Human Rights Tribunal: Richard Warman’s conduct “disappointing and disturbing”
The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal issued a stunning ruling today, calling the conduct of Richard Warman, Canada’s most prolific human rights complainant, “disappointing and disturbing”.
Tribunal Chair Edward Lustig condemned Warman – who holds himself out as a human rights activist – for his membership in neo-Nazi organizations and ripped into him for his frequent anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi rants. The Tribunal effectively accused Warman himself of breaking the law – pointing out that Warman’s online anti-Semitism could quite possibly expose Jews to even more hatred and contempt. That just happens to be the offence Warman claimed he was trying to enforce. And, in perhaps the most damaging finding, the Tribunal pointed out that Warman at first did not answer questions truthfully – effectively calling him an attempted perjurer.
It is the most incredible ruling I have ever read from a human rights tribunal, and it discredits Warman, his enablers at the Canadian Human Rights Commission, and section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act (the censorship provision).
There have been dark days for the censors and bullies at the CHRC over the past year – like Bell Canada’s uncontradicted testimony that CHRC staff hacked a private citizen’s Internet account or Richard Moon’s surprise recommendation to scrap section 13.
But those were merely political developments. This is a quasi-judicial Tribunal ruling. It is not a consultant’s view or a pundit’s opinion or a mere PR blunder. It is the law. Richard Warman is a discredited man who promotes anti-Semitic filth online with no good excuse. Warman’s own favourite Tribunal says so.
Warman is done.
After this ruling, I would be surprised if he ever files a section 13 complaint again. Scratch that: of course he will. But the CHRC will never accept his complaints again – Jennifer Lynch, their chief commissar, is a censor too but she has a sense of political survival. She’s in enough trouble already with a Justice Department review and a Parliamentary Committee investigation getting under way, not to mention the Prime Minister’s Office breathing down her neck. The days of Lynch running with Warman’s cases – and paying his expenses, which she continued to do even after he left the CHRC – are over.
I wonder if even Bernie “Burny” Farber, Official Jewry’s censor-in-chief, will put some distance between him and Warman. You’d think Burny would have given a damn about Warman’s anti-Semitic filth – the secular Tribunal did, but not Burny, even though fighting anti-Semitism is supposed to be his beat. But Burny’s moral compass has been off for a long time – he denounces Jew-loving Christian Zionists like Kathy Shaidle, but defends Jew-bashing radicals like Haroon Siddiqui.
But what now for Warman? How does this poor assessment of his integrity affect his job as “Director of Special Grievances – Enquiries and Investigations” at the Department of National Defence? Every single criticism the Tribunal Chair makes in this ruling touches on Warman’s job at the mini-human rights commission that he runs in the bosom of DND. If I were a soldier hauled before Warman, the first thing I would do is file a special grievance against the special grievance director – and all I'd need was a photocopy of the Tribunal’s ruling.
All of Warman’s showy pretenses of being a human rights crusader have been reduced to rubble. The Tribunal specifically took on Warman’s thin excuses for why he joined neo-Nazi groups and engaged in vicious anti-Semitism himself. The Tribunal listened to Warman’s smug rationalizations – the excuses that Jennifer Lynch and Warman’s other enablers at the CHRC have bought for years – and threw them in the garbage. At paragraph 63:
I do not see any acceptable reason for Mr. Warman to have participated on the Stormfront or Vanguard sites, since there appears to be ample easily obtained messages on these sites available without his involvement. Moreover, it is possible that his activity in this regard, could have precipitated further hate messages in response. His explanation for including other hate messages in his postings by mistake seems very weak to me.
I’ve been writing about Warman’s online bigotry for about a year now, but with few exceptions that explosive story has been reported only by bloggers, not the mainstream media. To see his filth reprinted at great length in a Tribunal ruiling – as it was in this case – is startling to me. And, mirabile dictu, the National Post reprinted Warman’s anti-Semitic rant for the entire nation to see, too. I’m stunned by how far Warman’s reputation has crumbled in the past year.
The Tribunal was clearly upset with Warman’s entrapment and impersonation. But it also mentioned his difficulty telling the truth. Here’s an example, at paragraph 57:
Contrary to Mr. Warman's Statement of Particulars, there is no evidence that the impugned conduct by the Respondents has continued to the present time. Instead it appears to have been discontinued well before the complaints were instituted. To a certain extent, there would not appear to be anything to remediate.
Warman claimed that the people he was going after had been continuously publishing their anti-Semitic comments, when in fact the Tribunal ruled that they had stopped doing so before Warman even filed his complaints. Normal people would say “what a liar!”. The Tribunal simply said that the truth was “contrary to Mr. Warman’s Statement of Particulars.”
But that’s just a trifle compared to this, at paragraph 59:
During his cross-examination, Mr. Warman admitted (after initially denying) that he had participated in communicating messages on Internet Websites similar to the Northern Alliance Website utilizing pseudonyms such as "Pogue Mahone" and "Axetogrind".
Cross-examination is under oath, of course. Lying under oath is called perjury. The Tribunal noted that, at first, Warman didn’t tell the truth. The Tribunal didn’t use the word “lie”; it just pointed out that Warman’s original answers under oath weren’t true. Again, regular people would say “what a liar!” It’s not the first time for Warman.
This hearing was supposed to be about Jason Ouwendyk and the Northern Alliance. It’s no surprise that they were convicted, maintaining the CHRT’s 100% conviction rate for section 13 offences. And, also unsurprising, was the fact that neither defendant had a lawyer – more than 90% of section 13 targets are too poor to afford one and, unlike real courts, legal aid is not provided.
But look at paragraph 56 in the ruling. Warman made three demands: that Ouwendyk and the Northern Alliance be ordered not to publish “hate speech” on the Internet anymore; that they be ordered to pay a fine of $7,500 and “compensation” to Warman of $6,000.
The first demand was granted – the Tribunal gave a cease and desist order, telling Ouwendyk and the Northern Alliance to stop doing what they used to do. But as the Tribunal pointed out, they had stopped doing so years ago. So it was meaningless.
Warman’s demands for cash were refused by the Chair – no fines, and no bounty to Warman.
So what’s the net result of all this?
Warman filed his complaint in January, 2006 – so this has been grinding through the human rights industry for more than three years. Countless hundreds of thousands of tax dollars have been spent, first by the CHRC to investigate the case, and then by the Tribunal to hear the case.
And in the end a website that hasn’t even been on the Internet in years is “banned”.
I guess this is part of the “stimulus package” to make work for busy-bodies, lawyers and bureaucrats.
There are a lot of losers in all of this – the taxpayer; common sense; freedom of speech, including freedom of speech to say offensive things; natural justice and rule of law.
But Warman is clearly the biggest loser. Before this ruling came out, we already knew that Ouwendyk and the Northern Alliance were racist. Nothing’s changed for them at all, other than their time was wasted for three years.
But Warman’s reputation has been devastated.
That’s of concern to him as I’ve outlined above. But it’s also of concern to him for his countless defamation nuisance suits, including against me, Kathy, Kate, the National Post and others.
We all have our defences – truth, fair comment, etc.
But now we have something much more powerful. We have a legal finding that the man who claims we hurt his reputation, doesn’t have a good reputation in the first place.
He “diminishe[d]” it. His conduct is “disturbing”. As a so-called human rights activist, he’s “disappointing.” His reasons for writing anti-Semitic filth are not “acceptable”. His excuse for reprinting other people’s filth is “very weak”.
Try taking that to a defamation court.
P.S. Who is this Edward Lustig who – despite continuing the CHRT’s 100% conviction rate – spoke such common sense about Warman’s discreditable conduct? He was appointed by the Conservatives a year ago. But looking at his brief resume, there’s something different: he didn’t come from the grievance industry. He spent 27 years as lawyer for the City of Niagara Falls. In other words, doing normal legal work, not radical politics masquerading as the law. Lustig actually sits on the CHRT part-time – he still practices law – not “human rights law” or “critical Marxist theory” law, but real estate law, commercial and municipal planning law. No wonder he was appalled by Warman’s filthy mouth – he hasn’t had the politically correct training to get the nuances when Warman said that Irwin Cotler was Jewish “scum”.
I’m not saying that section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act can be workable in the hands of reasonable men – it can’t be. It’s an unfair law that violates our constitutional rights. And, despite the laughable impotence of the order against the respondents here, it’s still unconstitutional. But it’s refreshing that someone in the entire human rights industry had the independence and common sense to finally blow the whistle on one of Canada’s most abusive legal and political bullies, Richard Warman. Or as he is now legally known: the disgraced Richard Warman.