Jennings, Lemay and Woodworth ask questions
Marlene Jennings was up next -- mercifully saving Lynch from questions about Dean Steacy's neo-Nazi work. While Jennings is clearly supportive of the CHRC, she suggested that complaints be taken away from the "general public" and given to the CHRC. Such a trivial point of legal arcana has only one purpose, emanating from the intensely partisan Jennings: that it is an attempt to move the CHRC away from their most embarrassing personality, Richard Warman, who has personally filed all but two section 13 cases in the past decade.
My Internet cut out briefly when Marc Lemay asked his question; of course, it didn't much matter what he asked, because Lynch was just going to press play on her bland message track, no matter what was asked.
She did offer a lie, though: she claimed that the CHRC is obligated to investigate every case that comes to it. That's not true; patently absurd cases can be rejected at first glance. And, of course, the CHRC often rejects cases it finds politically distasteful, such as the case of the radical Muslim imam in Montreal, who called for the murder of gays, uncovered women and moderate Muslims. That was no investigated, contrary to Lynch's lies.
Stephen Woodworth was up last. And he was awesome to behold. I said Menard was my favourite; I might have to review that. He launched into a passionate defence of freedom of speech, and a passionate criticism of the CHRC's procedures. It was great.
Lynch, again, retreated to her brown fog. No specific reply to Woodworth's concerns about the fact that defendants under section 13 never get their costs back.
I'm frustrated by Lynch's answers. I can only imagine how frustrating it would be to be an MP on the Committee, who had prepared for the meeting, asked a question, expected an answer from Lynch -- a servant of Parliament -- and then be given such an infuriatingly evasive answer.
Lynch probably feels pretty good about herself. She probably feels that she got off the hook, despite some pesky questions from Comartin, Rathgeber and Woodworth -- and some thoughtful fact-finding questions from Menard.
But I don't think she helped herself at all. She left MPs feeling like they were evaded and condescended to; like they were stonewalled. Her slow-motion comments, spoken as to kindergarten children, will do nothing but inflame their curiosity about what really goes on at her gong show.