Canadian Supreme Court Kills Last Hope for Free Speech

Bruce Bawer is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center and the author of “While Europe Slept” and “Surrender.” His book "The Victims' Revolution: The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind" is just out from Broadside / Harper Collins.


That sound you hear is Voltaire rolling over in his grave.

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Once upon a time, it was commonly understood that this sentiment is the very foundation of a free society.  Compromise free speech, water it down, and you destroy freedom itself.

In Toronto there lives a man named Bill Whatcott. During the last two decades or so, he has spent much of his time traveling around Canada, waving protest signs at gay-pride parades and Planned Parenthood clinics, agitating for the criminalization of homosexual acts and abortion, and distributing fliers packed with incendiary language about gays and graphic images of aborted fetuses. In 2010 the Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal fined him $17,500 for distributing “hateful” materials; an appeals court overturned the ruling, whereupon the province’s Human Rights Commission appealed the case to the Canadian Supreme Court. Now the Court has ruled, and it’s an icy day for freedom in the Great White North.

To be sure, the Court’s unanimous ruling on the Whatcott case pretends to be nuanced, measured, carefully thought-out – a product of the most sophisticated kind of legal deliberation. In evaluating the hate-speech section of Saskatchewan’s Human Rights Code, for instance, the Court struck down a passage forbidding speech that “ridicules, belittles or otherwise affronts the dignity” of certain groups, while upholding a prohibition on language that is “likely to expose” those groups to hatred. For the most part, the Court upheld the province’s hate-speech legislation, maintaining that it “appropriately balances the fundamental values underlying freedom of expression with competing Charter rights and other values essential to a free and democratic society, in this case a commitment to equality and respect for group identity and the inherent dignity owed to all human beings.”

One of the many striking aspects of the Court’s decision is the insistence that any judge, jury, or commission seeking to determine whether a speech act crosses the threshold of being punishable by law must not look to the speaker’s intent but must, rather, make an assessment of the potential of that speech act for causing hate. Speech capable of causing emotions that are negative but that fall short of full-fledged “abhorrence,” the Court dictated, cannot be banned. Another key detail is that truth is no defense: it is impermissible even to state demonstrable facts if, in the authorities’ estimation, those facts might spark enmity toward a group. Yet another point worth mentioning is that any judgment rendered in such matters must, the Court posited, be arrived at in an “objective” manner.

Many commentators in the major Canadian media gave the Court’s decision at least a partial thumbs-up, agreeing that it struck an admirable balance between free speech and censorship. National Post columnist Jonathan Kay, for example, while regretting that the Court’s ruling will effectively stifle “strict religious conservatives” and deny them “the same free-speech rights enjoyed by secular Canadians,” claimed that it “can’t be considered a win” either “for free-speech champions” or “for human-rights censors,” and even characterized it as “a measured blow against political correctness” that puts Canadian human-rights commissions on notice “that they may target only public expressions of true hatred that create a genuine climate of menace for a targeted group.”

Meanwhile, over at the Globe and Mail, Michael Plaxton, a law professor at the University of Saskatchewan, served up a wishy-washy analysis in which he praised the Court’s “nuanced and well-crafted decision” while admitting that it “all but strangle[s] certain kinds of argument – particularly those made from a religious point of view.” While accepting that “a commitment to equality” may indeed require that some faith-based views “be muffled somewhat,” Plaxton suggested that if we do choose to tone down certain people’s opinions, “we should be honest about what we are doing.” And in the Montreal Gazette, human-rights lawyer Pearl Eliadis called the Court’s ruling “reasonable and balanced” and said that it “should provide comfort to those concerned about being found liable for ‘offending’ others,” given that judges will now be required to “look at the objectively verifiable effects of the speech, and not whether a person is merely affronted or offended.”

Terrifying, isn’t it? As the major Enlightenment thinkers and America’s Founding Fathers understood, free speech is really quite a simple matter. Yes, out-and-out libel is something else, as is shouting fire in a crowded theater. But beyond that, either speech is free or it isn’t. The Canadian Supreme Court’s decision – with its tangled, tortuous logic, its quaint, absurd confidence in the possibility of “objectively” ascertaining whether this or that statement is capable of engendering hate, and its prioritizing of group sensitivities over truth itself – has now verified that north of the border, speech is decidedly unfree. And they’ve done this, supposedly, for the benefit of the kinds of groups targeted by Bill Whatcott’s rhetoric.

Now, I’m not Canadian. But as a member of one of the groups the Court professes to be protecting, I feel obliged to say the following to the Court: Don’t do me any favors. I feel far less threatened by the likes of Whatcott than I do by courts that consider it their prerogative to limit the liberties of a free people in such an arrogant fashion. The justices seem not to recognize – or to care – that if you want to live in a truly free society, you’ve got to be willing to share that society with people who consider you an abomination and who feel compelled to shout their views from the rooftops. Curb their right to have their say, and you put your own rights on exceedingly shaky ground.

A further point. As we’ve seen, Jonathan Kay and Michael Plaxton, while generally approving of the Court’s decision, express concern that it will inhibit the articulation of religious convictions. But what they don’t note is that the Court’s decision is also a shot across the bow at those who might be inclined to criticize religion itself – notably Islam. Indeed, as law professor Alan Shanoff pointed out in the Toronto Sun, Canadians have effectively been enjoined by their Supreme Court to “tiptoe around criticism of any religion no matter how odious we may find some of its practices.” This isn’t fundamentally about Whatcott and other Christians of his stripe – their numbers up north are minimal and they pose no real threat to anything or anybody. No, one strongly suspects that for the Supreme Court, the Whatcott case represented, above all, a golden opportunity to set down guidelines for those individuals whose opinions have been perceived by Canadian authorities, in recent years, as the real menace to Canadian social order and harmony – namely, Islam critics like Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant.

A welcome dissent from the Court’s ruling came from National Post political columnist Andrew Coyne, who focused on a truly staggering sentence in the ruling, the intent of which was to justify the prosecution of even thoroughly veracious statements: “truth,” wrote the justices, “may be used for widely disparate ends.” Coyne’s thoroughly legitimate reaction: “I cannot quite believe I am reading these words, even now.” Coyne rightly questions the very premise of the Court’s ruling – namely, that people like Whatcott actually do succeed in convincing others to hate while “cut[ting] off any path of reply by the group under attack.” Take a gander at the National Post‘s photo of Whatcott with some of his posters, and ask yourself: has this guy caused hatred to spring up in formerly hate-free hearts – or is it more likely, on the contrary, that he’s intensified a lot of people’s contempt for the very views he seeks to spread?

The bottom line here is that the Canadian Supreme Court, in the name of justice, has struck a blow against freedom and promulgated a pack of lies – among them, first, the lie that free speech can and should be “balanced” against other worthy social objectives; second, the lie that it is possible for government officials to make “objective” determinations as to the possible consequences of a given speech act and as to the exact location of the boundary between hate and lesser emotions; and, third, the lie that “hate speech,” in some way, silences its targets. No, “hate speech” doesn’t silence – the prosecution of “hate speech” does. Yes, the Court’s decision may well be used to suppress the vigorous expression of religious people’s opinions – or, more specifically, the opinions of people who agree with Bill Whatcott. But does anyone honestly think that, say, Canadian imams who preach core Islamic tenets – such as the obligation to punish gays, apostates, and adulteresses with death – are henceforth in serious peril of prosecution? Or has the Court, instead, handed the “objective” instruments of Canadian justice a fresh new club with which to bludgeon the few brave souls in that nation who dare to tell the truth about the Religion of Peace?

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  • harrylies

    Canada also has laws against shild pornography. In fact, it is stricter than the United States. Covers novels depicting the rape of children. We do not live in a police state because of that.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "Canada also has laws against shild pornography. In fact, it is stricter than the United States. Covers novels depicting the rape of children. We do not live in a police state because of that."

      That would be a good point except for one problem: It's totally irrelevant. We're talking about speech.

    • http://locomotivebreath1901.blogspot.com/ LB1901

      Children are not adults. The rights, privileges, and laws which govern the behavior of each group in regard to each other have a distinction with a difference. And for good reasons.

      The Canadian High Court ruled (and badly, at that) on adult behavior in public toward other adults – or the state.

    • UCSPanther

      Political speech is NOT the same thing as stories written by creepy 50+ year old pedophiles involving BDSM and boys as young as 6 years (The John Robin Sharpe case a number of years back) or creepy, slovenly neckbeards who like lolicon hentai.

    • JacksonPearson

      The truth Harry, we want to hear nothing but the truth!
      e.g., "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
      —John 8:32

    • Mary Sue

      Dude, the convictions of child pornographers result in ridiculously short sentences in Canada.

      • UCSPanther

        IE the John Robin Sharpe case

        • Mary Sue

          exactly

    • Glennd1

      So you think that child porn is anything like 'hate speech' in terms of the law or some kind of morality? Are you really that deep in the tank for the left that your critical faculties are so dulled? Let me take it apart for you just so you can see how deformed your intellect is.

      Do you know why child porn is illegal? It's becauise of the de facto exploitation and abuse of children that it requires to produce it. It's because the child posing or acting in the sexual ways in porn are actually illegal acts in and of themselves by the adults directing the acs. You are found criminally liable for the harm done just by possessing the resultant pics/vids by being, essentially, a conspirator after the fact in a crime against a child. The pictures are simply evidence of the abuse.

      Criminalizing speech is done on the basis of some potential harm or actual non-physical harm How is that analagous to child porn? Are you really this dopey? Or are you just a child molester?

      • Marcy Fleming

        You're out to lunch. No one commits a crime by looking at pictures no matter how vulgar or tasteless.
        By your goofball nonreasoning one who looked at pictures of Auschwitz would be equivalent to an SS guy who worked there. The crime in child pornography is solely the use of underage children who are held in a condition of white slavery and abused.
        No law means no law as Justice Hugo Black argued in a rare moment of intellectual lucidity. regarding the First Amendment.
        This phony left-right non debate pits two groups of competing statists. This jerk in Canada was a statist and was just hoisted by his own petard. The decision is outrageous but entirely what one would expect from the police state of Canada.

        • Glennd1

          You are a nasty and dumb piece of work, aren't you? Let's put it in the context of rights. Children are a protected class in society, you do understand that, yes? There are all kinds of things you can't do to or with children as a result of the protection we afford children. As a society, we've agreed that there is an axiomatic relationship between viewing child porn creating the demand for it and the meeting of that demand by the production of it. On that moral basis we have banned the ownership of child porn. We have various protected classes in society – this shouldn't be hard to understand, even for someone as brutish as you, yes?

          • Marcy Fleming

            No I don't understand the statist-collectivist anti-concept of protected classes. There is a difference between pre-puberty sex by real pedophiles and having sex with 14-17 year olds who are sexually mature. I furthermore don't think any protections to pre-puberty children should be extended to adults. I thought this site forbade ad hominem attacks.
            No there is no such entity as 'society' and no there is no 'We' that agrees on everything.

  • john butala

    I might bash Canada for these latest official rulings against free speech, but it will probably come here to the U.S, eventually. We have hate crimes now. Hate- speech "crimes" are certain to follow…especially with more leftists in the White House. Who will be the judges about what is "offensive" speech? Take a guess. Canada is now traveling down the road of past totalitarian governments. Unfortunately, this kind of fascism will be seen in the U.S. in short order.

    • Jeff Ludwig

      I agree Mr. Butala.

    • defcon 4

      I wonder if we'll see ex-post facto enforcement of hate crime laws as well, and what I mean by hate crime laws is islamic blasphemy laws.

      • ban-sharia

        This ruling falls perfectly in line with Sharia. It is interesting to note that, in Canada, it is not legally possible for a "minority" [moslems] to commit a hate crime against the "majority". Hence they are feel free to say and do whatevever they want to Christians and others with no fear of the "hate crime" kangaroo courts.

        • mysteryworshiper

          Also, Jewish Noahide laws are similar to sharia laws.

  • Poikaa

    Here in the USA we have the First Amendment, it is in two parts…. separation of church and state and freedom of speech. These are somewhat flexible, as for the speech part…. "The Supreme Court requires the government to provide substantial justification for the interference with the right of free speech where it attempts to regulate the content of the speech." With that being said, I would not want someone demonstrating with the intent to belittle or cause disruptive damage while I am exercising my rights! I believe Canada has similar laws and rules but monetary forfeiture should not be excessive nor jail time.

    • John

      "I would not want someone demonstrating with the intent to belittle or cause disruptive damage while I am exercising my rights! "

      If a person could not ever be belittled, then there can be no free speech.

      If I read your post right you would be against Act Up disrupting church services as well as protesters trying to drown out a gay pride parade with a mega phone.

      After that am not sure where we agree.

      • JacksonPearson

        It would be really interesting to see how the left, and Obama would deal with trying to shut down free speech, coupled with Saul Alainsky's rule "Rule 5: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It’s hard to counterattack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage." Because it goes against their own thoughts, and mouths.

    • Drakken

      Would you care to point out in the Bill of Rights where it says you have the right not to be offeded? Yeah, that is what I thought, you can't, there is free speech or there isn't. It is that damn simple.

      • defcon 4

        I remember in Dearborn, Michigan when Terry Moore (the preacher who threatened to burn a koran) wanted to hold a demo the ruling dhimmis wanted to provide him a free speech zone in which to do it.
        If anything tells us that islamofascist curtailment of US civil rights is functioning in the USA today, it's events in Dearbornistan, Michigan.

    • Mary Sue

      The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms has something nasty within it known as the "Notwithstanding Clause" that can pretty much be used to abrogate ANY right enshrined therein, just so long as they have a 'good enough excuse'.

    • Cindy

      The words "separation of church and state " do not appear in the Constitution or Bill of Rights. It is a troublesome idea that came from Hugo Black, a SCOTUS justice that hated Catholics and twisted the writings of Thomas Jefferson in one of Black's rulings to discriminate against Catholics. "The free exercise there of" is what one finds in the Bill of Rights concerning religion.

    • Viet Vet

      There is NO Separation of Church and State clause in the U.S. Constitution.

  • Not Crazy…Yet

    From the article's last paragraph:

    "second, the lie that it is possible for government officials to make “objective” determinations as to the possible consequences of a given speech act and as to the exact location of the boundary between hate and lesser emotions"

    A useful thought experiment might be conducted to explore where such a boundry might be located.

    Start with a generic statement that would obviously be banned…say, " activity X is hateful and all who do it or protect it or defend it should be summarily killed ."

    Then begin substituting/changing terms (abominable for hateful, limit those to be sanctioned only to those who actually do activity x, allow that they only be punished as a consequence of some regular legal proceeding, etc.)

    It might be interesting to see how mealy mouthed the statement would have to become to become merely offensive in the court's estimation. It might be interesting to discover which activities could never discussed because they cannot be pablumized sufficiently to pass muster with their honors of the Canadian Supreme Court.

  • kafir4life

    So if I were in Canada, and I were to point out that I've heard that islam is a gutter cult, that it and it's moon god allah were made up by a rapist, murderer, and pedophile named mohamat the pig faced dog, I could be prosecuted?

    • Gordo

      Indeed you could! It is already happening. However, you do not have appointed judges. This is part of the reason Canada is slowly evolving toward fascism–rule by the elites!

      (By the way, kudos to Bruce Bawer for alerting the USA to this.)

      • Mary Sue

        I think it's more correct to say, Canada has NO elected Judges. While Judges do get elected in USA, the Supreme Court and some other high courts are all appointed.

    • poetcomic1

      You wouldn't say such things though would you? You are not nice. We have ways to MAKE you nice.

    • http://twitter.com/quark1912 @quark1912

      Indeed truth is no defence in hate speech trials.

    • Anonymous

      Hmmm…to repeat — The Supreme Court decision was about The Human Rights Commissions. In each province there is one Human Rights Commission. These Commissions are NOT — repeat NOT — courts. These commissions are informal bodies — there are No robed judges — the Head of the Commission may or may not have legal training. The Head of the Commission adjudicates (makes a decision); they are like provincial bureaucrats who have been appointed to their position. Hearsay evidence is admissible (that is, "I heard from my friend that so and so said X!") So, let us return to your rude statements. According to the Supreme Court's ruling — if you merely demonstrated "hatred" — that's OK. However, if your hatred arises to the level of "detestation" — then,Voila! You can be found to have violated The Human Rights Act. This could result in a 20,000 dollar (maximum) payment to your "victim" along with a maximum 10,000 dollar penalty. You are not "prosecuted" — no cops are involved — someone just needs to take offense and file a complaint to a Human Rights Board — that is what happened to Ezra Levant, Mark Steyn, etc. They can't put you in jail for violating the Human Rights Act (unless of course you refuse to pay up, then you'd be liable for a contempt charge and possible jail time). Oh, and truth is no defense (truth in Canada can now be labeled "hate"); your intentions count for nothing (so claiming that you were just joking won't get you off); and hurt feelings by our designated grievance groups (gays, Muslims, Albinos,
      etc) trump all. (Btw, all of the above does not even address The Criminal Code's anti Hate Speech — that's a separate matter — in which you can be arrested by the police, etc).

      • defcon 4

        So Ezra Levant spent a million dollars defending a civil hate speech case? Insane. Do they at least have the proviso that the plaintiff in the action can be counter-sued for bringing a frivolous case?

  • Dennis

    Does the fight for individual freedom ever end?

    Please take a few minutes to learn a method to answer Kafir4life's question. The answer is probably older than many of you who read frontpagemag.co, but I would bet David H. recognizes the method being presented:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEz5QOt7Umo

    As the saying goes, "DIG IT!"…

    Dennis

  • pat english

    Good article from Bruce Bawer. I hope Americans realize the only difference between them and Canadians and Europeans is that we still have the right of freedom of speech. They don't have that right in Europe where every criticism of Islam is deemed "Hate Speech." It appears as if Canada will now join the
    Europeans in that respect.

    Thank God for our right of freedom of speech. And watch out for Obama who wants to bring Hate Speech into the US.

    • Mary Sue

      Canada was teetering on the brink because it had Hate Speech laws for many decades now. Ernst Zundel and James Keegstra, both virulent antisemites (and holocaust deniers) were prosecuted under these laws. Zundel was also thrown out and deported to Germany to get the german brand of Hate Speech Justice.

      Chief Justice MacLachlin had previously ruled more favorably towards free speech in other cases, so this has left many civil libertarians in Canada scratching their heads.

      However there is a hope, the Feds have to strike down the law themselves. They can do it and now they're the only ones that can.

      • http://gravatar.com/bbqdcanukbeaver Gustavo P Gianello

        And they will not. The Harper government is well aware of the Mohammedan threat. I refuse to call it Islam–Read Spencer’s book on whether Mohammed existed. It is not about “submission to Allah” but about adherence to the perfect example of submission–Mohammed.

        Another thing to draw to the attention of Yanks. Bill Whatcott is being damned with faint praise. I know the man. He is not an anti-gay bigot. He was a homosexual and had a Christian conversion experience. As a hospice nurse in Saskatchewan, before his certification was cancelled, he helped gay men terminal with AIDS to die comfortably. NEVER believe what the media say–even the so-called conservative media. It’s all BS. About the only one who substantially gets it is Ezra Levant. Go to sunnewsnetwork.ca to get more. Human Rights Legislation and Tribunals have ONLY ever been used to prosecute Christians. If you take a Muslim who slapped you in the face for taking a photo of her, to a HRC you would be laughed at. The cops laughed at David Menzies in Toronto when he wanted a Muslim “b**tch charged for assaulting him in front of his 9 year old son. He was surrounded by a mob of Muslims and the cops refused to help Him.
        Dont think you Yanks are better off. The 1st amendment is dead–as is the rest of the constitution. As they used to say about the east, is a “paper tiger”. Dont believe me? Just try carrying a bible out in the open in Dearborn Michigan.
        Canada is a Fascist internal empire known as the “Dominion of Canada” but America is a Fascist and imperialist external Empire and has been so since at least Woodrow Wilson and making “the world safe for democracy”. We dont eat countries for breakfast–just Christian pastors and workers trying to be faithful to the Gospel. America sends its kids to die in Iraq–and for what? So they will adopt the American way of life? And how was that demonstrated? By electing Obama for the 2nd time, the most radical duplicitous and traitorous president POTUS has ever had. He’s killing you with fascism and you are pointing at Canada!

        Remember what the father of Fascism, Benito Mussolini said, “Everything in the state, nothing outside of the State” According to the last Rasmussen poll 60% of the people think Obama’s doing a good job. Folks fascism is alive and well…and growing in the good ole USA. If you think otherwise just try ordering a larger than 32 oz. soda in NYC

        Gus Gianello

        • Mary Sue

          oh yeah I've been watching Sun News for about a year, now since I was made aware of it.

          • defcon 4

            The only news network that comes close to the frank discussion of islamofascism seen on Sun News in the USA is CBN (Pat Robertson's Christian news network). Formerly, I wouldn't of considered Pat Robertson's show a news show, but considering the fact all the other MSM outlets act as nothing more than propaganda outlets for islamofascism I've re-evaluated my viewpoint on CBN.

  • LibertarianToo

    Interesting that they think they have to "balance" free speech and censorship. Isn't that like balancing farm productivity and starvation? Literacy and illiteracy? Swimming and drowning?

    It will also be interesting to see how the new balance is applied to Muslim incitement against Jews.

    • defcon 4

      The holey books of islam are full of explicit Jew hatred already. There are no less than three "authentic" hadiths that call for the genocide of Jews. Why hasn't the Canadian HRC addressed this? I'll bet if any OTHER print publication called for the genocide of Muslims, much less Jews they would be arrested in a hot minute. It's selective enforcement, which is really just another form of fascism.

      • Mary Sue

        The various human rights commissions have never heard of such hadiths, and nobody's brought them to their attention. Would be interesting to see what they said about it.

        • ban-sharia

          Don't be so naive Mary Sue, of course they know. These dhimmis do not care until it happens to them.

  • 11bravo

    We will be right behind them soon…snuffing out our own culture and society.

    Effing incredible, the west will not even defend itself!!!

  • tagalog

    When it comes to the application of law and the imposition of punishment for speech that constitutes "hate" speech, i.e., speech that is "abhorrent," I hope the Canadian courts will pay strict attention to working out a legally workable definition of "hate" and "abhorrence."

    I bet such a clear, bright-line definition can't be worked out, and that therefore the decision that hate speech can be limited will carry the fatal defect of being undefinable and overly vague. Truth or not.

    I wonder what sort of a test the courts will arrive at for the "objective" evaluation of certain views to inspire "hate" or "abhorrence." That should be interesting. Of course, only the state will be deemed capable of having the ablity to apply those "objective" standards.

    Of course, if speaking the truth constitutes "hate" speech that is "abhorrent," such a thing marks an important cultural turning point for Canada. I hope that Canadians won't sit still for that, but they probably will.

    • Viet Vet

      Sure they will. They only got their independence in the 20th century through the 'good will' of the British Empire.

  • EthanP

    We're next. BET ON IT!

    • Viet Vet

      Why do you think the left has been working these many years to obliterate the 2nd Amendment.

  • http://twitter.com/alKidya @alKidya

    We're all going to be ruled by the United Nations (of Islam) soon, by the appearance of things.

  • Mike

    The truly troublesome part of this for us as Americans is that we currently have on SCOTUS justices who believe that they should consider "international law'' when making decisions concerning our Constitution. If Obama gets a couple more picks to the court we may be truly screwed. Of course this also applies to other parts of the Constitution such as the 2nd amendment. In spite of all the other reasons to have voted for Romney over Obama in the last election, the future of the Supreme Court was probably the most important and the least considered.

    • tagalog

      Mob.

      Go to D.C.

      Oust the executive, the legislative, and the judicial branches from their comfortable chairs and bring them into the public square.

      Tar and feathers.

      Ride out of town on rails.

      Tell them not to come back until they're willing to acknowledge the validity of the theory of republican government, i.e., that the people elect their representatives to do the peoples' will, and that the courts change that only when there's a clear-cut Constitutional violation.

      That MIGHT help.

      • Ray Olson

        Dear tagalog–I believe that your representation of republican theory does not square with that of the American founders. They believed that every particular constituency should select the best person–most virtuous, wisest, etc.–who would agree to represent them and trust that person to make the best decisions on the matters that came before the legislative body in which he served, quite regardless of what his constituency's "will"–i..e., majority opinion–was. I think we ought to go back to that understanding of representation, but fat chance.

        • tagalog

          I'm OK with that, although I do think majority rule has been the effective method of self-rule from 1789 onward to the 1930s or the 1960s, depending on your take on history. But I do think the tar and feathers and the ride on the rail are necessary to bring our elected leaders and the judiciary back to it.

          Unfortunately, our elected leaders seem to have abdicated on the wisdom, virtue, and judgment parts, so we need to get them back on track.

          Mob rule is pretty unconstitutional, but then so was the American Revolution and the Civil War, as was the rise of the post New Deal bureaucracy (as the Supreme Court correctly ruled until the court-packing threat)..

          Maybe we could just stop paying them and send them home so they can't soak up the largesse from various interest groups. Maybe that would work instead of the tar and the feathers.

          • Ray Olson

            Dear tagalog–I could argue whether majority rule was what we have ever had, but I'm so much in agreement with you that why should I?

          • tagalog

            The more I think about what you wrote, the more I think you're right about what was intended. There are probably several tipping points that have occurred over time, but one of them was something I just read about, the point where the election of members of Congress was taken away from the state legislatures and made the subject of direct voting. Direct voting has diluted our republican form of government. I don't think it's been for the better, but maybe I'm wrong. What do you think?

          • Ray Olson

            Well, as I understand it, the House of Representatives was to be elected popularly, meaning by all franchise-holders in the members' respective districts. The Senate was to be elected by the states' legislators; this was changed by the 17th Amendment in 1913, for the at-the-time seemly reason that state legislators' senatorial ballots were being bought by industrial trusts. Whether the 17th Amendment was necessary is a good question. Why could the problem not have been fixed by expanding laws against bribery or regulating campaign contributions? (One big catch, I suppose, was that the state legislatures, not Congress, would have had to do the fixing, and reformers despaired of ever levering all those state legislatures.) In any event, the battle to keep Congressmen and Senators independent or, barring that, beholden to their electors, had long been perhaps fatally compromised by the existence of political parties–the "factions" that so many Founders warned us not to develop. I think that things would have gone better if the parties had never arisen and the role of money in elections had been stringently regulated if not eliminated. We should be electing virtuous and wise men (and women), not the human equivalents of toxic pond scum that vastly predominate under the regime of partisan politics. That, of course, calls for a reasonably virtuous and wise electorate, which in my opinion calls for classical liberal arts education rather than the academy for lackeys and thieves that American higher education, in particular, constitutes.

        • Viet Vet

          We can not get away from majority rule. In the final analysis it is a necessary thing. As the Founders sought to severely limit the power and rights of the central (federal) government, they left by far the majority of power/rights to the people or the states. The validity of an assumed right, and the scope and breadth and that right is to be determined in accordance with the collective sensibilities of the citizenry. Which necessarily means a majority. It is then the charge of the High Court to apply the Constitution to that proposed right. The majority view in such a case stands, unless it doesn't meet Constitutional muster.

  • BS77

    Say "Down with Big Brother" and they will come and take you away.

  • Herb Benty

    As a Canadian, I've watched political correctness seep it,s way through society and now the Supreme Court. "Truth can be used in different ways"…..my God! If we can't speak the truth for fear of offending someone or getting arrested, then the " brave new world" has arrived. You and I both know this is aimed at Christians, as we disagree with big gov't, Islamic infiltration, homosexuality etc. Harper @ Conservatives should appeal this atrocity perpetrated on Canadians by marxist judges.

    • tagalog

      The holding that "truth can be used in different ways" as a justification for punishing "hate" speech even if it is truthful is problematic in more than one way, but the one I'm considering is that if truth is capable of being used in different ways, aren't lies just as capable of a variety of uses? Isn't that an important reason why we don't want to punish people for telling the truth, whether there's freedom of speech or not?

      Another side of this: if we punish truth, people will have an incentive to tell falsehoods. Then we will have falsehoods posing as truth. Where will that lead us? This decsion of the Canadian court reveals one of the weaknesses of logic; once you give yourself over to a kind of slavery to logic, you are bound (eventually) to absurd results.

      I guess the old saw, "the truth hurts" now has a completely new, reversed, meaning. It now hurts the speaker, not the object of the speech.

      • Viet Vet

        Remember that the left chucked 'truth' a long time ago for 'moral relativism'.

        • tagalog

          Yes, and in that regard, when the truth is the same as lies in evaluating "hate," truth is no better than falsehood. I think that that equation has implications for a culture than can't possibly be good.

  • defcon 4

    So when insane imams, asinine ayatollahs and mad mullahs begin reciting the many verses of Jew hatred that are part and parcel of the islamic faith (as in explicitly spelt out in all of their holey books of hate) it'll be an expression of religious freedom in Canada, but when someone objects to it, they'll be eligible for prosecution?

    • Mary Sue

      theoretically. But Human Rights Tribunals in Canada usually only accept cases that are against Christians.

    • Uncle Vladdi

      Yes exactly – their right to issue death threats is protected religious speech. It is now illegal to accuse any criminals (moslems) of their crimes, if doing so might offend them and hurt their feelings, and so "make" them commit even more crimes!

      • Viet Vet

        Yes, it comes under cowardice in the face of the enemy.

  • David Govett

    I find the court's decision hateful.
    Now what?

    • Mickey Oberman

      I will certainly disobey that stupid hateful decision and continue to speak my mind as I have always done.
      I understand some of our jails are quite comfortable.

      By the way. What is the country whose president and government now rule that certain perfectly legitimate words may no longer be used lest they insult Muslims?

      • defcon 4

        Your last sentence only applies to US government agencies (e.g. federal law enforcement) and employees thereof. At least for now.

  • PAthena

    The decision of the Canadian Supreme Court against "hate speech" is itself "hate speech" – against every Canadian.

  • Drakken

    Congradulations Canada! By taking away a mans/womans right to air grievance by written word or oral arguement, you have now made it enevitable that grievance will now be said at the point of gun. The Law of Unintended Consequenses at it's finest. The lib/progressive/marxist thinks that this will bring peace and harmony to the masses, nothing could be further from the truth, this will bring the day the leftards rue the day they thought of this complete utter insanity.God might forgive them, but the regular folks won't.

    • Viet Vet

      That's what happened when they (the friggen lawyers) made fisticuffs an assault and battery felony. Simple fisticuffs used to settle things.

  • M. Archer

    The foundational flaw with this approach is that the potential and measure of what is "offensive" is in the ear or eye of the beholder. No tolerance is required on the part of the person(s) being offended. It then becomes acceptable to do or say anything in the name of free speach. At the rate that this ruling escalated the argument it will soon be acceptable to rape or murder as a life style and we will be restrained to draw objection to it. The way forward is to restrain "free speech" along the lines of that which could reasonably be shown to be violence or hate mongering toward our fellow man. It is widely understood that one need not use a gun to "kill" a persons influence or their reputation. Words can and have been used to do this for ever and we tolerate it's use because of the fear of censorship. If we as a society cannot communicate our ideas and objections to principles and procedures better than having to resort to defamation of another in the most malicious ways; then we should not be surprised when our foundation as a society begins to crumble. We bring it on ourselves but who will believe our report and act decently toward the other.

    • Drakken

      Tell that to the leftist first, then we can talk. Curb free speech you have a dictatership and socialism/communism on steroids. I'll take my 1st Amendment rights as they are thank you very much.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "No tolerance is required on the part of the person(s) being offended."

      "It then becomes acceptable to do or say anything in the name of free speach."

      Nearly so. There are already laws against incitement,

      "At the rate that this ruling escalated the argument it will soon be acceptable to rape or murder as a life style and we will be restrained to draw objection to it."

      This is already the case in the case of jihadis.

      "The way forward is to restrain "free speech" along the lines of that which could reasonably be shown to be violence or hate mongering toward our fellow man."

      We call that incitement. They had to change the wording so that we'd have a harder time referring to case law when defending people accused of hate speech. They wanted to create a new standard for the theory of incitement. Now, when Muslims or other protected classes riot, we need to find out who offended them. If you ask who incited them, you'd easily say that nobody did. But calling it hate speech means we have to look at their clean slate theory when actually they want to move the goal posts on incitement so that they can protect the classes they choose. The establishment is just presumed to hate "others" so it's a lot easier to make an emotional case against any presumed member of the establishment and therefore easier to side with the member of the protected class.

      It's class warfare.

  • Mary Sue

    There is only one bright side to this ruling. If Human Rights Tribunals ever grow a brain, it can be used against hate-spewing Islamists.

    Other than that, it's an utter travesty. Chief Justice Beverly MacLachlin, hang your head in shame! I thought that she had more brains and integrity than that! Truly a decision worthy of that idiot Bertha Wilson (a Canadian Supreme Court judge that helped strike down all abortion laws in Canada in 1988 in the Morgentaler case).

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "There is only one bright side to this ruling. If Human Rights Tribunals ever grow a brain, it can be used against hate-spewing Islamists."

      The use of "hate" theories rather than "incitement" theories allow them to introduce class victim theories as well. Muslims are victims of hate speech. They're not the culprits. Muslims can't hate according to leftist legal doctrines and theories. Even if they do show hate on the surface (as one would objectively observe) we can't ignore the historical class hatred they suffered. They're perpetual victims.

      That's what Bill Ayers and his peers have been teaching.

      • Mary Sue

        yeah, that's the problem.

    • defcon 4

      You're whistling past the graveyard. Has anyone muslim EVER been charged w/hate crimes the way Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn were already? Do you seriously believe no one Muslim has been publicly uttering the delusional Jew hatred that are part and parcel of the islamic faith up to now anywhere in Canada? Or alternatively, denying the Holocaust?

      • Mary Sue

        I don't think they have. I'm speaking theoretically. Practically, unless some atheists wake up and realize the threat Islam is to their Freedom From Religion over at the HRC, it ain't gonna happen.

        The last person who was ever convicted of uttering crap about the Jews was an indian by the name of Ahenakew.

    • tagalog

      Bertha don't you come around here any more!

  • jtrolla

    Canada has no Bill of Rights to protect its citizens from an abusive government. If we fail to fight (and fight we must) to keep ours, or its tattered remnants, we will also congeal into a techno/police state–it's almost here right now. Hear that drone flying over your house?

    • Mary Sue

      we have a Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but it is woefully inadequate. No property rights enshrined, and no second amendment rights. Pierre Elliot Trudeau the Communist saw to that.

    • Viet Vet

      The problem is when you have despots and tyrants like the Obummer administration and democraps in Congress, who have nothing but contempt for the Constitution and The Bill of Rights. Who have nothing but contempt for the people who drafted it and those who ratified it.

      • jtrolla

        You've summed it up. A government is no better than who run it and, perhaps, no better than whom it governs.

        • defcon 4

          I think the corruption of our politicians, LEO's and judiciary in the US by islamofascist petrodollars is more commonplace than not and at levels that the mafia could only dream about.

  • Jeff Ludwig

    The comments as well as the article are right on target in my opinion. Do you want to be ostracized? Try being a teacher in a New York High School who is on the conservative side of things. Said teacher will be ostracized by his/her colleagues — in ways subtle and not so subtle.I taught in NYC high schools for 21 years. During the first two weeks at one school, one of the self-labeled communists said to me, "Communism is dead in the USSR, but it's alive and well in this high school." Others boasted they taught U.S. history wholly using photocopies of sections from Howard Zinn's book A Peoples' History of the U.S. When I challenged that as being unbalanced, I faced a barrage of personal insults.

    • Viet Vet

      Howard Zinn's political rag of a a book, purporting to be history, is very similar to PBS's dwelling day after day on the 5% of America's misteps in history. Their purpose is to make the 5% appear to be 95%.

  • Jeff Ludwig

    I didn't want to give the wrong impression by my above comment. The Canadian example is worse than ostracism. It is formal suppression of free speech. Inevitably, people whose speech is suppressed by said laws will, of course, also be socially ostracized, which is a horrible "side effect" of this recent ruling. There are dangers to a people when a government becomes this involved with censorship, albeit a nuanced form of censorship. Smart people know how to make something fundamentally wrong seem o.k., and the Canadian tribunal seems to be staffed by such smart people. But, as one of the commentators said, many wicked comments will be largely ignored because they will come from certain protected, Islamic groups or from anti-semitic groups or anti-Christian groups. So the ruling is not, and obviously will not be, administered in an even-handed manner even though its decision is being expressed with even-handed sounding rhetoric.

    • Viet Vet

      Suppression of free speech IS the de facto ostracizing of the people who exercise that freedom.

  • Uncle Vladdi

    basically, what these “judges” assert is that:

    1. If you express hate (perpetual anger) towards anyone, it’s never justified (they are always innocent); so it’s “illegal” to truthfully accuse any criminals of their crimes, even with proof.

    Whenever you are angry at someone else, you are hereby pre-judged to be wrong; you are to be automatically judged Guilty Until (never) Proven Innocent! Your “facts” are completely irrelevant!

    The Supreme Court of Canada says so!

    Hate is the crime, not the fact that the criminal you hate committed hateful crimes against you first.

    You must all learn to be better victims, because it’s only the criminals’ right to remain irresponsibly wrong.

    2. It is absolutely illegal to hate anyone because of (chosen/voluntary or not) group membership!

    3. It is therefore illegal to hate any or all mafiosis, nazis, or moslems, for committing crimes, and it’s especially illegal to hate them for simply being members of groups that threaten everyone else!

    Group might-made-right extortion trumps all individual citizen’s rights to complain about (“hate”) it!

    ;-(

    The group extortion rights promoting stance of these “Human Rights Commisisons” (HRCs) is anti real individual human rights.

    We already have valid laws against SLANDER (and against it’s written/recorded form: “Libel”) – but they involve not only the Defense of the Truth (where, if your accusations are based on facts, they cannot be deemed slander) and also that actual harm has to be proven, not only slanderoulsy inferred;

    i.e:

    “Since you MIGHT hurt someone’s feelings, SO you WILL hurt them, SO we must stop you in advance!”

    This is “pre-emptive” slander on the part of the court system and government; it is to attack the citizens first, pre-judging them Guilty Until (never) Proven Innocent!

    The Golden Rule of Law, which simply defines all situational morality as DO NOT ATTACK FIRST!

    This is the #1 requirement for all sub-sequent laws, rules, and regulations; it’s basic Law 101 that this is the only requrement which validates any and all laws! Without it, they are invalid and void!

    After all, when you attack the Others first, then, by definition, you are the predatory criminal aggressor, and they are your innocent victims – there’s no two ways about it!

    (Attacking second, or counter-attacking, in defense of one’s self and/or of innocent others, is always OK, and in fact such retaliation is the most basic and crucial, mandatory requirement for having any sort of deterring justice in the world at all, ever)! The only caveat is that all threats are psychological attacks (aka: coercion, duress, extortion, “terrorism”) and all non-defensive attacks are already classified as crimes.

    Yet these “judges” don’t seem to know this simple FACT!

    The HRCs are false rival courts to the real judicial system. They endorse false and subjective group rights at the expense of the universal equality of real human individual citizens rights!

    For any court to endorse and support them, in stead of declaring them illegal, is to bring the entire justice system into disrepute.

    A two-tier system, one for individual rights, and one endorsing group rights (extortion) is to offset our only objective justice system with a subjective injustice system – it is to endorse crime and double standards.

    How many real individual human lives have been ruined already by these confused and idolatrous criminal tards who dare to call themselves “judges”?!

    ;-(

    • Silviu R.

      This is Silviu R. From Romania ( now an American citizen ). U. V., your posting is excellent. You have a
      great grasp of the issues. Try to get as many people as possible to understand. As long as people can be
      fooled into thinking this kind of legislation makes sense ( " laws need to force people into being polite, etc ),
      this reign of arbitrariness will continue. Ayn Rand said : the smallest minority is the individual. Therefore, one cannot call oneself a protector of minorities if one does not protect individual rights. America may learn
      many things from others ; in matters of speech and press, nothing. Everyone else should learn from U. S.

  • Uncle Vladdi

    It's insane to try to criminalize an emotion such as "hate!" Hate is only the perfectly natural human response of perpetual anger towards ongoing crimes (like islam) without hate, no one would ever bother to accuse any criminals of their crimes, and by doing so, hope to end those crimes!

    It's victim-blaming nannystate extortion at its worst: "I don't care who started it – *I* only want it all to stop!"

    These "judges" now pretend to make it "illegal" to accuse any criminals (moslems) of their crimes, if doing so might offend them and hurt their feelings, and so "make" them commit even more crimes!

  • LindaRivera

    What a very sad day for freedom. This law will NEVER be used against violent, hate-filled Muslims who call for the MURDER of gays. We all know that Muslims can do and say whatever they want in our Western countries.

    Muslims and their leftist allies must be salivating abut using this freedom-destroying law against non-Muslims who tell the truth about Islam.

    • Mary Sue

      stranger things have happened. A human rights case was settled before it went up, where a Muslim barber who follows some weird "Koranic" injunction not to touch "strange" women refused to cut a Lesbian woman's hair (I don't know if he knew she was) at a Toronto Barber shop. Settled, meaning the Muslim Barber pays through the nose or something.

      • defcon 4

        But Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant were brought up on criminal charges, they would have been imprisoned if they had lost their cases. Obviously the muslim barber wasn't, so some types of hate are more acceptable than others.

  • Uncle Vladdi

    True "hate" is only the natural human response of perpetual anger towards ongoing crimes (like islam)!

    Without "hate," no one would ever bother to accuse any criminals of their crimes, and by doing so, end those crimes!

    When they pretend to want to make HATE CRIMES "illegal," they really only try to make it illegal to HATE CRIMES!

    They now pretend it's illegal to accuse any criminals of their crimes, if doing so might hurt the criminals' feelings, to "offend" them with the often-painful truth, and so "make" them commit even more crimes!

    Well, I'm not afraid to say in public, that Yes, I DO hate crimes!

    So why don't these 'authorities?'!

    The ONLY limit to Free Speech, should be the Truth!

    As even Aristotle noted long ago, slander is only pre-judice, and vice-versa; presenting accusatory opinions as if they were facts (making accusations against someone else, BEFORE having the facts straight)! And that breaks the Golden Rule of Law (to not attack first)!

    Of course, aggressively chanting or yelling a truth at someone in a threatening manner ALSO breaks the Golden Rule, because all threats are psychological attacks (aka: coercion, duress, extortion, "terrorism") and all non-defensive attacks are crimes.

    But 'threatening' a criminal with his just punishments, after he's already committed his crimes, isn't a theat so much as a promise!

    The only other way speech should be limited, is if it incites un-just violence against innocent others (as opposed to legislators and police chiefs calling for violence against those who have already attacked innocent others, as in if they call for the death-penalty, for instance).

    The Defense of Truth should always apply.

  • Toni_Pereira

    "National Post columnist Jonathan Kay, for example, while regretting that the Court’s ruling will effectively stifle “strict religious conservatives” and deny them “the same free-speech rights enjoyed by secular Canadians,” claimed that it “can’t be considered a win” either “for free-speech champions” or “for human-rights censors,” and even characterized it as “a measured blow against political correctness” that puts Canadian human-rights commissions on notice “that they may target only public expressions of true hatred that create a genuine climate of menace for a targeted group.”

    A real pearl of Doublethinking, that noble art of subscribing two incompatible points of view.If Voltaire is turning on his grave, Orwell is on his way to Ottawa to kick somebody's ass…

    • John Stone

      Breathtaking in its confusion. It frames the decision as a compromise between political groups instead of a statement of law. If that is what the court is going to do then the court is unnecessary. Compromise between groups is what elected officials do. The art of the deal.

  • John Stone

    Among other things it gives special protection to people who are unusually distasteful. The creepier a person is the easier it is to inspire hatred against the them, and so the more protection they get. Given the natural character of Islam, of course it is going to get a lot of protection.

  • Anonymous

    As an American living in Canada, I am appalled by the idiocy of this ruling. I also want to know what truthful statement these idiot judges would deem too dangerous to be expressed — what truthful statement needs/must be censored in their view? I am reminded of that Monty Python skit in which there is the joke whose punch line must never be said, cause it claims to cause the hearer to drop dead from laughter. Yeah, maybe that is what these idiot judges in Canada figure they're protecting the citizenry from — dropping dead from laughter. What a sorry joke. Americans — be apprised and act accordingly!

  • Mr. Polly

    In the latter part of the article the author gets to the real point for Front Page Mag readers: Jewish-imposed "hate speech" laws are now coming back to bite Jews who criticize Islam. There's a kind of justice in that.

    • defcon 4

      Denying the slaughter of 6 million Jews (as amply documented by the highly organized psychopathic Nazis themselves) is not criticising Judaism, it's denying a genocide, kinda like the Turkish and Indonesian islamofascists do about their actions in Armenia or E. Timor.

    • Mary Sue

      I've always been against hate speech laws.

    • John Stone

      >>"hate speech" laws are now coming back to bite Jews – They are not going to like your comment on this board, but that is what is happening.

  • john_siple

    There's a whole lotta reading, superfluous in my mind, before the bottom line, at the end. Too wordy.

  • john_siple

    The headline is valid, & cries for justice.

  • Flowerknife_us

    when truth becomes libel-there is no justice but that of the wishes of the State.

  • mkat68

    First Britain, then Australia, and now Canada – either we make a stand here in the US now against this insanity known as political correctness, or freedom as we know it will be snuffed out forever by those who imagine themselves to be our betters.

  • Elsa_is_Elsa

    I am most struck by these words:
    a truly staggering sentence in the ruling, the intent of which was to justify the prosecution of even thoroughly veracious statements: “truth,” wrote the justices, “may be used for widely disparate ends.” Coyne’s thoroughly legitimate reaction: “I cannot quite believe I am reading these words, even now.”

  • cpsoper

    Very disappointing. Canada takes a step into the twilight.

  • Fritz

    The next step needs to be taken by legislators to repeal the hate speech laws, the Canadian Federal government is already in the process of doing this by voting to repeal section 13 of the Canadian human rights act, though the bill is hung up in the unelected senate by some senators appointed during the Mulroney era. However this is only a temporary setback, eventually it will becomes law as the bill must be returned to the House of Commons to be voted on again. Brad Wall, the premier of the province of Saskatchewan, is a small "C" conservative who has already attempted to reform the Saskatchewan Human rights commission because of behavior like this, so there is a good chance his government could be persuaded to do the same.
    This case was obsolete before it ever made it to the Supreme Court of Canada, Bill Whatcott was printing hand written pamphlets and dropping them in people's mailboxes, sort of a kooky thing to do in the age of the internet, social media, and instant messaging. Syria's dictator Basher Al Assad can't manage to shut down the internet and social media in his country so a group of over the hill lawyers averaging 69 years of age, also known as supreme court judges, in a Western democracy, won't be able to.
    The irony is that disseminating so called "hate" propaganda is considered a crime for which there is no defense, well the Supreme Court of Canada has posted Mr. Whatcott's pamphlets on their website for the public record. So if their intent was to quash and censor this sort of information they failed miserably, thousands more people will be able to see and read these materials then Mr Whatcott would have ever been able to do by dropping copies of it through mail slots.

  • http://www.radicalpress.com Arthur Topham

    Speak my mind it says. Fine. I will. Let’s see if you’ll publish it though.

    From my vantage point as a Canadian and a man who is presently facing a sec. 13(1) “hate crime” complaint initiated in 2007 by B’nai Brith Canada (currently stayed due to the Warman vs Lemire case) plus an additional CC sec. 319(2) “hate crime” charge alleged against me in May of 2012 by the same folks who started the sec. 13(1); one that resulted in my arrest, incarceration and the invasion of my home with the resultant theft of all of my computers and files by the B.C. “Hate Crime Team”, I view the SCC decision in the Whatcott case much differently.

    What I’m witnessing is just more attacks upon Canada’s fundamental freedoms that are the direct result of Jewish malfeasance on the part of the SCC, the Jew owned media and the Jew columnists who inevitably play both sides of the political spectrum in their endless efforts to brainwash the unwary and ignorant Canadian public into believing that all sides of the question have been addressed. They haven’t been. Not by a long shot.

    While it’s good for the Harry Abrams and Richard Warmans and Ezra Levants and all the rest of the bigots who use the Zionist media to spread hatred toward the Muslims and Christians and non-Jews it certainly isn’t a benefit to the rest of Canadians who value their human rights.

    The truth is (and this is why Rothstein and the other two Jew Justices approve of subverting and limiting truth as a justifiable defence) that Canada’s SC and the Harper Conservative government are under overwhelming influence by duel-citizens of Israel-Canada and the primary purpose of limiting freedom of speech in Canada (and elsewhere around the world) is to prevent the rest of the non-Jewish population from using the Internet to expose the hate-filled, racist and supremacist agenda of world Jewry against the remainder of humanity, especially the Arab peoples of the Middle East.

    Commenters on this Jewish site are spewing their hatred toward the Muslims and downplaying the constant negative attacks against Christians that their own Talmud teaches them all the while pretending to be so liberal and concerned for the rest of country. For the most part you are all bigots, liars and deceivers acting in the best interests of the state of Israel and the Zionist ideology.

    Some of you are saying it’s the end of freedom of speech in Canada now that this ruling has come down. That’s wishful thinking on your part. The more suppression of speech the more precarious your own position will become and the more obvious to others what your agenda truly is.

    • defcon 4

      Have you ever considered psychiatric help? Delusional psychopathy IS treatable these days.
      Alternatively, you can remove yourself to any one of the islamofascist states of the OIC where you'll find your delusional Jew hatred to be a good fit.

    • KarshiKhanabad

      "For the most part you are all bigots, liars and deceivers acting in the best interests of the state of Israel and the Zionist ideology." Spoken like a true Mein Kampf reading Arab Muslim supremacist. And "World Jewry"? How Hitlerian of you.

      I reject your namecalling but I am definitely a proud Zionist even though I'm not Jewish. And if I wasn't Christian I wouldn't have the slightest objection to being Jewish.

      Wanna know why? First, the Jews aren't trying to kill me because their religion tell them so. Second, the state of Israel is the only place in the Middle East that is healthy for children & other living things. Thirdly, whatever happens to the Jews will happen to the rest of the non-Muslim world in the name of Allah (forced conversion, subjugation, mass murder), so I might as well ally myself with the most successfully Islam-resistant people in the world, the Jews of Israel.

      • Uncle Vladdi

        I couldn't have said it better myself! Kudos!

    • Uncle Vladdi

      You shouldn't be charged with a "hate-crime" because such a category is nonsense; at most, you should be charged with slander (if anyone cared to pay any attention to you) because you are making pre-judiced public accusations without any proof (which is the simple definition of both pre-judice and slander). You seem to like moslems, yet they are only swarthy nazis (but it's more accurate to say that the nazis were only 'white' moslems) so you seem to be supporting a global extortion-racket crime-syndicate in public. there's tons of proof about this, so my words aren't slander, but your support for said gang of holy mobsters could be seen as endorsing crime, and so you could still be charged with that crime, too.

  • Anonymous

    Just as a clarification — in Canada, there can be lodged a Civil Complaint to a Human Rights body (done at the provincial level). Here is where a Kangaroo "court" operates — hearsay evidence is admissible, awards are made for "hurt feelings", the adjudicator many times has no legal training, etc. Section 13 of this Human Rights Act is what many Canadians are trying to get rid of. Now, there is another anti Hate Speech law — this is part of Canada's Criminal Code. Here you can have the police involved, you get to go to a real court, and face a real judge, etc. but in order to reach this level — you typically have to have done something pretty severe (the Attorney General of the province has to sign-off on the charge — it's beyond a mere civil matter). Some Canadians wish to keep the Criminal Code provisions, while getting rid of the Human Rights tribunals.

  • John Stone

    A common rule in law is that a law has to be specific. The law has to be clear enough that it can reasonably be adjudicated in a systematic way. Otherwise the law does nothing but make the judge into a potentate who invents the law as he goes because its vagueness allows that to happen. That is the whole problem with all these freedom of speech laws. What constitutes hatefulness is not objective. It is always just somebodies opinion. On implementation the law becomes the opinion of the judge acting as a potentate who by virtue of circumstance gets to limit freedom of speech based on personal pique, not some identifiable legal premise.

    • Uncle Vladdi

      True! And subjective legal opinions with the force of law behind them, are termed: "Fatwas!"

  • Spitfire1938

    Sorry to hear about this… Canada was once a wonderful Country, as was the US. Times are changing though, and it's clear ' we' can no longer abide these rancid purveyors of descent and civil unrest! Not to worry however, soon the US will have hundreds of eagerly anticipated Death Camps up and running and you Canadians can send your dissenters down here for disposal. Our civil servants are all smartly uniformed and Jack Booted up. They can't wait to be of assistance. Cheers!

  • tanstaafl

    Islam has no problem using the rights of a free society to enslave the infidel.

  • Ghostwriter

    I don't know if we're going to see a flood of Canadians into this country,but because of this idiotic ruling,we just might. Also,I hope that Jew hating piece of filth Mr. Polly returns to the ooze from which he was spawned from. We have enough problems in the world. We don't need anymore from that creep.

  • http://creativityalliance.com Reverend Cailen Cambeul

    Ah, ye ole ladder of political correctness comes to the fore once again. A heterosexual White man is not allowed to denigrate homosexuals, yet nobody will ever touch a Muslim who preaches death against the homosexuals. All the court has done is prove the prevailing belief that the amount of rights you have depend on your position on the ladder of political correctness. As a heterosexual, not disabled, not criminal White man, I am positioned at the bottom of that ladder. As a consequence, “polite society” has determined that I live a privileged life and must wave my rights to freedom of speech, and protection from persecution and physical harm in favour of those further up the ladder of political correctness.

    What is your position on the ladder of political correctness?

  • Caherles Frey

    Dear Uncle Vladdi: Your very first paragraph sums it up very succinctly. However, in addition to your two tiers of " justice ", we have four more TIERS. "Justice" for [I] the Poor; and [ii] the Rich; and [iii] the Unrepresented; and [iv] THE FILTHIEST VARIETY, THAT FOR THE INSIDERS : THOSE WHO OWN THE SHOP.

    When contradiction to, or contravention of "political correctness" becomes criminalized, we had better speak of it as OPINION TERROR.

  • Silviu R.

    I come from a forml Commie country, Romania. I am so tired of people who want to tell others how to live —- in the name of peace and harmony. I don't want peace at any cost. Those Canadian laws are insane because
    they penalize thought, not behavior ( or speech which incites behavior ). Exactly what is " hate " speech, and
    why should it be banned ? … Whatever happened to that noble principle, the one which is falsely ascribed to
    Voltaire ? … We need for the state to protect legitimate rights, not shrink them. If you don't like what I have to
    say about your religion, or anything else, just don't listen. Those laws give barbarians of any color an excuse to terrorize the rest of us into silence. Over my dead body, pigs ! …
    Silviu R.

  • Jack Hallman

    Words fail the trained mind when confronted with the politically correct double talk and Orwellian nightmare unfolding in Canada. The arrogance of the Supreme Court is terrifying. It's clear that those in places of politically correct judicial power have no intention of giving it up and the redefinition of political and judicial terminology is how they plan to to keep it. First and foremost is the taking away of the right to publicly disagree with your opponents in the name of the "great good". That "good" of course, being defined by the one who creates the laws! Then of course, truth must never allowed to be a defense. After all, if it can be shown that truth comes down on the side of the group you are trying to marginalize, well, that will never do! What really burned me about this article was the cavalier attitude toward the rights of religious groups. "Oh, well, the only people who really really have their rights restricted are those religious bigots anyway." I mean really, what have religious people ever done to deserve our protection? Dear God help us. Where is Thomas Paine when you need him? A little common sense would do us all some good right now!

  • Sam Spade

    A most excellent article Mr. Bawer, my congratulations to you. On the question of Islam, I find it intriguing that, during the 2010 mayoral elections in Toronto, Ontario, Muslims and Tamils put up posters and broadcast radio commercials to their communities “suggesting” that they do not vote for one of the leading candidates. That candidate was George Smitherman, an openly gay politician. After Smitherman appeared on a local TV show with another man he refers to as his husband (and their two year old adopted son), things got a little personal. The Muslims put up posters with the question, ‘should a Muslim vote for a man who calls another man his husband?’ Subtle, eh?
    Local Tamils language radio broadcast a political commercial with two people having a conversation that went like this:

    1. Who are you voting for?
    2. I’m voting for Rob Ford
    1. Why are you voting for Rob Ford?
    2. Because his wife is a woman!

    The more vocal members of the gay community immediately blamed Rob Ford for fostering an ‘atmosphere of homophobia and hate,’ even though he had nothing to do with either campaign. Noticeably absent was the outraged gays protests out side the local mosque or Tamil radio station. it was easier (and more convenient to blame Rob Ford than to provoke the wrath of the local Imam. However, had these campaigns been run by a local Baptist church or Mormon Temple, there would have been furious protests, and the pastor and all involved would have been charged with “hate speech” and most likely convicted.

    It is worrying when certain groups get a free pass every time when they promote blatant discrimination and prejudice against an identifiable group of people, while individuals like Bill Whatcott get clobbered every time. Then again, he’s not issuing any fatwas against “infidels.”