Free speech held hostage by tribunal
The Record (Kitchener/Waterloo Ontario) ^ | 2008-06-09 | (editorial page)

If anything happens in Canada concerning the CHRC and authoritarian power it has seized over everything that breaths and moves in Canada it will be on the issue of freedom of the press that will bring about change -- it seems that the Parlament is not all that concerned about Canadian rights on Free Speech, and Parlament has even less concern about Canadians rights concerning Freedom of Religion. With this said we want to state here that all of this only occurred because the bible beleiving community in Canada whether they are Evangelical, Fundamentalist or Pentecostal or Charismatic for decades have not obeyed the Words and Commandments of Jesus Chirst to be lights unto the world from every hill and every housetop. Christ Commanded that we publicly profess His Name to every living creature. This has not occurred in any measure. Christ Commanded that we be witnesses -- and this is defined by the apostle John in 1 John as: that which our eyes have seen (Personally) that which our ears have heard (Personally) that which our hands have handled (Personally) concerning the Word of Life (Jesus Christ) that speak we unto you. Declaring his mighty deeds and acts and this so great a salvation we have entered in. -- So here we have in Canada a payday for Our neglect and willful disobedience. We have been administered by God a sentence of justice for our disgraceful acts of disobedience.

The Lord is declaring unto all in Canada that have an ear to hear -- repent (Individually and seek His face for as long as it takes so that God might reach deep into your heart and soul and get at those things you have been resistant to give up or surrender in full unto Him. Be aware the price of disobedience comes with a cost when you are issued a sentence of justice from on high. So that now preaching of sin righteousness and judgment comes with a cost and a price, just as their was a cost and price for Jesus Christ to preach the unfiltered truth, and there was a cost and price for the Apostles and Christ's disciples and those of the early church to preach the unvarnished truth so now this has come upon you in your nation. For those who will rise and not fear the personal cost, of arrest, being brought before the tribunal, being fined and being cast into prison for the sake of the Gospel I will in no wise cast thee out, for thou art my lights and precious jewels. Shine forth. Arise shine for thy light has come and the Glory of the Lord shall be in thee. Preach my Words and Commandments fearlessly and I will go out with thee and stand with thee. Fear not what men shall do unto you, fear God who can cast you in hell. Obedience, I love those that are obedient.

Posted on Wednesday, June 11, 2008 2:27:57 PM

For five depressing days in a nondescript courtroom in Vancouver last week, one of the most important rights in Canada -- the right to free speech -- was repeatedly kicked in the head.

It was a shocking, demeaning and unsettling spectacle that would be more at home in a totalitarian state than a country that claims to be a liberal democracy. But the attack on Maclean's magazine for daring to publish the Oct. 20, 2006 article, The Future Belongs To Islam, was entirely permissible under British Columbia's human rights laws. It is time those regulations, indeed the nation's human rights regulations, are rewritten. Much depends on this.

The hearing before the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal came in direct response to complaints made against Maclean's by two members of the Canadian Islamic Congress. It is obvious that those two individuals, one of whom is congress president Mohamed Elmasry of Waterloo, were sincerely offended by the article in question.

It is equally obvious they were using a system created by democratically elected politicians to seek redress. This system, not the two men's ruffled feelings, is what Canadians should object to.

Over the course of the week, the tribunal panel heard the complainants' lawyer argue that the Maclean's article was inaccurate, that it offended and hurt the feelings of Canadian Muslims and that it incited prejudice against this group. The panel was told, too, that the article was hateful and contemptuous of Muslims.

These are serious complaints. But surely they miss the point about freedom of speech. In one sense, freedom is its own defence and the greatest justification of all for what Maclean's did.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees that "everyone has . . . freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication.'' The charter does not extend this freedom only to viewpoints that are accurate. And in any case, who are the members of a tribunal panel to determine the truth of a subject as massive as that as the role of militant Islam in the world today? Nor does the charter grant free speech only to those who do not offend, affront or cause anger. If that were the case, the nation's newspapers would be filled with white space and its airwaves silence.

To be sure, free speech for individuals and the media is circumscribed by the laws of defamation, contempt of court and hate speech. But none of those laws has been arrayed against Maclean's. No court of law, which would convict only after proof had been demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt, has been asked to consider if the magazine violated Canada's hate-speech laws. No court of law, overseen by a judge and operating on more stringent standards of procedure and admissibility of evidence than a human rights tribunal, has been involved at any time.

Instead it has been left to an administrative, quasi-judicial tribunal, a group of suited bureaucrats, to weigh the right of free speech in a nation of 33 million people against the rights of two complainants who claim, without any compelling evidence, to speak for a large number of Canadian Muslims.

In a free and open society, the kind of society Canada wants and claims to be, citizens have the liberty to discuss important and controversial subjects. In 2008, in the aftermath of attacks launched by Islamic extremists against the United States, Britain and other countries, it is imperative that Canadians learn about and talk about this great global faith and the violent minority who would hijack it. That discussion will be difficult, even rancorous at times.

But if it proceeds, it will lead to greater mutual understanding for all. The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal is impeding this discussion and the operation of a free press. The powers of this and other such tribunals should be curtailed so that the discussion goes on -- and true free speech in Canada survives.