October 2011 Archives
From The Source, Oct. 31, 2011: I take on CBC's '22 Minutes' ambush interview in one of my most outrageous monologues yet.
From The Source, Oct. 31, 2011: Mysterious Asia Times columnist David Goldman (a.k.a. Spengler) looks at the U.S. in crisis and the future of China.
CBC's plan backfired... big time
Last week, the CBC brought back an old war-horse named Mary Walsh to do a political attack on Toronto's mayor, Rob Ford.
Walsh used to be on the CBC's low-rating comedy show called This Hour has 22 Minutes. It used to be funny back when Rick Mercer was on it, but it's had a tough time since then.
The CBC said goodbye to Walsh a long time ago, and she spends her time doing the left-wing political protest circuit now. But last week, for some reason, they flew her in from Newfoundland for one last mission: Take a run at Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.
So they sent Walsh to his house, unannounced, in an unmarked car, to shout at him and block him from getting into his vehicle.
Rob Ford is the mayor of Canada's largest city. He occasionally receives serious death threats. It's surprising that he doesn't have a security detail at all.
And instead of interviewing Ford at city hall or at a public event, the CBC sent a C-list celebrity, in an unmarked vehicle, with no notice, to his home early in the morning.
She shouted at him, repeatedly pushed him and actually blocked him from closing his car door and leaving — all on his private property, Ford alleged. In the end, she wouldn't move — so he retreated into his house and called the cops.
It's astounding that the CBC ran the footage of that alleged assault and trespass. It wasn't funny — even when the CBC added in a laugh track. It was pitiful.
It was bullying. It was gross. It was a political smear job on the CBC's conservative enemy.
It backfired, big-time — precisely when the CBC is before the federal Conservative government, begging for another bailout.
So the CBC's war room went into overdrive. It decided it couldn't lose face.
So the unionized government bureaucrats at the CBC spoke with the unionized government bureaucrats at the Toronto Police Service, who are mad at the mayor, too, because he cut their budget by 4%.
And their union brothers at the police told them that when the mayor called the cops about the angry woman on his front lawn, that the mayor misbehaved.
The CBC said the mayor called himself Rob f---ing Ford, and called the 911 dispatchers "bitches."
That's what the CBC told the country. It didn't have the tape — but it reported the rumours anyway.
It was the CBC's own home invasion that prompted the mayor's concern for his safety and property. But then, to distract from their alleged lawless behaviour, they thought they'd smear the mayor, by critiquing the nuances of his 911 call.
When Toronto Sun reporters called our police sources, they denied the story. Mayor Ford didn't call anybody "bitches." He did swear in frustration, but not at anyone.
So who's telling the truth?
It will be easy enough to find out. Let's hear the audiotape of the 911 call.
The mayor managed to keep a civil tongue in his head when that big moose from the CBC was badgering him on his driveway, allegedly pushing him and blocking him.
He didn't hit her, he didn't shout at her, he just politely asked her to move.
She didn't. She's the alleged trespasser and assaulter. The mayor was polite, and then left his own driveway to get out of the situation.
So, maybe he swore at the 911 operators. Maybe.
Or maybe it's yet another CBC lie. It wouldn't be the first here.
They already lied by claiming that the mayor hid from them in the bushes. That's lie number one. Then they claimed they tried to talk to him at city hall first. Lie number two.
Let's hear the tapes. If he did not call the 911 dispatchers "bitches," if it's all part of the CBC smear campaign against conservatives, the CBC bullies who concocted this smear must be fired — and the CBC's bailout cancelled.EZRA LEVANT, QMI AGENCY
From The Source, Oct. 28, 2011: Dr Amin Muhammad, psychiatrist and Canada’s leading expert on honour killings, explains the cultural practice around the world and in Canada, and debunks concerns that it’s a Western-propagated myth.
From The Source, Oct. 28, 2011: John Lott, author of The Bias Against Guns, praises the move to scrap Canada’s national gun registry and says there’s no evidence to prove a registry has helped to solve or prevent gun crimes in Canada.
From The Source, Oct. 28, 2011: Joan Crockatt and I mourn the apparent demise of Conservative Alberta and roll eyes at the new proposed provincial tourism slogan.
From The Source, Oct. 28, 2011: I look at why the inclusion of Mohawk Warriors into the Occupy movement may result in violence and truly occupied land.
From The Source, Oct. 27, 2011: Andrew Breitbart on the fizzling out of peaceful Occupiers in exchange for more violent ones.
From The Source, Oct. 27, 2011: In our Red Alert segment, Professor Charles Burton discusses the danger of Ontario govt’s links to Chinese telecom giant, Huawei, blocked by the Pentagon for spying concerns.
From The Source, Oct. 27, 2011: The latest CBC misuse of taxpayer money is just par for the course.
From Newswire, Oct. 27, 2011: Mohawk 'Warriors' are joining the Occupy Toronto protest, proving once again that they're disturbingly outside the law.
From The Source, Oct. 26, 2011: Brooke Goldstein, lawyer and children’s rights advocate, on the ethics surrounding Gadhafi’s death and the dangerous fallout from Israel’s hostage for terrorists swap.
From The Source, Oct. 26, 2011: Rob Breakenridge on Alberta’s drastic crackdown on drunk drivers.
From The Source, Oct. 26, 2011: An except from Incoming! wherein I read viewer mail: here we have a tweet from a CATSA employee.
From The Source, Oct. 26, 2011: From unlawful labour unions, to an inquiry into corruption, to threats of physical violence against the labour minister, the facts speak for themselves.
We will be moving to our permanent home on Channel 142 (and 567 in High Definition) for all Rogers customers regardless of where they are located.
From The Source, Oct. 25, 2011: Kris Sims on the documentary release of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and why the message of her 50 year old novel is still relevant today.
From The Source, Oct. 25, 2011: Brian Lilley on Hubert Lacroix’s continued attempts to stonewall the government on transparency while at the same time asking for more government handouts.
From The Source, Oct. 25, 2011: The CBC is using taxpayer dollars for attack ads and non-funny segments that berate public figures. I think it's time they waste their own money, not yours.
Libya's new gong show
Gadhafi may be dead, but a different dictator reigns
Meet the new dictator of Libya — pretty much the same as the old dictator, but with a less-crazy fashion sense.
When the Berlin Wall fell, democracy activists such as Lech Walesa and Vaclav Havel took the reins of power.
In Libya, we've just got Mustafa Abdul-Jalil. Who is he? He is the new dictator. What did you think? He was elected?
But he's totally different from Gadhafi. Sure, he spent his whole life working for Gadhafi.
In 1975, right after he graduated from law school, he became a prosecutor, pursuing Gadhafi's enemies. In 2007, Gadhafi appointed him to be the dictatorship's "justice minister."
Being a justice minister under a dictatorship is a contradiction. It usually means presiding over sham trials. Which is exactly what Abdul-Jalil did.
In a ham-fisted attempt to cover up horrendous hygiene conditions in Libyan hospitals, and to blame foreigners for a rise in AIDS cases, Abdul-Jalil's "justice system" convicted five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor, claiming they purposefully infected 400 children with AIDS.
It goes without saying that the charges were bogus. It was classic dictatorship distraction, blaming an outside group for a huge domestic screw-up. And Abdul-Jalil's courts came down with a death sentence. It was only when senior European politicians intervened that the accused were let go.
That's what a justice minister does under a butcher like Gadhafi. He tries to put a lawyer's robe on a dictator's actions.
For four years Abdul-Jalil was happy to do Gadhafi's bidding. It was only this spring, when Gadhafi started to fall, that Abdul-Jalil fled, and claimed he was always against Gadhafi — yeah, that's right. Always against him.
Well, he's the dictator now.
Abdul-Jalil didn't just study law at law school. He studied Sharia law, that is, law where the constitution is the Muslim Qur'an.
Last week, Abdul-Jalil declared that Libya will be a Sharia state. And he took the first steps to making it so, repealing Gadhafi's ban on polygamous marriages.
He also announced that he's going to take Libya's banks back to the medieval age, banning interest, and only allowing Sharia-compliant banking.
So when it comes to being an Islamic fundamentalist, Gadhafi was a moderate compared to the new guy. Look, there's nothing new here. So one Arab dictator was replaced with another Arab dictator.
Well, there's one thing new here. We Canadians fought for this. Canada sent over 500 men and women, from our air force and navy, to help pummel Gadhafi into submission. We did Abdul-Jalil's fighting for him.
Thank God no Canadian Forces died in that foolish effort to secure Europe's conflict oil for them — God forbid Europe would have to buy its oil from someone other than Libya or Saudi Arabia for a change.
Why did we root out Gadhafi? Why are we pledging more money and help to the new dictator? Why are we standing by while Gadhafi's justice minister implements Sharia law?
We never had a proper reason to go to Libya. It made no sense. We don't have a Canadian national interest over there. It was crystal clear from the start that the only reason NATO cared about Libya, and not Syria, for example, is that Libya has a lot of oil.
But is me-tooing Europe really reason enough? Why are we still going along with this gong show?EZRA LEVANT, QMI AGENCY
From The Source, Oct. 24, 2011: We all know the CBC needs cash: just ask it! So why is it turning down my cheque in return for free stuff?
From The Source, Oct. 24, 2011: Lately the Liberals are all about saving the CBC, but David Akin reminds you that they've taken an axe to it before.
From The Source, Oct. 24, 2011: Middle East expert Daniel Pipes looks at the Libya's post-Gadhafi future and figures we'll eventually miss Moammar.
From The Source, Oct. 24, 2011: Libya has declared freedom, but all it's done is exchange an old dictator for a new one.
CBC running scared
State broadcaster's false attack ads demonstrate how financial probe is desperately needed
The CBC — the mega-corporation that is demanding yet another $1.1-billion bailout from taxpayers this year, just like it demanded a $1.1-billion bailout from us last year — is panicking.
For weeks it's been sweating about a parliamentary investigation into its bad behaviour, including its violation of the Access to Information law. That's an important law to allow taxpayers to scrutinize how government agencies spend our money.
The non-partisan information commissioner has given the CBC a grade of "F" for its secrecy — but it still violates her order for it to disclose the truth. It's spending millions in legal expenses to hide how it's spending billions in other expenses.
This bad behaviour was coming to a head last week when Parliament was going to turn over some rocks and see what was going to go scurrying.
And so it panicked.
On the eve of the Parliamentary inquiry, it used part of its $1.1 billion — money that is supposed to go to journalism — to launch a crazy, personal attack on the president of Quebecor and QMI Agency, Pierre Karl Peladeau, one of Canada's most successful private-sector media entrepreneurs.
Unlike the CBC, Peladeau built his company honestly and with his own efforts. He took a newspaper company started by his father, Pierre Peladeau, and turned it into Quebec's most successful media company, Quebecor — and then joined with English-Canada's biggest newspaper company, Sun Media Corp. And then he built the Sun News Network.
All without a billion-dollar-a-year bailout.
And so last week, the night before Peladeau's testimony to Parliament, the CBC freaked out.
In an unprecedented move, it issued what can only be called an attack ad against Peladeau. It wasn't a news story. It was a false and defamatory attack on our company, as vengeance for our questions about how the CBC spends taxpayer money.
If any other government department had done something like this, whoever responsible would be fired immediately. It wasn't just unprofessional. It wasn't just outside of its mandate of what it is given its government money for. It was an attempt to destroy a private-sector competitor.
Imagine, for example, if Canada Post had raised the price of a postage stamp by five cents — and then used those profits to launch a blistering attack on its private-sector competitor, UPS.
Not to deliver mail. To attack a rival. That's what the CBC did to us.
But here's the thing. The CBC's attack campaign didn't answer our questions about its spending, or secrecy. It didn't even pretend that it wasn't doing what we claim it is doing. The CBC just responded with a wild accusation that we live off government handouts, too — a half billion dollars over the past three years, it claimed.
But it's a lie.
The CBC numbers are made up. They claim Quebecor received a $333-million subsidy for a cellphone licence. That's just factually not true. Quebecor paid $555 million to the government in a public auction for cellphone spectrum — the highest of any new company. So that's money from Quebecor to the government — something the CBC is unfamiliar with.
In its world, money only flows from the government to the CBC. The CBC also claims Quebecor took $20.8 million from something called the Canadian Media Fund last year. That's true. But Quebecor paid $21.5 million into that same fund. The CBC left that out. Because it lies. (By the way, it took $95 million from that same fund, which it didn't mention).
The CBC is desperate. And it's using tax money to attack a private competitor with those lies. But it actually makes the case, more than ever, for increased accountability and scrutiny of its annual bailout, don't you think? If some private company wants to use its shareholders' money to attack a rival company, no problem. If shareholders don't like it, they can sell their stock, or fire the company president.
Let's privatize the CBC. If some private billionaire wants to use the CBC as a weapon, that's his business. In the hands of the CBC's unethical management, it's everybody's business — and it's got to stop.EZRA LEVANT, QMI AGENCY
From The Source, Oct. 21, 2011: Raheel Raza on why multiculturalism breeds honour killings in Canada.
From The Source, Oct. 21, 2011: I look at the troubling growth of Sharia law in Canada and how it oppresses and sometimes literally kills women.
From The Source, Oct. 20, 2011: My opening statement from the show, a response to the CBC's attack on Quebecor.
From The Source, Oct. 20, 2011: The Supreme Court has ruled that linking to offensive material does not constitute hate crime.
From The Source, Oct. 20, 2011: Upon seeing the clip of the Occupy Toronto protesters mindlessly chanting back everything I said, psychotherapist Dr. Karen Ruskin expresses serious concern for their psychological welfare.
From The Source, Oct. 20, 2011: Jonathan Halevi gives us his thoughts on the death of former Libyan dictator Gadhafi.
Occupy protest stinks
You know those dirty hippies who gathered in a New York City park last week, and were threatened with eviction for hygiene reasons? They came to Canada on the weekend.
"Dirty hippies" is not an insult. It's an epidemiological assessment of their week-long war against hygiene at a cramped, garbage-strewn, semen-stained camp. The crowning moment was when one hippie defecated on a police car as some sort of political statement.
Not all the Occupy Toronto protesters are dirty hippies. Some of them are professional protesters--folks who go out whenever there's a chance to be counter-cultural. These are the black bloc types who came to agitate in Toronto during the G-20.
Others are union bosses, usually from government unions. That's who created this movement in the U.S. and who promotes it in Canada now.
For them, Occupy Wall Street is a scheme to shift the blame for the U.S. recession away from the White House, and onto someone else other than the Democratic Party.
Banks are still failing in the U.S., unemployment is at 9%, annual deficits there are a trillion and a half dollars, and the U.S. lost its triple-A credit rating. All on President Hope and Change's watch.
So they've come up with new slogans, like the one that claims these protesters represent 99% of Americans, and Wall Street represents the richest 1%. It's class warfare. If it were about helping people, they'd focus on the bottom 10% of Americans. It's the politics of jealousy.
But that sour message isn't clicking in Canada. We haven't had a bank fail.
So not one has been bailed out. Our unemployment rate is 7%. Which is 2% lower than in the U.S. Our national deficit is down to $33 billion. Our credit rating is golden.
Which is why so few people bothered to show up for the Occupy protests across Canada.
By Monday morning, only 20 protesters were left downtown in Toronto's financial district. How did they even know that was a protest? There are longer line-ups at Toronto hot dog carts.
But the CBC, the state broadcaster, went into Olympics- style mega-coverage over the weekend, sending out dozens of reporters and producers to cover the protests as if it were an election. They became a PR agency. They helped organize and promote the events.
One excitable CBC host actually claimed that the protests had spread to "more than 1,000 cities" around the world with "hundreds or thousands" of protesters in each. That's just false; there were protests in a few dozen cities, but in most the number was under 100.
The CBC was engaging in a telethon for the union protests. Not just promoting them, but skillfully editing them, too. They carefully kept off camera any embarrassing yahoos. That's the opposite approach the CBC takes with a genuine protest, like the annual the March for Life rally.
Every year well over 10,000 people march on Parliament Hill against abortion. They don't threaten revolution or anarchy. They don't crap on police cars.
But because they are pro-life, the CBC downplays them. They grudgingly report their rally. And they do their best to hunt for the nuttiest person in the crowd, and pretend that they speak for the whole mass.
I've got an idea. Let's occupy a mega-corporation that demands a yearly $1.1 billion bailout from taxpayers, violates transparency laws and doesn't register its secretive lobbying.
Yeah: Let's occupy the CBC.EZRA LEVANT, QMI AGENCY
From The Source, Oct. 19, 2011: John Robson breaks down the psychology behind the bizarre call and reply chanting and more at the Occupy protests.
From The Source, Oct. 19, 2011: Professor Frank Atkins on Quebec’s desperate hold onto House seat power and how they’re exploiting the resources of the West in the process.
From The Source, Oct. 19, 2011: Why does Quebec once again hold the fate of Canadian politics in its hands? I break it down.
From The Source, Oct. 18, 2011: Guest author Louis Fortin of MEI’s research paper, 'The Financing and Transparency of Unions,' challenges Canada’s labour unions to follow France’s example.
From The Source, Oct. 18, 2011: Kris Sims talks to us about the odd masks that are popping up during the 'Occupy' movement.
From The Source, Oct. 18, 2011: Jacqui Delaney gives me some perspective on my visit to the Occupy Toronto site at which I met--among others--a guy who told me about "FEMA's genocide," another guy who was running low on weed, a woman who says "the point" is camping out and a graphics designer who's waiting for a job that is more in line with this values. This is the full first half of the show. It has the final couple of minutes where I bring it on home by leading the call and repeat in the park.
From The Byline, Oct. 17, 2011: My conversation with Brian Lilley about why the Canadian media party is falling over itself to defend the notoriously secretive CBC.
From The Source, Oct. 17, 2011: Immigration Minister Jason Kenney weighs in on several issues including Amnesty International's arrest demands and the 'Occupy Wall St.' movement.
From The Source, Oct. 17, 2011: Joe Warmington brings us clips from the Occupy Toronto protest.
From The Source, Oct. 17, 2011: Andrew Breitbart blazed a trail away from the consensus media. He tells us about his philosophy and push against the leftist agenda.
Defending free speech
Because we believe in a society where freedom is more important than hurt feelings
Bill Whatcott doesn't like homosexuality.
A few years ago, that point of view would be called "mainstream." In fact, until the 1960s, homosexuality was a crime in the Criminal Code. That's been amended.
But there is another book out there, called the Holy Bible, that is equally critical of homosexuality.
It hasn't been amended yet, and some people still believe in it.
That's called freedom of religion.
Whatcott doesn't quietly believe homosexuality is wrong.
He's noisy about it. He hands out literature on the subject.
He's not diplomatic; some of his flyers are downright rude.
But he's always peaceful. Whatcott has never called for or committed violence.
What Bill Whatcott is doing is expressing himself.
He's upset about things — about a sexual practice he disagrees with, and the political acceptance of it.
But he's going about his disagreement in a very Canadian way — peacefully protesting about it.
But that's illegal in Saskatchewan, under section 14 of their human rights law, which reads in part:
"No person shall publish or display … on any lands or premises or in a newspaper, through … television or radio … or in any printed matter … or by means of any other medium … including any notice, sign, symbol, emblem, article, statement of other representation tending or likely to tend to deprive, abridge or otherwise restrict the enjoyment by any person … of any right … or that exposes or tends to expose to hatred, ridicules, belittles or otherwise affronts the dignity of any person …"
That's a massive, vague and subjective limit on free speech. And it limits Whatcott's freedom of religion, too.
What mature society makes it illegal to "affront" someone's "dignity"? That's how kindergarten teachers treat their children. But this law applies to adults. This law makes it illegal to "likely" cause someone to feel the emotion of hatred.
If that's all it took to wipe out the human emotion of hate — a natural emotion that is part of a normal personality — then we could just pass the Love Each Other Act and be done with it. But people don't work that way.
Turning anger into violence is wrong — and we have a Criminal Code and real police to deal with that.
But simply being mad isn't a crime. And neither is saying words that are mad. In fact, that's blowing off steam — it's a safety valve.
Countries that don't let you blow off steam peacefully, through mere words, are exactly the places where people are so frustrated they turn to violence. Think of the Arab world.
Human rights censorship laws are so vague, they become nothing more than the expression of the personal whims of the human rights commission enforcers. It's quite revealing. Canadian censors have persecuted Mark Harding, a Christian pastor concerned about Islam being taught in public schools.
Human rights commissions have gone after Father Alphonse de Valk, a 70-something Catholic priest in Toronto.
They investigated Calgary Bishop Fred Henry because he wrote a pastoral letter against gay marriage.
They hunted down the Christian Heritage Party. They convicted Rev. Stephen Boissoin of Red Deer, Alta., and subjected him to a lifetime ban on giving public sermons, or even writing private e-mails, criticizing gay marriage. The conviction was overturned in 2009.
What do these victims have in common? Pastor, priest, reverend, bishop, Christian party. Canada's human rights censors aren't declaring war on hate. They are declaring war on Christianity. Scratch a human rights commission, find an anti-Christian bigot.
That's Bill Whatcott's crime: He believes the Bible, which these kangaroo courts regard as hate literature. It's time the Supreme Court ended this politically abusive censorship. It's time the Canadian government treated free speech with respect. Not because we necessarily support Bill Whatcott or what he says.
But because we believe in a society where freedom is more important than hurt feelings.EZRA LEVANT, QMI AGENCY
Web Exclusive, Oct. 12, 2011: You've seen me defend freedom, but have you seen me dance? You have now thanks to this sunnewsnetwork.ca behind-the-scenes exclusive. (What else can I say? The rest of the flash mob failed to show up.)
From The Source, Oct. 13, 2011: Professor David Bradley, formerly featured on 60 Minutes for his politically incorrect racial ideas, joins us to discuss the politics of race in a potential Herman Cain/Barack Obama match up.
From The Source, Oct. 13, 2011: The 'Occupy Wall Street' movement is full of fickle protestors and hypocrisy; 'Bad-boy journalist' Andrew Breitbart brings us the videos.
From The Source, Oct. 13, 2011: Amnesty International gets it wrong on human rights once again. I have more on the institute's soft stance on Gorbachev.
From The Source, Oct. 12, 2011: In this installment of The Arab Underground, Jonathan Halevi talks about Gilad Shalit's release and a nascent Nazi movement in Egypt.
From The Source, Oct. 12, 2011: Toronto Police Services are taking religious accommodation one step further in their uniform allowance of wearing hijabs.
From The Source, Oct. 12, 2011: Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch on why status quo diplomacy with Iran and overtures from Obama has led us to this attempted terror attack.
From The Source, Oct. 12, 2011: David Akin and I go head to head in debating where to draw a line when it comes to free speech.
From The Source, Oct. 12, 2011: With the Supreme Court reviewing what qualifies as hate speech, I stand in defence of freedom.
From The Source, Oct. 11, 2011: Human rights lawyer Majed El Shafie reveals disturbing photos of violence against Cops and calls the military action against the Egyptian minority group a “genocide.”
From The Source, Oct. 11, 2011: I go head to head with Lorrie Goldstein who sympathizes with Occupy Wall Street protesters and shows viewers who’s really orchestrating the movement.
From The Source, Oct. 11, 2011: Brian Lilley and I chat about Omar Khadr's return to Canada.
From The Source, Oct. 11, 2011: COO of Air Canada, Duncan Dee, calls for a review of CATSA and questions their relevance in the security industry.
From The Source, Oct. 11, 2011: CATSA has been screening everything from hair gel to toothpaste for ten years, and I think that is long enough.
From The Source, Oct. 10, 2011: The outspoken 'Hockey Night' host is under fire for his views on fighting, but does he deserve it? Damian Goddard joins the debate.
From The Source, Oct. 10, 2011: Journalist Charles Cooke has immersed himself in the weirdness of the Occupy Wall Street protests, and shares his insights.
From The Source, Oct. 10, 2011: It’s a scary but true bedtime story. Convicted terrorist Omar Khadr is en route to Canada.
From The Source, Oct. 4, 2011 (posted on Oct. 10): Senator Patrick Brazeau takes aim at Greenpeace, which is using Aboriginal Canadians as a weapon to bash the oilsands industry.
No common sense
There's a word for what the OHRC allows: Bigotry
The Ontario Human Rights Commission says it's illegal to advertise an apartment for "students" or "seniors" only — that's age discrimination.
But when the OHRC was asked about dozens of "Muslims-only" apartment-for-rent ads in the Toronto area, they said it's out of their hands.
Earlier this summer, the OHRC was clearly short of real work to do, so it started creeping through apartment rental ads online — cyberstalking is what some people might call it. It was appalled by severely normal things landlords were saying.
They came up with an official list of illegal words to use in apartment ads. "Perfect apartment for a student" is illegal. Seriously — that's one of the examples from the OHRC website. It said that's age discrimination. Calling your apartment an "adult building?" Illegal. "Perfect for female student". Illegal.
This summer, the OHRC threatened landlords and even the websites that advertised these "discriminatory" words. But reporter Sarah Boesveld was poking around the website Kijiji.ca and found 32 apartments that say "only Muslims need apply." She called up the human rights commission … which said it's out of its hands.
Now, a part of private property is the right to choose who gets to come on it — no matter what your reason is. Think of the middle-aged male who wants to move into a sorority house. But that right goes further — including the right to exclude people for any reason at all. If you don't like their personality, their annoying laugh, the colour of their eyes. And even the colour of their skin. That's the point about private property: You have the right to be wrong — you even have the right to be racist.
We don't like the idea of people being racist. "Muslims only" is another way of saying "no Jews allowed" or "no Christians allowed." But it's their property, not ours. If people don't like it, they can have a little picket outside the property, on the street. A restaurant that discriminated that way might soon lose the business of fair-minded customers. But there is a market for some kinds of discrimination.
Take women-only fitness clubs. Surely they have the right to discriminate against men. Surely the Black Students Society can only allow blacks in. Surely a movie theatre can charge kids less than adults.Discrimination is something we do every day — it's really another word for choosing. Sometimes people make choices for odious reasons. That's the price of freedom — and it's a far lower price to pay than the costs of having a government so invasive that it can barge its way into every wrinkle of our lives, including our own homes.
I'm not for prosecuting these 32 Muslims-only landlords. If they want someone who follows their religion — for example, who won't bring pork or alcohol into the house, and who will respect their religious traditions — that's fine.
But the Ontario Human Rights Commission doesn't believe in property rights or freedom of association. They believe in counterfeit rights — like the right not to be offended. Except, of course, if the person doing the offending is Muslim, and the people being offended are Jews and Christians and Sikhs and Hindus and atheists.
There's a word for people like those at the OHRC who have different standards for different religions: Bigots.EZRA LEVANT, QMI AGENCY
CBC gets kid-glove treatment
State broadcasting corporation doesn't want same scrutiny it dishes out
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is used to criticizing others — often, quite viciously. But it sure doesn't react well when it is the mega-corporation being scrutinized.
Last week their president, Hubert Lacroix, lashed out at critics who are asking basic accountability questions about the CBC.
To Lacroix, having to answer for the CBC's mismanagement, luxurious perks and wasteful spending isn't acceptable. In a new conspiracy theory he shared with a friendly reporter, Lacroix says questions about CBC's secrecy and lack of accountability are just attempts to "weaken" the CBC. He says it's a scheme cooked up by his competitors — and he mentions the Sun specifically.
Is Lacroix really saying that being corrupt and wasteful is a sign of strength? That if the CBC isn't allowed to hide, say, its liquor budget and its limousine budget, it won't be a strong broadcaster?
The CBC likes to ask questions about other corporations. But they don't want the same scrutiny for their own corporate mismanagement.
The CBC likes to file access to information requests against the government and they complain if their responses are slow or incomplete.
But the CBC itself is also subject to access to information laws — and according to Canada's non-partisan information commissioner, Suzanne Legault, the CBC gets a score of F for compliance.
Apparently she is part of the plot to weaken the CBC.
Lacroix disrespects the idea of openness. He also disrespects the law — he has refused to comply with court rulings demanding he turn over his expenses. He's spending millions of dollars fighting accountability.
Stories of CBC wastefulness aren't new. But what's new is how the CBC is fighting back.
Lacroix is pulling in favours from media outlets that depend on the CBC for money. He's getting other media to shill for him — other companies who take money from him.
Lacroix spoke to Jennifer Ditchburn of the Canadian Press (CP) — she's the one who lovingly reported Lacroix's conspiracy theory last week.
Why would CP — an independent, private news agency — give such a friendly forum to the CBC, their government-owned competitor?
Well, the CBC is also the Canadian Press's biggest customer. CP sells its stories to newspapers across the country. The CBC buys millions of dollars worth from CP.
Would it would be financially dangerous for CP to ask tough questions of
their best customer?
And even Ditchburn herself arguably has a conflict of interest. Nominally, she works for CP. But the CBC regularly pays her to come on their TV panels. Not only does that supplement her CP income, it gives her a bigger media profile too.
Put aside money; even for social reasons, she would never be tough on her TV colleagues.
Do you really think she could ever ask tough questions about CBC's spending – when she herself is a beneficiary of CBC spending?
Same thing with the Toronto Star, same thing with the Globe and Mail — both are co-owners of Canadian Press. So they get a lot of the CBC's
$1.1 billion in tax dollars. It makes them pull their punches.
Even the conservative-leaning National Post has been bought off. In 2009, the CBC signed a big commercial agreement with the National Post to share editorial content — and even to sell ads into each other.
And even Canada's largest private broadcaster, who you'd think would be a critic of the CBC, has been co-opted, too. CTV has now teamed up with CBC to make a joint broadcasting bid for the 2014 and 2016 Olympics.
Well, the Sun hasn't been bought off. We ask questions about the CBC's mismanagement of tax money.
Not for malicious reasons. We ask because it's our right as taxpayers to ask. And anyone who would tell us to shut up about it is disrespecting taxpayers.EZRA LEVANT, QMI AGENCY
From The Source, Oct. 7, 2011: Keith Olbermann thinks Occupy Wall Street should be getting more mainstream media coverage, and I agree, but not for the same reasons.
From The Source, Oct. 7, 2011: I revisit the threats against David Letterman and South Park with Adam Turner of the Legal Project.
From The Source, Oct. 7, 2011: Constitutional lawyer Chris Schafer on the human rights atrocity of choosing your own roommate and Ontario Human Rights Commission creepin' on Craigslist.
From The Source, Oct. 7, 2011: The Human Rights Commission continues to play favourites in their hunt for renters' rights offences.
PM's chance to defend freedom of speech
After five years in power, the Conservative government finally has introduced a bill to repeal the censorship provision of the Canadian Human Rights Act.
After five years in power, the Conservative government finally has introduced a bill to repeal the censorship provision of the Canadian Human Rights Act.
That provision — called section 13 — gives the government the power to censor anything on the Internet "likely to expose a person … to hatred or contempt".
So it covers a Facebook link that you share that has an off-colour joke. Or a comment that you make on a blog that isn't quite politically correct.
Finally, the Conservative government has taken the first baby step to repealing it.
Well, that's not quite accurate. The Conservative government and the Justice Minister haven't done a thing. But a backbench MP from the northern Alberta riding of Westlock-St. Paul has. Last Friday, Brian Storseth introduced a private member's bill, Bill C-304, called "An Act to Amend the Canadian Human Rights Act (Protecting Freedom)." Normally when a private member's bill is introduced, it's merely a symbolic act — pretend busy-work that's little more than a press release, that has little chance of being passed, and often doesn't even get a chance to be debated.
But Storseth's C-304 isn't at the end of a long line. It's near the front — it's 15th in line. So it's quite likely that the bill will actually be debated, as soon as November, and voted on this year.
It should be a slam-dunk. Freedom of speech is so important to our society, it's bigger than left wing versus right wing, or conservative versus liberal.
During the Conservatives' two terms of minority government, they were afraid of offending the small group of Canadians who make their living by being professionally offended by things.
Literally a thousand lawyers and bureaucrats across Canada collectively take about $200 million from taxpayers to "work" in human rights commissions. And then there are all the lawyers-of-fortune and other shakedown artists and hangers-on out there who don't work directly for the industry, but who have a stake in it.
Of course these censors have a political agenda of their own. They don't believe in diversity — diversity of opinion, that is. All the people prosecuted by the Canadian government under section 13 fit a pattern. To use the language of the complaining left, the human rights commission engages in racial profiling. One hundred per cent of the people prosecuted under section 13 have been white and Christian. And 90% of them have been too poor to afford a lawyer.
Since the law was enacted by Pierre Trudeau, not a single case of Muslim extremism or Tamil extremism or Sikh extremism has ever been prosecuted by the censorship police. They just go after blue-collar white folks who tell immigrant jokes instead of fancy folks making fun of Christians or George Bush.
No doubt the complaining industry will lobby hard against this bill. But the Conservatives have the votes to do it — and probably enough truly liberal supporters in the opposition, too.
But how about the prime minister himself? In 1999, Stephen Harper said this: "Human rights commissions, as they are evolving, are an attack on our fundamental freedoms and the basic existence of a democratic society. It is in fact totalitarianism. I find this is very scary stuff." It has been a dozen years since then. Will Harper restore our freedom of speech, by supporting Storseth's bill?
We're about to find out.EZRA LEVANT, QMI AGENCY
From The Source, Oct. 6, 2011: Preston Manning speaks with me about the state of conservatism in Canada.
From The Source, Oct. 6, 2011: The United States has fallen so far behind in the space race that it is now requiring astronauts to learn Russian. Dasvidaniya NASA!
From The Source, Oct. 6, 2011: With the CBC President lashing out against critics, some other mainstream media are falling in line and giving the CBC a break.
From The Source, Oct. 5, 2011: Online journalist Jerome Williams brings more damming video evidence of Olympic hopeful and Vancouver vandal, Nathan Kotylak, and asks why the kid hasn’t been charged yet.
From The Source, Oct. 5, 2011: Selling raw milk is no crime, so why is it prohibited in Canada? I talk to milk producer Michael Schmidt.
From The Source, Oct. 5, 2011: A Saudi beheading caught on tape, a Saudi executioner bragging about his role in chopping off limbs, and pro-Assad rally held in Ottawa.
From The Source, Oct. 5, 2011: Saudi Arabia continues to make egregious human rights violations, so why isn't the mainstream media calling them out?
From The Source, Oct.4, 2011: Diversity consultant Kathy Shaidle discusses free speech and Canadian politicians--they just don't get it. Who will stand up for our rights?
From The Source, Oct. 4, 2011: The U.S. state department is getting set to make its decision on the Keystone XL pipeline. Which side are you on?
From The Source, Oct. 3, 2011: An amazed Rick Bell reacts to Alison Redford's stunning win in Alberta's PC leadership race.
From The Source, Oct. 3, 2011: Lorrie Goldstein talks about Dalton McGuinty's climbdown on CO2 cap and trade follies.
From The Source, Oct. 3, 2011: Dalton McGuinty's anti-oil assault includes the claim that it brings no jobs to Ontario. Say what? Dean Del Mastro has the truth.
From The Source, Oct. 3, 2011: MP Brian Storseth on his private member's bill, C-304, which proposes to kill the Canadian Human Rights Act's Section 13 that severely restricts free speech.
From The Source, Oct. 3, 2011: Did you know it's against the law to hurt someone's feelings in Canada? But that loony law may be repealed and I've got my fingers crossed.
CBC: Canadian Bash Corp.
Best feature at taxpayer-funded TIFF party for 'cool people' — riot gates to keep non-cool folks at bay
How has your household income done over the past few years?
Was the recession a tough time for your family? What do you think the looming double-dip recession is going to do to your cash flow?
Those are real questions for most Canadians. But not for the CBC.
In 2005, when Liberal Paul Martin was prime minister, the CBC wrung $982 million out of taxpayers. That's a staggeringly large sum.
Luckily, a fiscally conservative Stephen Harper took over. That's a joke: Since the "Conservatives" took over, the CBC's annual welfare cheque has rocketed to more than $1.1 billion.
Have you had a double-digit raise over the recession?
The CBC — and the more than 10 government unions who live off it — are having a party while the rest of the economy has been under stress.
Literally, a party. A month ago, the CBC threw a luxurious party at the Hazelton, Canada's most exquisite hotel, during the Toronto International Film Festival. They blocked off the street, and had stars like the band U2 on their red carpet.
The CBC's George Stroumboulopoulos hosted the party. But he isn't in any film. He just wanted to — in his words — party with "cool people." That's what he said.
When the Sun asked how much money they blew on this vanity party, the CBC refused to answer.
That would be fair enough if the CBC were like the other companies putting on the ritz during the film festival — private companies promoting movies or fashion.
If they want to spend their shareholders' dollars on a party, that's their business
But the CBC doesn't spend shareholders' money. They spend our money.
And they didn't even have a film at the film festival. They just wanted to be amongst the "cool" people.
I asked the CBC's spokesman Jeff Keay if the party cost more or less than $1 million. He refused to say.
One of the things that made the party expensive was the police-style riot gates to keep ordinary taxpayers at bay. Remember, they had to block off the city streets to really party hard. But that might have meant some non-cool taxpayers might have wandered in.
Taxpayers have their place at a CBC party: To stand back and gawk, in order to make the cool people feel cool. And, of course, to pay for the whole thing.
According to a poll by Abacus Data, more than 80% of Canadians do not know just how much money the CBC gets — half of them think the CBC liberates $150 million or less a year. No — it's almost ten times that much.
If the CBC's vanity party at the film festival did indeed cost $1 million, that really shouldn't be so shocking to us. The CBC burns through $1 million of our tax money every eight hours.
It's not just inappropriate for this Roman-style party to be going on in the middle of a recession, deficits and private sector cutbacks. It's also unacceptable competition against entrepreneurs in the media.
Because of its $1.1-billion subsidy, the CBC can decide, on a whim, to engage in uncompetitive practices. It can, for example, bid for exclusive broadcasting rights to shut out other companies. Not just for sports events, but for public events.
For example, the CBC bought up the rights to the Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill.
Only the CBC was allowed full, end-to-end coverage of the Canada Day festivities.
Seventy-five years ago when the CBC was founded, there might have been some reason for their subsidy.
Today, in an era of 500 TV channels, YouTube, iTunes and Netflix, there is no reason for one favoured channel to get $1.1 billion a year.
Sure, the big government unions love it.
And so do the "cool people."
But the rest of us have to live in a recession.
Cut off the CBC — and let them succeed or fail on their own merits.EZRA LEVANT, QMI AGENCY