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Long War Against Free Speech in Canada

Five years ago, the Conservative Party of Canada was elected to a minority government and its leader Stephen Harper became the twenty-second Prime Minister of Canada. Many conservative Canadians, including this writer, hoped that a Conservative government might do something to reverse the loss of free speech that has taken place in our country over the last few decades beginning with the Liberal premiership of Pierre Eliot Trudeau. Such hopes were quickly dashed to pieces. In Harper’s years as Prime Minister with a minority government he made no attempt to curb the threat to our freedom of thought and speech posed by the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Instead, as we will see, he made the problem worse.

Some Canadian conservatives, loyal to Harper, believed that this was only because of his minority position. If he ever achieved a majority government, they argued, he would govern according to conservative principles and the threat of the Canadian Human Rights Commission would be ended once and for all. On May 2, 2011, Stephen Harper achieved his majority government. In his campaign, he promised that within 100 days of his election, he would see passed an Omnibus Crime Bill. This Bill contains legislation aimed at eliminating “house arrest” as a soft-option penalty for serious crimes, establishing stricter sentences including mandatory jail time for certain offences, and basically making it easier for the police to do their jobs. Hidden within this Bill, however, are laws which pose a serious threat to whatever remaining freedom of thought and speech, Canadians have left.

One of those laws, for example, if passed will make everybody who posts a link on the internet responsible for the content of the site to which they have linked. If the site contains an article that is deemed to be “hate speech” by the absurd and draconian laws against “hate” that the Liberal Party saddled us with, then you will be guilty of a hate crime for linking to the site, even if you linked to a different article.

We will shortly take a look at how Canada arrived at this place. First, however, we need to be clear on what free speech is and why it is important.


Some people seem to think that free speech means “the right to say anything you want, anywhere you want, at any time you want, under any possible circumstances”. They then point out that there are laws limiting such a right which nobody ever objects to, such as laws against yelling “Fire” in a crowded theatre. They reason, therefore, that if we do not object to laws of that nature, we should have no objection to laws limiting free speech in another way, by for example outlawing the distribution of “hate speech” on the internet.

Other people seem to think that free speech means “the right to disrupt other people’s lives”. Suppose for example, that a psychologist who has written a controversial paper about how the influence of the hereditary g’ factor on the gap between racial averages on IQ test scores is invited to lecture at a university. A left-wing professor who opposes the lecture talks to the leader of an organization of student radicals and they decide to stage a protest. They protest in such a way that many people, including the speaker himself, are prevented from entering the auditorium. Many progressives would refer to the thuggish actions of the protestors as “an expression of their freedom of speech”, even though they have prevented a speaker from giving a lecture he was invited to give to people who wanted to hear what he had to say.

Both of these concepts of “free speech” are erroneous. Free speech, is a person’s legal right to verbally express his thoughts to those without being penalized by the law for the content of those thoughts. It is a legal protection of an even more basic freedom – the freedom of thought. Freedom of thought is your freedom to think your own thoughts, form your own opinions, and to hear the opinions of others and form your own judgment as to who is right and who is wrong.

Freedom of speech/thought does not mean that one person’s ideas are just as good and just as authoritative as any other person’s. The views of a man who is an expert in physics, for example, are more authoritative when he is speaking in his field of expertise than the views of a man who has never studied physics but is an expert landscape painter. An intelligent audience, seeking to be informed about physics, would consider the lecture of the physics expert as having more weight than the lecture of the landscape painter, even prior to hearing both lectures.

It does mean that if the landscape painter has formulated a theory about physics he should be allowed to present it to anyone willing to listen – and they are also free to laugh him to scorn and listen to the physicist instead.

Laws against yelling “fire” in a crowded theatre are not limitations on freedom of speech as I have defined it. Such laws do not penalize anyone for holding or expressing a particular point of view. Instead they penalize an act of mischief. The act of yelling “fire” in a crowded theatre is likely to start a panic, in which a mob in a hurry to leave the room through its tiny exists, may hurt or even kill somebody.

At this point, the supporter of laws against “hate speech” might jump in and say “That is what hate speech laws do. They penalize people for spreading propaganda which can result in members of vulnerable groups in our society being harmed or killed”.

This, however, is a load of codswallop.

Laws against “hate speech” are never limited to threats of violence, calls to violence, or other such incendiary talk. Section 13.1 of the Canadian Human Rights Act reads:

It is a discriminatory practice for a person or a group of persons acting in concert to communicate telephonically or to cause to be so communicated, repeatedly, in whole or in part by means of the facilities of a telecommunication undertaking within the legislative authority of Parliament, any matter that is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt by reason of the fact that that person or those persons are identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.

Note especially the highlighted portion of the text. The “matter” communicated does not have to include the advocacy of criminal violence. Nor does it have to actually expose a single person to criminal violence in order to be proscribed by this law. It does not even have to actually expose a single person to the stated “hatred or contempt”. It only has to be “like to” to do so. The question of what constitutes being “likely to” is left up to the adjudicating body.

The matter in question does not even have to be demonstrably false to qualify as “hate speech” under Section 13.1. This is what the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in Canadian Human Rights Commission v. John Ross Taylor in 1990. The law only addressed adversity, therefore truth is no defence.

Laws of this nature are not used to prevent criminal violence to “vulnerable” minorities. They are used to establish a secular orthodoxy of official egalitarianism about race, sex, religion, language, ethnicity, and sexual orientation and to suppress viewpoints which conflict with that orthodoxy.

“Hate Speech” and Free Speech in post 9/11 Canada

Section 13.1 is currently in a state of legal limbo, although other “hate speech” laws across the country, including the provisions added by the Trudeau government to the Criminal Code remain in effect. To understand how this came about we need to look back over the developments of the last ten years.

The September 11, 2001 attack by Al Qaeda upon the United States of America affected the countries of North America and the world in general in many ways. As the American and Canadian governments passed new anti-terrorism legislation the tension between the need for effective national security against terrorist attacks and the rights, liberties, and privacy of law-abiding citizens came into focus and became a matter of debate. Back in 1992 the late Harvard political scientist Samuel P. Huntington had identified the “clash of the civilizations” as the source of regional and global conflict following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the arms race and the Cold War. 9/11 and the military response on the part of the United States and its coalition of allies made this “clash of the civilizations” real to people in way it had not previously been.

In this context, it was inevitable that discussion would arise about Islam, how it differs from Christianity and Judaism, and how Islamic culture differs from Western culture, and what the historic relationship has been between the Islamic world and the Western world. (1) The wisdom of the reigning liberal orthodoxy on immigration and multiculturalism was seriously called into question and the fundamental contradiction inherent in the progressive view of multicultural tolerance became apparent to many.

In a controversy that began in September of 2005 this contradiction was made manifest when the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published a number of editorial cartoons which featured the founder of Islam, Mohammed in a less-than-positive light. Needless to say the joke was not appreciated by Muslims and many protests and riots broke out as a result. All of a sudden the contradiction within progressivism was laid bare. Progressives had been actively encouraging large-scale immigration to Western countries in the hopes of creating secular, pluralistic, multicultural societies in the naïve dream that such societies would be harmonious and peaceful. Then they discovered that their secular, pluralistic, tolerant values were not shared by many of the immigrants whose importation they had been cheerleading.

The Jyllands-Posten cartoons were republished in several newspapers and magazines throughout the Western world as a statement of commitment to freedom of speech in defiance of Islamic attempts at intimidation. One such publisher was Canada’s Ezra Levant (2).

Ezra Levant, a lawyer from Alberta, had founded a magazine called the Western Standard in 2004, to fill the gap that had been created by the folding of the conservative Report Newsmagazine (the last incarnation of the publication better known as the Alberta Report or Western Report). In his February 27, 2006 issue Levant reprinted the Jyllands-Posten cartoons on pages 15-16 along with an article by Kevin Steel that criticized the North American media for having capitulated on freedom of the press with regards to these cartoons in marked contrast to their defense of the freedom of expression of everyone who mocks Western beliefs and culture.

A complaint was launched against Levant and the Western Standard before the Alberta Human Rights Commission, the Alberta provincial equivalent of the CHRC, by a number of Muslim organizations. Levant vigorously fought back, even going so far as to record his interview with the Human Rights investigator and post it to YouTube.

Meanwhile, the same year that Ezra Levant republished those cartoons the book America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It was published by Regnery Publishing in the United States. The author of this book was Mark Steyn, a well-known Canadian-born conservative writer who has been widely published in periodicals in Canada, the UK, and the United States. The book quickly became a best-seller.

In October of 2006, Maclean’s magazine ran an article entitled “The future belongs to Islam” which was an excerpt from Steyn’s book. The article was about the implications of the demographics of the Muslim world for the West. The Canadian Islamic Congress filed a complaint against Maclean’s with the Ontario Human Rights Commission the following year, as well as with the federal and the BC Human Rights Commissions. Several other pieces by Steyn were also brought up in the complaint.

These cases generated a lot of bad publicity for the Human Rights Commissions because they brought to public attention the state to which free speech had fallen in Canada. The problem, as we will see, goes back to the 70’s but the Canadian media had largely refused to discuss it following the 80’s (the various versions of the Alberta Report being virtually the only exception). In this case, because the victims of the Human Rights Commissions were major publishers and writers, the media woke up and took notice. Eventually these complaints were withdrawn, dropped, or dismissed.

In the process of the reporting on these cases attention was brought to another case, that of Marc Lemire. Lemire was, among other things, the webmaster of the Freedom Site, a website he had started back in the 90’s. Lemire’s site was highly critical of multiculturalism and liberal immigration from what could be described as a “white nationalist” (3) perspective. His site was bulletin board style website to which people could post messages. Richard Warman filed a complaint against him with the Canadian Human Rights Commission under section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal began to hear the case roughly around the same time that the Levant and Maclean’s cases were making news. Lemire, who like Levant and Maclean’s was not the kind of person to take this sort of thing quietly, had filed a challenge to the very constitutionality of Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, long before his own case was finally heard.

In the course of the Lemire hearings, all sorts of scandalous things about the way in which the Canadian Human Rights Commission operated were brought to light, which Levant, Steyn and a number of courageous conservative bloggers did their best to make known to the Canadian public.

Ultimately, the case against Lemire was dismissed. The decision was made on September 2, 2009 by Athanasios Hadjis, chairman of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, who dismissed all of the charges against Lemire but one, and on that one ruled that a violation of Section 13 had taken place, but that in his opinion Section 13 was unconstitutional. Hadjis does not have the judicial standing to actually strike something out of law, and the CHRC filed an appeal against this decision. This has left Section 13 in limbo.

Libel Law and Freedom of Speech

Section 13 was not, unfortunately, the only tool available for those who wish to punish other people for the words that they say. Our libel laws have also been available for that purpose.

The term libel refers to defamation that is written (as opposed to slander which is defamation that is communicated orally). Defamation is when you communicate something about someone else with the intent of harming their reputation so as to lower their social status and/or destroy their business or career. Canada’s defamation laws are sorely in need of revision.

First, the definition of defamation needs to be revised so that it only applies to demonstrably false statements where it can also be shown that the person making the statement knew the statement to be false at the time. As our defamation laws currently stand a person can be punished for telling the truth if the truth happens to reflect negatively on someone else. That is a situation that should be unacceptable in a country that values personal liberty. In criminal law, the English-speaking world has long had a concept of justice in it is considered to be far worse to use the law to do a positive injustice to a defendant than to fail to give justice to a complainant by freeing a guilty defendant. There is absolutely no reason why this should not hold true for defamation as well.

As mentioned above, when the Human Rights complaints against Levant and Steyn were in the news, these writers and many conservative bloggers reported on proceedings of the Warman v. Lemire case. Much of this cast the CHRC, and the complainant, a lawyer and political activist who was at one time an employee of the CHRC and had subsequently become the principal section 13 complainant, in a particularly bad light.

In addition to filing section 13 complaints, Warman has over the years filed a number of libel suits against his critics. The defendants of these suits have included David Icke, the British author and New Age conspiracy theorist and Paul Fromm the director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression. He launched a libel suit against Jonathan Kay and the National Post over one allegation that the newspaper reported out of the Warman V. Lemire case and against several bloggers who also reported on the story, including Ezra Levant. Mark and Connie Fournier, the founders of Free Dominion, a small-c conservative message board are also among the defendants in that case. They are also being sued by Warman in a libel case that features eight “John Does”, i.e., people who post under a pseudonym at FreeDominion. Warman has demanded that the Fourniers turn over the identities of the “John Does” to him. These cases are still in the courts and the Fourniers are bravely standing their ground.

One hopes that Levant, the Fourniers, and the other bloggers who are being sued will win their cases. The process of defending themselves against, however, is incredibly expensive. It is itself, as others have pointed out, a punishment.

What is desperately needed is an overhaul of Canadian libel law that prevents abuses such as this from taking place.

Instead, Stephen Harper is smuggling in a piece of legislation that will make them easier.

How Did We Get Here?

The Right Honorable John G. Diefenbaker, the last Canadian Prime Minister who was a decent human being and not either a crook or a traitor to the traditions upon which Canada was built, in a lecture delivered to the Empire Club of Toronto, on March 9, 1972 said:

Thirty-two years ago I came into the House of Commons, and even though we were in the darkest days of war Members by their speeches brought about change. No one was then a “bigot” because he disagreed with the Government. (4)

That changed considerably in the premiership of the two Prime Ministers that followed Diefenbaker. The Prime Minister in power at the time he gave that speech, Pierre Trudeau, would become famous for accusing his critics, especially in Western Canada, of being bigots. The establishment media would quickly come to follow his example.

When Diefenbaker spoke those words, the first steps in the erosion of freedom of speech in Canada had already been taken. The Liberal Party’s new media-backed strategy of accusing their opponents of racism was only a miniscule part of it. The first legislation, making it illegal to communicate “hate propaganda” had already been passed.

The legislation in question was not Section 13, the problems with the wording of which we have already looked at. Section 13 was only a few short years away, but the first “hate speech” provisions were what are now Sections 318-320 of the Criminal Code of Canada. The first of these makes it a criminal offense to advocate genocide. The second of these prohibits the public communication of statements that incite hatred in a place where it is likely to result in a breach of the peace and the communication of statements other than in private conversation which “wilfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group”. Section 320 prohibits the written equivalent of what is verbally prohibited in the previous two sections and allows for such material to be seized.

Although these sections are more responsibly worded than Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act - truth is clearly stated as a defense in Section 319, for example – there was no compelling need for these provisions to be added to the law. Laws against inciting violence and other criminal behavior were already in place and anything that is covered in Sections 318-320 that should be illegal was already covered under such provisions. “Hate speech” laws are seldom passed in order to address a real problem. They are passed in order to limit public discussion of certain topics and to thereby enforce a civil orthodoxy with regards to those topics.

Auberon Waugh, writing with regards to the British equivalent of such laws, explained their stupidity many years ago:

Long before the passing of the Race Relations Act there were perfectly adequate laws against public conduct or language likely to cause a breach of the peace. They [The National Front] may well be a nasty, boring and humourless collection of fanatics, but I have never seen that there was anything more wicked about race hatred than there is about class hatred or religious hatred or the peculiarly intense and inexplicable hatred which my dear wife feels for Jimmy Connors, the tennis player. They are all part of the rich panorama of life. If I forbade my wife to express her true feelings for Jimmy Connors, I have no doubt they would fester inside her, creating little black eddies of resentment and paranoia which would eventually burst out in some hideous drama on the Centre Court at Wimbledon when Connors would expire, coughing blood, in front of the television cameras, with a lady’s parasol sticking between his ribs; public subscriptions would create a Jimmy Connors Memorial Trust and we would be stuck with a hideous modern stature of the young man somewhere on those green and pleasant lawns. So, wisely, I let her have her say. (5)

The government had been under pressure from various organizations to pass hate speech laws for quite some time. In the 1960’s, Lester Pearson had instructed Justice Minister Guy Favreau to appoint a Special Committee on Hate Propaganda. Maxwell Cohen, the Dean of the Faculty of Law in McGill University, was appointed to chair the committee and Pierre Trudeau, the future Prime Minister sat on the committee which gave its report in 1966. It was on the basis of the recommendations of that report that these provisions against the advocacy of genocide and the communication of hatred were added to the Criminal Code in 1970.

The relatively responsible way in which these laws were written made it less easy to abuse them. They therefore failed to satisfy the sort of people who wanted such laws passed in the first place. This is what created the pressure for what would become Section 13.

In 1977, the Trudeau government passed the Canadian Human Rights Act. The Canadian Human Rights Act is considered to be part of civil law rather than criminal law in Canada. Therefore, a complainant need only meet the standard of proof in civil court which is considerably less than the “beyond reasonable doubt” standard of criminal law. A defendant is not guaranteed counsel and there is no process for recovering expenses even if he wins. The system is stacked against him and the government has added unreasonably high penalties for CHRA offenses.

Section 13 was brought in to the CHRA, largely through the efforts of one man, F.W. Callaghan, who had been the deputy attorney general in Ontario, and would later become Chief Justice of the Ontario Court. F. W. Callaghan wished to prosecute John Ross Taylor, an old man who had supported the fascists and Nazis in the 20’s and 30’s and had not seen fit to change his views when those parties were defeated and discredited in World War II. At the time he was using a telephone answering machine to communicate his ideas on various topics to the public. Callaghan found it unacceptable that he should be allowed to leave messages on his answering machine for the 5 or 6 people in Canada who actually bothered to call his number (most, if not all, of whom would have been government agents) and found the limitations of the existing laws so frustrating that he wrote to the federal government and asked them to bring in a civil law statute against “hate speech” that would be easier to use to shut Taylor up with than the existing criminal code provisions.

Taylor was charged under Section 13 and it was in the Supreme Court’s final decision of his case in 1990 that truth was ruled not to be a defence. Subsequently, additions would be added to Section 13 that allowed it to be applied to the internet.

Before the Supreme Court passed its decision in the Taylor case, however, two other free speech cases made nation-wide headlines. These were the cases of James Keegstra and Ernst Zündel. The former was a high school teacher and the mayor of Eckville, Alberta. He was charged under the Criminal Code provisions against hate propaganda. Zündel had been born in Germany around the start of WWII and moved to Canada in the late 50’s where he became a graphic artist and printer by profession. He was charged under an old law against “spreading false news”.

What brought upon these charges? Both men promoted, Keegstra in his classroom, and Zündel in pamphlets produced by his Samisdat Publishers, the holocaust revisionist theory of WWII.

What is that?

Called “holocaust denial” by its opponents, it is the view that contrary to standard history texts, Nazi Germany had no systematic plans to exterminate the Jewish people, that the Jews who died in the Nazi camps in WWII numbered in the hundreds of thousands rather than millions, that they died primarily from typhus and other diseases brought about by concentration camp victims, and that the gas chambers found in Auschwitz and the other camps were used to delouse clothing rather than to kill people. (6)

While we can perhaps see why someone might be offended by these views it is not at all clear why they should be criminalized. They are a take, albeit perhaps a crazy one, on what happened in the past. There is nothing within those views that demands violence against any person or group.

Someone at this point might interject and say “If these laws are only being used against unrepentant Nazis like Taylor and guys who promote crazy theories like Keegstra and Zündel, who cares?”

The answer is: we all should.

Pastor Martin Niemöller, imprisoned by the Nazis in 1937, in a famous poem said:

First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

A similar poem could be written about Canada, but it would have to begin

First they came for the nazis,
And I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a nazi.

This sort of thing began with John Ross Taylor. It did not end with him. By the end of first decade of the 21st century, even Maclean’s, a long-standing Canadian institution, a mainstream weekly publication, was regarded as a fair target for these insane laws. There is a direct line of precedent leading from the Taylor case to the Maclean’s case.

Why should we punish and seek to destroy personally men who hold strange beliefs about history? We don’t do this with people who question the official version of the JFK assassination. We don’t do this with people who question the official version of 9/11. We don’t do this with people who attribute every war of the last century to causes other than the officially stated ones. We don’t do this with people who think the moon landing was faked. Perhaps there are some people think we should, but we should not be listening to those people.

Neither should we be punishing people for calling the standard history of the holocaust into question.

James Keesgtra was found guilty and fined $5000. Upon appeal, his conviction was upheld, but the sentence was reduced.

Ernst Zündel was also convicted in 1985, had his conviction overturned, and was then charged and convicted again. The Supreme Court upon appeal, struck down the law under which he had been convicted. In the late 90’s he was charged again, over the content of his website. He ended up leaving Canada for the United States where his wife was a citizen. American immigration officials arrested him in 2003 and sent him back here where he was held in custody and absurdly charged with being a threat to the state. We deported him to Germany in 2005, at which point he was arrested by the Germans, charged with a hate crime there (for his words over here) and given a five year prison sentence.

We ought to be thoroughly ashamed of ourselves for all of this. Whatever his views are Zündel committed no violent acts against other people while he was in our country and was subjected a number of times to violence from progressive, anti-racist, terrorists who even went so far as to bomb his house.

After the 1980’s, the Canadian media stopped doing serious reporting on cases like this. The men who had fought against the oppression of “hate speech” laws from the very beginning, men like Doug Collins who was a columnist for the North Shore News in BC (7), Doug Christie who was the lawyer for Keegstra and Zündel and a number of other people who fell victim to these kind of laws (8), and Paul Fromm the founder and director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression (9), were villainized by the mainstream press and would have to pay a tremendous cost for standing up for those whom nobody else would stand up for.

Why is Harper Adding to the Problem?

The reason why the Pearson/Trudeau Liberals brought in these laws is fairly simple. Apart from demands from certain organizations that wanted hate propaganda laws for their own interests, and demands from prosecutors like Callaghan, Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau had a vision for Canada. They wanted to get rid of traditional English Canada, with its British loyalties, symbols, and royalism. They also didn’t think much of traditional French Canada with its ultra-conservative Roman Catholicism. They wished to replace both with a new Canada that would exist in a new, closer relationship with the United States of America. They wanted to create a new Canadian identity that would be able to survive in this new alignment. They believed that identity would have to transcend traditional English and French Canada. They wanted a unified Canada, that was not divided into English and French, but was both English and French at the same time.

They had a unique opportunity in that WWII had brought about the collapse of British power and the rise of American power, which weakened traditional English Canada considerably. Quebec was entering the “Quiet Revolution” that would weaken the hold of Catholicism on the province. Hence they stripped Canada of as many of its traditional symbols as possible replacing them with new ones, falsifying the history of the country in the process, and brought in new official doctrines of “bilingualism” and “multiculturalism”. They also started bringing in immigrants from non-traditional source countries by the thousands in order to break up the established communities and cultures of English and French Canada.

Now, most people in English and French Canada did not want this. They opposed the mass immigration. They did not want to give up their traditional identities. By accusing their critics of racism, and then passing laws which made racism potentially subject to severe punishment, the Liberals were able to intimidate many of their critics.

So why is Stephen Harper going along with it? Why is he seeking to pass legislation which will punish you, not just for what you say, but for what other people say as well?

I don’t have an answer to that question although I certainly wish I did. I do know that Harper and his Immigration Minister Jason Kenney have shown little interest in free speech over the years.

A couple of years ago they banned UK Labour Minister George Galloway from entering the country. The reason they gave was that he was supposedly connected to terrorists. That reason was absurd however. They based it upon a humanitarian trip he had made to deliver aid to the Gaza Strip. It is an insult to Canadians intelligence to try and tell us that a man is a threat to national security because he delivered medical supplies to suffering people in a region governed by Hamas.

Then earlier this year Kenney’s ministry barred Dr. Srdja Trifkovic from Canada when he had been invited to speak in BC. A Bosnian Muslim organization had complained, and again Kenney came up with an absurd-on-the-face trumped up excuse for banning him from the country.

Neither speaker posed a threat to the security of Canada. Both had people here who wanted to hear them speak. They were controversial speakers, however, albeit from opposite sides of the political spectrum. Both had groups that wished to prevent them from speaking and Harper and Kenney have shown themselves to be all too willing to accommodate such groups.

Now that Harper has a majority government will any of his MPs finally stand up and confront him on this, and demand that the government restore freedom of speech in Canada, rather than doing more to take it away?

Let us hope and pray that they will.

(1) It would sidetrack this essay too much to fully discuss these subjects here. I refer you to Dr. Srdja Trifkovic’s The Sword of the Prophet: Islam - History, Theology, Impact on the World (Regina Orthodox Press: Boston, MA, 2002) for an excellent discussion of these matters.

(2) Much important information about the behavior of the human rights tribunals in Canada is to be found in Ezra Levant’s Shakedown: How Our Government Is Undermining Democracy in the Name of Human Rights (McClelland & Stewart: Toronto, 2009). I don’t care much for the subtitle – it is “liberty” not “democracy” we should be worried about – but the book itself is vitally important.

(3) This expression means different things to different people. Some people use it to describe themselves. Others use it as a derogatory term for people they don’t like. Those who use it in the latter sense generally use it as a synonym for “neo-nazi”. Those who describe themselves by the label would probably be comfortable with a definition that goes something like this: “someone who takes a stand for the identity and interests of white people”. Within the category of self-described “white nationalists” there are those whose views could be crudely be summarized as “Hitler was right”. Such people see racial conflict and violence as a basic reality of life that should be embraced, with the intention of seeing one’s own race win, and would regard Jews the way Hitler regarded them, as a racial enemy within the ranks of one’s own race. Other self-described “white nationalists” do not hold to such views.

(4) The speech quoted is entitled “Towards a False Republic” and is chapter 4 of John G. Diefenbaker, Those Things We Treasure, (MacMillan of Canada; Toronto, 1972). The quotation can be found on page 55.

(5) Auberon Waugh, “Che Guevara in the West Midlands”, originally published in July 7, 1976 issue of The Spectator, reprinted in Brideshead Benighted (Little, Brown and Company: Boston and Toronto, 1986) pp. 153-156. The quote can be found on page 154.

(6) These are the main claims made by the holocaust revisionists. It would take up too much space to give the reasons they present for believing these things or the reasons why most historians reject their claims. A person should not have to agree with these people in order to defend their right to hold and express their views without harassment from others. Nor should a person be required to denounce and demonize these people before he can speak out against their persecution. There is sometimes a big difference, however, between what “should be” and what “is”. People who support the persecution of holocaust revisionists maintain that revisionist views can only ever arise out of anti-Semitism and sympathy for the Third Reich. This is demonstrably not the case. The first known holocaust revisionist was Paul Rassinier. He was a French Communist who was part of the anti-Nazi resistance, who was captured by the Nazis and sent to Buchenwald himself. It hardly makes sense to attribute his post-war writings to sympathy with the regime he resisted and which persecuted him. The man who translated his writings into English and arranged for their publication in North America was Harry Elmer Barnes, a historian who taught at Columbia University. Dr. Barnes was a Germanophile but he was hardly sympathetic to the views of Hitler and his party. One journalist, the late John Sack, himself a Jewish liberal, who attended a holocaust revisionist convention eleven years ago and wrote an essay about it for the February 2001 issue of Esquire, said that among the people he met there, including Zündel, he could not detect any anti-Semitism. The common factor that appears to draw people to holocaust revisionist views is not anti-Semitism but German ethnicity and/or Germanophilia. Common sense alone should tell people that attempts to minimize the crimes Hitler committed in the name of Germany in WWII are far more likely to arise out of love for and sympathy with the German people than out of hatred for the Jews. Persecuting the holocaust revisionists, however, is the way to go about it if for some perverse reason you want to generate anti-Semitism.

(7) Collins was born in England. He fought for the British in WWII, and was captured by the Nazis a number of times. He moved to Canada after the war and became a journalist. He held conservative political views and took much delight in poking fun at the left-wing secular orthodoxy often called “political correctness” that politicians, teachers, media commentators and many clergy sought, far too often with success, to impose upon Canadians after WWII. His favorite targets included liberal immigration (about which he wrote a book), official bilingualism and multiculturalism, the self-righteous international crusade against South Africa and Rhodesia, and hate speech laws. He himself fell victim to the latter when a complaint was filed against him and his employer the North Shore News with the BC Human Rights Commission.

(8) Doug Christie, who lives in British Columbia, is noted for two things. His leadership in the Western separatist movement and his championing, as a lawyer, freedom of thought and freedom of speech against “hate speech” laws. Nobody would ever accuse a defence attorney specializing in murder cases of harboring a sympathy for homicide. Christie, however, has been routinely abused by the Canadian media for his defence of Keegstra, Zündel, etc.

(9) Paul Fromm, who lives in Ontario, was a school teacher by profession. He has also been a conservative political activist for decades, beginning in his student days in the University of Toronto. He is the founder and director of a number of small-c conservative, single issue organizations, including C-FAR (Citizens for Foreign Aid Reform), the Canada First Immigration Reform Committee, and CAFÉ (Canadian Association for Free Expression). He is an outspoken advocate for the interests of white people as well as an outspoken believer in personal liberty and freedom of thought. He was fired from his job as an English teacher because of his political associations and political views expressed on his own time, off of campus. Eventually, he was stripped of his teacher’s certificate as well.

1 comment:

  1. Isn't it strange how the illiberal liberal elites that govern most western countries only believe in freedom of speech for those who they agree with?