Richard Moon's report was redacted by Jennifer Lynch
Today, the Canadian Human Rights Commission will release a report by Richard Moon, the professor hand-picked by the CHRC to examine their section 13 “hate speech” inquisitions.
Prof. Moon is an obscure professor specifically chosen by the CHRC for one reason: he is one of the few Canadian academics who has written in favour of government violation of freedom of the press. In other words, he’s the perfect man to whitewash the CHRC’s own violations of freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion. And, just for certainty, the CHRC paid him $50,000 for a few months work. Gee, I wonder what he’ll say?
We’ll find out soon enough. But what taxpayers read today won’t be the report Moon originally submitted. It will be Jennifer Lynch’s redacted version of his report. According to the terms of his contract, Moon was told he “shall take into consideration” the CHRC’s orders about the direction his review could take, right from the outset. Note the word shall – not should, or could, or might. Shall. And Moon also had to privately submit his preliminary report to the CHRC, and they reserved the right to edit it, too. Again, it wasn't a discussion or a debate between Moon and Lynch; his contract says he “shall” take the CHRC's response into consideration. This isn’t Moon’s report, and it’s not a report done by Moon and the CHRC discussing things together. It’s Lynch’s report. And if Moon doesn’t like it, he can give back the $50,000.
Again, it's not likely that the Lynch’s “corrections” were a problem for Moon – he’s already gone on record saying he believes the government has a right to interfere with citizens’ freedom of speech in a book he wrote. He just never thought he'd be paid $50,000 to say the same thing in an essay for the government.
Under his contract, Moon was specifically ordered by the CHRC to keep his remarks general and political. He was specifically forbidden to review many of the real problems with the CHRC and section. As I wrote when this review was first announced:
So it is not a review of the CHRC's corrupt conduct -- their hiring of corrupt staff, drummed out of real police forces; their tampering with evidence; their tampering with official transcripts; their lying under oath; corruption and interference with investigations; their rejection of complaints that would embarrass them; their own serial commission of Internet hate speech offences, etc., etc. And it certainly doesn't deal with the current elephant in the room: the RCMP and Privacy Commissioner's investigations of the CHRC for hacking into a private citizen's Internet account.
None of that is covered in Moon's mandate. All of that is being ignored. That's no coincidence…
But look at what Moon will review: existing laws; what other government agencies do; Canada's obligations under treaties, etc.
Good idea -- for Parliament to do. The CHRC has been given a job -- a job they've been doing awfully. But instead of Moon looking at the corrupt manner in which they've been doing that job, he's been given the job of brainstorming what their dream job should be. Thanks, but we've got an elected Parliament to do that.
The third problem is that Moon's review will happen in a bubble. It is not a judicial inquiry; he cannot compel people, such as Richard Warman, the CHRC's former investigator, current chief complainant, and prolific author of online posts on neo-Nazi websites, to answer questions. He can't subpoena recalcitrant witnesses, like the CHRC's Ian Fine or Dean Steacy, or their documents. He has no powers to actually investigate -- but, as I mentioned above, he hasn't even been authorized to investigate anything, other than what Lynch's dream job would be.
Moon will not travel; he'll work in his office, with a visit or two to CHRC headquarters. He'll have no staff of lawyers or other investigators. But, again, it's not an investigation; it's a brainstorming session by a professor.
I predict that Moon will make a few token recommendations to tweak the section 13 inquisition process. He’ll probably parrot what the Official Jews at the Canadian Jewish Congress and B’nai Brith have offered up as a lame “compromise”, such as having some political oversight to “ensure” that section 13 is not abused -- abuse meaning whatever the CHRC says it means. But application of section 13 is not the real problem. The real problem is section 13 itself – it’s an immoral, unconstitutional law, no matter who applies it, and no matter who is victimized by it. It's morally wrong. We don’t need another layer of human rights bureaucracy at the CHRC, we actually need a lot fewer of them.
I’ll write more about this when I read the report itself. But there’s really not much point – Moon is already on side with censorship, he’s been forbidden to investigate the CHRC’s corruption, and he was hand-picked and handsomely paid by the very people he's "investigating."
Moon is a distraction – a desperate attempt by Lynch to pretend that she’s open to accountability, and to head off Parliament before it reforms her itself. Moon's report is a slap in the face to Parliament, especially to St. Catharines MP Rick Dykstra, who proposed to the Justice Committee a real investigation of the CHRC. But Lynch regards herself as much bigger than some mere MP – she’s an international superstar, hobnobbing with tyrants from Cameroon to Kenya. What does she care about Canada’s Parliament? Her moral North Star is the United Nations -- just ask her, or just read her contract with Moon, which specifically requires him to consult foreign treaties and foreign jurisdictions, almost all of which are less free than Canada.
Let me sum up:
1. Richard Moon was hand-picked because he is on the record as pro-censorship.
2. He was paid an enormous sum by Jennifer Lynch -- $50,000 for a few months work – so he’s in a conflict of interest.
3. His contract specifically required him to submit a preliminary copy of his report to the CHRC, and to adjust his report as they direct him to. It’s not Moon’s report on Lynch, it’s Lynch’s report on Lynch.
4. His contract specifically excluded him from investigating abuses and corruption at the CHRC.
5. The few subjects left to his report are not properly his or the CHRC’s to comment on – that’s a job for Parliament.
6. The fact that the CHRC commissioned this report in the face of various Parliamentary efforts to have a true review shows Lynch's contempt for Parliament and its authority over her.
Moon’s report is actually a political IQ test for the Conservative government. Moon’s report, by design, doesn’t address the rot at the CHRC. And even if Moon does the unthinkable, and recommends section 13 be abolished, only Parliament has that power. It's no more and no less than a political ruse to obscure Lynch's own corruption.
Will the Conservatives be suckered by it?
Will the Conservative government – just a week after its party convention voted nearly unanimously to scrap section 13 – buy this Potemkin review? Have Justice Department bureaucrats and the CHRC’s expensive lobbyists been able to mau-mau Rob Nicholson into abandoning his public declaration to repeal the law?
We’ll find out.
P.S. Here is my submission to Moon’s review. There are 46 questions here; I doubt he’s answered ten of them, and I doubt Lynch will allow even those ten to make it to the final draft.
Procedural details about your review
1. Other than the published terms of reference of your review, have you received any other instructions, in writing, verbally, or in any other form, from the CHRC or anyone else? If so, what are those instructions?
2. Have you been instructed that there are certain issues that you are not to discuss?
3. Have you had any interim meetings with Jennifer Lynch, or any other CHRC staff, or others, during which you have been asked about the status of your work, or been given feedback or direction on your work to date, or otherwise received instructions?
4. Have you received any instructions, advice or input from the CHRC’s public relations or government relations staff or contractors?
5. Will anyone see your report prior to its final publication? Will it be reviewed, edited or embargoed by the CHRC prior to its release? Will you release it, or will the CHRC?
6. Have you been granted access to CHRC records, including computer files, internal memoranda, meeting minutes or any other CHRC resources? Have you been granted authority to interview CHRC staff, or former staff? Did you do so?
7. What compensation will you receive for your review? Have you been promised any other future consideration?
Inappropriateness of the CHRC reviewing Parliament’s mandate
8. Under what authority is the CHRC reviewing the mandate given to it by Parliament? What statutory or regulatory provision authorizes the CHRC to second-guess its standing orders given to it by the elected legislature?
9. Who, if anyone, did the CHRC consult prior to its announcement of your review? Did it consult MPs? The PMO or PCO? The Justice Minister? Any public relations or government relations staff or contractors?
Other contemporaneous reviews
10. Were you instructed to avoid reviewing the matters currently being investigated by the RCMP and the Privacy Commissioner into the unauthorized access of a private citizen’s Internet account by CHRC staff?
11. What is the status of those investigations? What CHRC staff, former staff, contractors or former contractors have been interviewed?
12. Have any search warrants been issued relating to CHRC records or other property such as hard drives? Have the CHRC offices been searched? Has anything been seized?
13. Were the actions being investigated done in the course of CHRC duties? Who approved those actions?
14. Has the CHRC paid for criminal lawyers for those being investigated? Who has been investigated so far?
15. Has the CHRC made any offer of a settlement to Nelly Hechme?
CHRC investigative tactics that spread hate
16. What is the CHRC policy on impersonation and entrapment by CHRC investigators and other officers? Is there a policy? Who wrote it? Has it been promulgated to the staff?
17. What is the CHRC policy regarding CHRC staff committing section 13 hate speech offences while impersonating neo-Nazis or other bigots? Is there a policy? Who wrote it? Has it been promulgated to the staff?
18. Does the CHRC continue to use false personas?
CHRC lack of ethics code
19. In a recent internal governance audit, the CHRC received a failing grade for ethics, and was found not to have a code of ethics. Since that time, has the CHRC adopted an ethics code?
20. If so, what is it? How is that ethics code being implemented? What operational changes, if any, have resulted from that? What are the penalties, if any, for violating ethical norms?
21. What ethical standards, if any, does the CHRC use to screen candidates for employment? Is it appropriate that a former police officer who was drummed out of the force for corruption works as an investigator at the CHRC?
Improper investigation of political websites
22. The CHRC has admitted to investigating political websites, such as Free Dominion, even in the absence of any complaint. What political websites is the CHRC currently investigating?
23. What is the CHRC policy about investigating websites before a complaint is made? If that policy prohibits such investigations, has that policy been enforced, and have CHRC staff been disciplined or otherwise corrected?
24. Does the CHRC have any oversight committee, or even a single manager, who ensures that CHRC investigators do not engage in personal political vendettas?
CHRC improper use of police powers, evidence
25. The CHRC regularly asks Canadian police forces (and CSIS) for information and evidence to which the CHRC is not statutorily entitled, including evidence seized by police pursuant to criminal search warrants, where the CHRC's interest is not disclosed; access to the CPIC police database; and police and CSIS surveillance. What is the CHRC's policy regarding evidence acquired in this manner? Who drafted this policy?
26. Has this policy been approved by any judicial review? Has it been disclosed to the police departments' respective oversight bodies? Has it been disclosed to Parliament?
27. Richard Warman was a CHRC employee from 2002 to 2004. While he was at the CHRC, he began filing section 13 hate speech complaints that were reviewed by his colleagues. He has continued to do so since he left. He has filed half of all complaints, and 12 out of 14 cases that have gone to the CHRT over the past five years have been Warman's complaints. The CHRC calls Warman as their witness in his own complaints, thus enabling them to pay his expenses for being a witness in his own complaints. Does Warman have any status with the CHRC whatsoever, other than as a complainant?
28. Does the CHRC have any policy regarding the conflict of interest of having current or former staffers file CHRC complaints?
29. Does Warman have any access to CHRC offices, e-mail accounts, computer files, passwords or Internet aliases such as Jadewarr? When was that access cut off?
30. What compensation does Warman continue to receive from the CHRC? Does he have any ongoing contracts with the CHRC? When he appears as a witness for the CHRC, does he receive any fee whatsoever, including a per diem payment? What are those payments? Do any other CHRC complainants receive them?
31. Warman’s use of false identities to entrap CHRC respondents has been criticized by the CHRT. What review, if any, has the CHRC done of Warman’s tactics? Have they made any policy changes in response to the CHRT’s criticisms?
32. Section 13 hate speech complaints filed against Warman for his bigoted posts have been rejected by the CHRC, despite an investigator’s assessment that Warman did in fact breach section 13. Why are CHRC staff and former staff exempt from section 13 hate speech investigations?
CHRC lack of respect for Charter values
33. Dean Steacy, the senior section 13 hate speech investigator for the CHRC testified that "freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don't give it any value... It's not my job to give value to an American concept." Does Steacy's testimony represent the CHRC's view of freedom of speech?
34. If not, what is the CHRC's view of freedom of speech? Has that view been promulgated within the organization? Has Steacy been corrected in his view or disciplined? How?
35. If the CHRC has changed its view, or if Steacy’s view was a rogue view, have there been any changes to the way that Steacy and other section 13 hate speech staff operate?
36. Will the CHRC publicly state its new policy regarding freedom of speech to contradict the impression left by Steacy?
CHRC failure to comply with natural justice
37. The CHRC regularly refuses to comply with rules of natural justice, and even its own rules of procedure. On what legal basis does the CHRC redact its disclosure, contrary to its rules of procedure, as in the Lemire case? On what legal basis does the CHRC disclose documents after the hearings have begun, as in the Lemire case? At what level of the CHRC has this process been approved?
38. The Information Commissioner has recently ruled that the CHRC is in violation of its access to information obligations. What changes, if any, has the CHRC made to comply with the law?
39. In the recent Lemire hearing of March 25, 2008, the CHRC made a transcript of the hearing, but did not disclose it to the respondent, despite his requests – but sent it to journalists. Who approved this decision? Is it standard CHRC policy to withhold transcripts from respondents?
40. That transcript was found to have been inaccurate in a substantial manner that would have disadvantaged the respondent. Was that transcript edited at the instruction of the CHRC?
41. The CHRC regularly calls for publication bans; withholds evidence; and has even applied for a respondent to be physically barred from the hearing room during parts of his own hearing. In one case, the identity of a complainant was withheld from the respondent by the CHRC. Who approves these abusive legal tactics? Is there a CHRC legal procedural manual?
42. 91% of the CHRC's section 13 hate speech targets are too poor to hire lawyers. Why is it acceptable to the CHRC to prosecute people who are unrepresented by competent counsel, without providing them with legal aid?
Improper political influence
43. The B’nai Brith and the Canadian Jewish Congress, two groups that are parties or intervenors in support of CHRC complaints, are registered lobbyist targeting the CHRT. What was the CHRC’s involvement with this lobbying? Is it appropriate for parties before the CHRT to lobby the CHRT ex parte? Are there any other quasi-judicial tribunals in which such explicit attempts to influence decision-making are considered legal?
44. The CHRC has never prosecuted a section 13 hate speech complaint against a Canadian from a minority background -- 100% have been white. This is odd, given that there is evident "hate speech" within various ethnic minorities in Canada including, just to name a few, from Tamil, Sikh, Muslim and other immigrant communities, including amongst those communities, between radical and moderate elements. Does the CHRC have a policy to only prosecute white hate speech cases? If not, why have no other prosecutions been made?
CHRC bullying of its critics
45. In response to my criticism of the CHRC’s conduct, I have been sued in civil court by a CHRC lawyer, Giacomo Vigna, specifically for criticizing his work as a CHRC lawyer. Vigna has threatened me with a second lawsuit. He has also filed seven law society complaints against me -- all for my criticism of his conduct with the CHRC, or of the CHRC in general. Does the CHRC have a policy regarding lawsuits by staff against CHRC critics?
46. Were CHRC managers or staff aware of Vigna's lawsuit before it was filed? If so, what feedback was Vigna given as to the appropriateness of a lawsuit being filed against a political critic of the CHRC?