"Ezra's and my campaign to restore free speech to Canada began with the Danish Mohammed cartoons. As one of the handful of publishers in the free world willing to show his readers what innocent people were being threatened and killed over, Ezra was dragged before the Alberta "Human Rights" Commission by some dimestore imam purporting to be head of the Supreme Islamic Supreme Council of Islamic Supremacists or some such. He was interrogated by an "agent" of the Alberta "Human Rights" Commission, one Shirlene McGovern, who courtesy of YouTube briefly became the most famous Albertan on the planet. Ezra had asked to be allowed to video his inquisition, and Agent McGovern foolishly agreed."
"The defining moment of the encounter came when Ezra was musing on the impact Agent McGovern and her disgraceful commission had on free speech. It wasn't just the time and money Canada's "human rights" commissions directly cost publishers defending their already published work; he pointed out the broader "chilling effect" - on all the stories that will never see the light of day because at the back of some editor's mind is the calculation of the expense of fending off Shirlene McGovern and her ilk. And, at the end of Ezra's little riff, Agent McGovern, licensed to chill, looked blandly across the table and shrugged:
You're entitled to your opinion, that's for sure."And Ezra snapped back: No, if I was entitled to my opinion, I wouldn't be here. It's because that dreary familiar cliché is no longer operative in Canada that he was obliged to spend three years of his life and a six-figure sum justifying in law his entitlement to his opinion. Like many of the foot-soldiers of soft totalitarianism, Shirlene McGovern was such a halfwit mediocrity she was insufficiently self-aware to understand that she was using a shopworn banality that she herself had helped render obsolete."
What these assholes really mean is: you're entitled to OUR opinion.
That's for sure!
The Steyn/Levant/Maclean's strategy therefore reigns supreme:
"When Maclean's and I caught the attention of the Canadian "Human Rights" Commission, the Ontario "Human Rights" Commission and the British Columbia "Human Rights" Tribunal, the first thing we did was have a big conference call with me and my editor Ken Whyte and various executive vice-presidents of our corporate parent, Rogers. And, as we had taken the position that we weren't going to defend the contents of the piece or our right to publish it, as to do so was an implicit acknowledgment of these bozos' jurisdiction over us, I asked Julian Porter, QC if we were allowed to comment on the bozos themselves and their bozo system. And Julian said that, as these commissions were, strictly speaking, "administrative tribunals" rather than courts proper, there was no such thing as "contempt of court".
"In theory, my naked contempt for, say, Judge Natalia Combs Greene of the DC Superior Court could result in adverse consequences for me and my counsel. But my naked contempt for Chief Commissar Barbara Hall of the Ontario "Human Rights" Commission attracts no such sanction."
"So immediately Maclean's and I began demonstrating our contempt of the "human rights" commissions on a near industrial scale. During the trial itself, after we'd adjourned for the day, I stood in the lobby of the Robson Street courthouse in Vancouver and dismissed the three jurists as "a Soviet-style troika" of "pseudo-judges" presiding over a "kangaroo court", etc, etc, and, reading his Globe & Mail the following morning, Julian choked on his eggs Benedict and asked if I wouldn't mind dialing it back a notch, at least when I was physically on the premises. (A British Columbia sheriff's deputy stuck to me wherever I went, and had already warned me that the judges didn't like me autographing books in the well of the court. I ordered up an extra palette.)"
"But the point remains: it's not possible to be in "contempt" of the pseudo-judges' pseudo-court."