Enforcement of section 13 of the CHRA has been suspended
I just re-read the fascinating ruling by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in the Warman v. Ouwendyk case. It's quite remarkable: it was supposed to put Jason Ouwendyk on trial for his racist remarks on the Internet, but it was Richard Warman who received the harsh rebuke for his racist remarks on the Internet.
The two men have that in common: they are both members of neo-Nazi organizations and both spend a staggering amount of time bashing Jews, gays and blacks.
They are differences, of course: Ouwendyk doesn't work as a lawyer for the Department of National Defence like Warman does, and he doesn't receive awards from Bernie "Burny" Farber's Canadian Jewish Congress for his important Internet efforts.
It's even stranger than that: the racist words that Ouwendyk wrote, more than half a decade ago, haven't been on the Internet in years. In fact, as the Chair pointed out, they were deleted from the Internet even before Warman filed his complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission. As Kathy Shaidle points out, the only place where that online bigotry can now be found is on the website of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.
In other words, because of Warman's complaint, the CHRC's collaboration with him, and the CHRT's slow-motion hearing of this matter, anti-Semitic crap that had been buried has been exhumed and put on display using taxpayers money.
I can't wait for the end of this blog post: Fire. Them. All.
Why the CHRC would pursue a complaint against words that were no longer on the Internet is a question to which there are no acceptable legal answers. As the Tribunal ruled, there was nothing to "remediate", since there was no problem. The whole exercise was pointless -- other than to put Warman's enemy through the meat-grinder for a few years. Warman does that a lot -- he's trying to do that to me and other critics of his, through nuisance defamation suits. But at least he has to pay for those himself. In this case, Jennifer Lynch, the chief commissar of the CHRC, agreed to let her agency be used as Warman's instrument of "Maximum Disruption", on the taxpayers' dime.
It's just another reason why Lynch herself is part of the problem, and must be fired.
But there is something else about this case that I skipped over too quickly. Look at paragraph 10, which cites an earlier Chair's interim ruling on Warman v. Ouwendyk (my emphasis):
The hearing on the question of the constitutional validity of the impugned sections of the Act will be deferred pending the outcome in Lemire. If the complaint is substantiated, the Tribunal will not issue any order until the final determination by the Courts of the constitutional question.
In other words, no matter what the Tribunal found in Warman v. Ouwendyk, they're not going to issue any orders until Marc Lemire's constitutional challenge has a "final" determination. That could mean a trip to the Supreme Court -- in about 2012.
In this case, the Tribunal was so disgusted with Warman -- and so stupefied that a complaint would be made against a website that doesn't exist -- that he really didn't plan to issue any order at all. But had he wanted to throw the book at Ouwendyk, he couldn't -- another Tribunal chair had ruled that everything is on ice until Lemire is done.
The enforcement of Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act has been suspended indefinitely by the CHRT.
But look what hasn't been suspended: the investigations and prosecutions of section 13. And, as I've said a dozen times before, it's the process that's the real punishment. In this case, it was three years from complaint to ruling -- three years of bullying someone because they had "wrong" political ideas.
The CHRC and the CHRT will continue with that informal punishment, the punishment of abusive process.
The law is coming apart at the seams; the law's chief user has been officially exposed as malign; the law's enforcement has been suspended; but the sick, sick HRC system continues to grind on, using our money and abusing our heritage of natural justice.
Fire. Them. All.