Jennifer Lynch tries to bury the Moon Report -- and turn real police into thought police
As long-time readers will recall, last summer Jennifer Lynch panicked. The chief commissar of the Canadian Human Rights Commission wasn't in Canada a lot then -- she was on a string of five-star junkets around the world, "studying" human rights -- but when she was in town, it was all bad news.
The CHRC was being investigated by the RCMP.
The CHRC was being investigated by the Privacy Commissioner.
The CHRC was under attack in the House of Commons, through private members motions such as Keith Martin's.
The CHRC was under attack in Parliamentary committees, through Rick Dykstra's resolution.
And then there was the daily shellacking the CHRC was getting in the press -- even from liberal NGOs, like the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and PEN Canada.
So Lynch did what she does best: she spent your money. She spent $10,000 on Hill & Knowlton, a lobby firm, to ask them what she should do. That sounds like a lot of money to you and me, but remember this is an outfit that burns through $25,000,000 a year -- or half a million dollars a week.
They told her to create her own fake review, to get out ahead of the four independent reviews. And they told her to hire Richard Moon, a University of Windsor professor who had already written publicly that the government ought to have a role in censoring the news media. The esteemed professor had actually written that the government should have the power to command media companies to print things they don't want to, in the name of "fairness". In other words, it was Mohamed Elmasry's fascist dream come true!
Moon's reputation for censorship -- combined with the CHRC's $52,000 payment for just 42 pages of writing -- should have given Lynch what she wanted: a whitewash of the CHRC's bad behaviour.
Instead, to everyone's surprise -- especially my own! -- Moon cashed his cheque and called for a repeal of section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, the censorship provision so loved by Lynch and her mob.
(That was the only good thing about Moon's report; the rest was a Soviet-style mush of censorship and libel chill that, in a more robust academic environment, would have made him a civil liberties pariah. By the way, here is my list of a few dozen questions I sent to Moon for him to ask and answer. He didn't answer them.)
I laughed when Moon's report was released: the official CHRC press release not only didn't mention his chief recommendation, but it also announced another slap-dash, home-made review would be done to replace Moon's unacceptable conclusions. That second report was finally released yesterday -- the second whitewash attempt in eight months by the CHRC. (And no more messing around with mere lobbyists. Lynch dropped a cool $15,000 on polling to test her new spin. Question: do real courts hire lobbyists, spin doctors and pollsters? Or just political hacks running kangaroo courts?)
Here's the new report. If Moon's cost $52,000 plus $10,000 in lobbyist fees, what do you think the newer, larger, poll-tested report cost? $100,000?
Mark Steyn, Jay Currie, Kathy Shaidle, Blazing Catfur, Debbie Gyapong, Rob Breakenridge and others have some excellent observations. Even B'nai Brith -- the Official Jews who are, right now, prosecuting an HRC censorship case in British Columbia -- came out with a strong denunciation of the report. (I've heard the phrase "two Jews, three opinions". But BB's Frank Dimant does better: "one Jew, two opinions".)
This was my instant response to the Canadian Press today:
Conservative pundit Ezra Levant, who has written a book on what he calls "abusive" human-rights bodies, said the commission should have listened to Moon.
"The CHRC is ignoring its own hand-picked expert's advice to get out of the censorship business," he said. "Why did taxpayers pay $50,000 for that expert's recommendations, if the CHRC was just going to throw it in the garbage?"
He said the commission essentially exonerated itself.
"That's unacceptable. We wouldn't allow any other police force to investigate themselves after a scandal, so we shouldn't let the Thought Police investigate themselves"
I've done some more thinking about it since then, and I should have an Op-Ed on the subject in a major newspaper to point you to, soon.
The CHRC's report is grotesque -- as Steyn points out, even the name of the report is a lie: Freedom of Expression and Freedom from Hate in the Internet Age. Freedom of expression is indeed a true civil right; but "freedom from hate" is not. You don't have the legal right to stop someone feeling a certain way about you. And even the qualifier "in the Internet Age" shows the shallowness of the CHRC's thinking. Freedom of speech is an eternal, natural right. It is the same now as it was in John Milton's day and, frankly, the advent of the Internet doesn't change a thing. As Debbie points out, the CHRC has cooked up some Third World, UN-ish claptrap about a "Matrix of rights" replacing our old ideas of fundamental freedoms like free speech. I've heard or read a dozen official speeches given by CHRC honchos, and they always come back to that theme: they want to replace our British tradition of freedom with some new UN version of human rights -- a watered down, nanny-state replacement for our real heritage of liberty.
I'm just going to focus on subject that I haven't seen elsewhere yet: the CHRC not only wants to keep its section 13 censorship powers for itself, but it also wants to strip legal defences of free speech from the Criminal Code's hate speech provisions.
As readers know, truth, fair comment and honest belief are not defences to section 13. How could they be? The test is someone else's feelings. Is something you've done "likely to expose a person to hatred or contempt"? Truth has nothing to do with it -- it's a feelings crime.
No wonder it has a 100% conviction rate.
But the Criminal Code provisions actually have some real defences built into them. (As I pointed out in the Star the other day, those defences were inserted by Saul Hayes of the Canadian Jewish Congress. How bitterly disappointed he would be in his heirs, who now seek to remove those provisions.)
It is a defence to a criminal charge of hate speech if you were speaking the truth; or thought you were; or were expounding on a Biblical passage, etc. None of those defences exist to the CHRA's section 13. But they're there in the Criminal Code.
And the CHRC wants Parliament to get rid of those defences.
Seriously: the CHRC is now telling Parliament not just to leave their own censorship powers intact, but to expand the powers of police and prosecutors, too. The CHRC -- whose middle name is "human rights" -- is actually lobbying to reduce the commitment to civil liberties of our police and prosecutors.
Stop for a second. Could you imagine real human rights heros -- Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King -- arguing that police should have more power, and political dissidents have less, and that truth and honest belief shouldn't be defences to thought crimes?
This is a scandal in itself: that the CHRC is now lobbying to make police more brutal and less considerate of real human rights. This passage alone should cause the termination of Jennifer Lynch, and a house-cleaning of her ranks.
But that's not all. In the same passage of their report, the CHRC complains that there are not enough Criminal Code prosecutions -- and they blame the Justice Minister, who must personally approve all such prosecutions.
It's another small check and balance to the natural instinct of police and prosecutors. We've seen what unbridled, unregulated prosecutorial power has done to the CHRC itself -- you have the abuse of the system by Richard Warman, who has gamed the system, and turned it into a personal vengeance machine wherein he files complaints against his Nixonian enemies list. If section 13 prosecutions needed the permission of the Justice Minister before they were prosecuted, Warman's spree of complaints would never have got off the ground -- his bizarre conflicts of interest would have scotched that, not to mention his membership in neo-Nazi organizations.
Right now, a Justice Minister has to take political ownership of Criminal Code prosecutions for speech. It's not much of a safety net -- I bet a lot of Justice Ministers would love to crusade against their definition of a "hater" -- but it's more than nothing. It's not just the Minister whose "no" could stop a prosecution. As the request moved up the bureaucracy to the Minister, any skittish staffer (or merely someone who cared about freedom) could probably stop the prosecution. And then there's the discipline that merely knowing the Minister is involved would bring to any cop or prosecutor thinking of pulling fast one.
Simply put, getting the Minister's approval is indeed, as the CHRC says, a "barrier" to more censorship prosecutions.
And they want to change that.
So to sum up: we've got a Canadian Human Rights Commission that thinks censorship is some sort of "human right". It is so operationally corrupt that it thinks issuing a report card about its own behaviour is legitimate conduct for a government agency. It so despises the public -- and holds their intelligence in such contempt -- that it thinks the country will forget that Prof. Moon has already recommended that their censorship powers be repealed. It is so naturally Orwellian that it thinks it can invent counterfeit human rights, like the "right to be respected", merely by coining those forgeries, and dressing them up as "modern" "rights" "matrixes", and other such legal junk.
And the CHRC -- corrupt; abusive; without an ethics code; employer of a corrupt ex-cop; etc. ad nauseam -- now presumes to lecture real police and real prosecutors and real courts on how to run the Criminal Code. And the nature of their lectures is to demand a diminuition of our ancient freedoms, including the God-given freedom to even speak the truth.
What a disgusting document.
Fire. Them. All.