Where was the part about importance of freedom of speech?
By ANDREW COYNE, the Ottawa Citizen Thursday February 28, 2013, Pp.#A1, A2:
The very first line in the Supreme Court’s calamitous decision in the case of Saskatchewan (Human Rights Commission) v. Whatcott gives a clue to where it is going. “All rights guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” it declares, “are subject to reasonable limitations.”
This is a legal truism, but as always it is as important what the court did not say. It did not choose to begin a ruling on an important freedom of speech case with a ringing affirmation of the importance of free speech, or what an extraordinary thing it is to place restrictions upon it.
Indeed, in its haste to get on with the limiting, it did not even pause to properly quote the section of the Charter that grants the state such authority. The Charter “guarantees” the rights set out in it, Section 1 declares, “subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”
The limits don’t just have to be reasonable. They have to be “demonstrably justified.”
Where the court’s view of such limits is expansive and approving, the charter is grudging (“only”) and cautious (“demonstrably”). That’s as it should be. If we accept the bedrock premise of a free society, that government is its servant and not its master, then it is up to the state, always, to ask the citizens’ permission before it intrudes on their liberty, and to prove its necessity: it is never the citizen’s obligation to show why he may remain unmolested. That spirit is lamentably absent from the court’s reasoning.
Well, it gets one thing right. It is not enough, the Court writes, that material such as the flyers distributed by William Whatcott, a Saskatoon Christian activist, in contravention of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code, is offensive or repugnant. Rather, it must involve some harm to others. But look at how loosely the Court defines “harm.”
The code itself outlaws material that “exposes or tends to expose to hatred” any person or group, on the usual list of prohibited grounds. It is not necessary, that is, to show the material in question actually exposes anyone to hatred – only that it might. The court then upholds the ban on the grounds that the hatred to which individuals might or might not be exposed might in turn lead others to believe things that might cause them to act in certain unspecified but clearly prejudicial ways: it “has the potential to incite or inspire discriminatory treatment,” or “risks” doing so, or is “likely” to, or at any rate “can.”
After all, the court reasons, “when people are vilified as blameworthy or undeserving, it is easier to justify discriminatory treatment.”
Perhaps it is: but does such discriminatory treatment in fact result? Can the court draw any causal link between speech that “tends to” expose to hatred, for example among the dozens of people who may have received Whatcott’s fevered tracts, and any actual increase in prejudice, let alone acts of discrimination? No it cannot, and what is more it does not care to.
As it has in the past, the court argues that the state’s inability to demonstrate the harmful effects of hate speech, far from weakening its case, only confirms it: it is a sign of the “particularly insidious” nature of hate speech that it works its harm in ways not visible to hundreds of human rights investigators. Rather, it is sufficient that “Canadians presume” such hateful expression “may lead to harm.” So: from demonstrably justified to presumably justified.
If the court is inclined to wink at the state’s traditional need to prove its case, it is not so indulgent of the defendant. As anyone who follows the workings of human rights tribunals can attest, they are a strange parody of ordinary criminal courts. Not only is it no defence that the accused had an honest belief in what he said: it is not even a defence that it is factually true. Here, too, the court is at peace. As the decision primly advises, “truth may be used for widely disparate ends.” I cannot quite believe I am reading these words, even now.
There are long passages like this in the ruling, wherein the court reels off, without supporting evidence, the many harmful effects it supposes hate speech is likely to cause. It “opposes the targeted group’s ability to find self-fulfillment.” It “impacts on that group’s ability to respond to the substantive ideas under debate.” It “acts to cut off any path of reply by the group under attack.” It is “an effort to marginalize individuals” based on their membership in a group, to “silence” their “voice,” and so on.
It might be interesting to know whether any of this is true – have Jews, for example, the most persistent target of hate speech through the ages, been “silenced”? – but apparently it does not matter: the government is not required to prove its case is true, and the defendant is not saved if his case is. At one point the court muses that a failure to ban hate speech, in so far as it “silences” the targeted groups, may be “more rather than less damaging to freedom of expression.”
From which we may conclude that any government that relaxed such restrictions would soon find itself condemned by the court – as a threat to free speech.
“All rights guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” it declares, “are subject to reasonable limitations.”
So, they’re NOT really “rights” at all, but only limited, infringable privileges. So sayeth the Court!
The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code itself outlaws material that “exposes or tends to expose to hatred” any person or group, on the usual list of prohibited grounds. It is not necessary, that is, to show the material in question actually exposes anyone to hatred – only that it might. The court then upholds the ban on the grounds that the hatred to which individuals might or might not be exposed might in turn lead others to believe things that might cause them to act in certain unspecified but clearly prejudicial ways: it “has the potential to incite or inspire discriminatory treatment,” or “risks” doing so, or is “likely” to, or at any rate “can.”
After all, the court reasons, “when people are vilified as blameworthy or undeserving, it is easier to justify discriminatory treatment.”
This inane and vapid stance would eventually outlaw the Supreme Court itself, because it ignores cause and effect (which is the ONLY reason we hire judges anyway, to determine who started it, cause and effect): If we aren’t allowed to “hate” and so to vilify crime and criminals, if they are truly blameworthy and so – by their own choice to renege on their responsibility to not attack innocent others first, become deserving of being judged undeserving of the concomitant rights to remain free citizens – then their justifiably discriminatory treatment (“Hey – he’s a criminal, and I hate what he did!”) is “judged” to be illegal – these “judges” have, in fact, just judged it to be “illegal” to accuse any criminals of their crimes, as doing so might offend them with the often-painful truth and so hurt their feelings!
They have thereby abdicated their own positions as judges, while bringing the justice system itself into immediate disrepute!
The court reels off, without supporting evidence, the many harmful effects it supposes hate speech is likely to cause. It “opposes the targeted group’s ability to find self-fulfillment.” It “impacts on that group’s ability to respond to the substantive ideas under debate.” It “acts to cut off any path of reply by the group under attack.” It is “an effort to marginalize individuals” based on their membership in a group, to “silence” their “voice,” and so on.
“The Court” says “hate speech” is “an effort to marginalize individuals” based on their membership in a group, and that it “opposes the targeted group’s ability to find self-fulfillment.”
Well, a “targeted group” could easily be criminal gangs and any sub-sets of same (nazis, mafiosis, bikers, moslems) who rightly deserve to be discriminated against and hated for their crimes!
And just because their own actions would thereby “impact that group’s ability to respond to the substantive ideas under debate” and “acts to cut off any path of reply by the group under attack” by jailing them for their crimes, and would “marginalize” them and “silence their voice” and abilities as individuals by their own insistence on becoming members in a group of criminals engaged in such “self-fulfilling” albeit prohibited crimes such as extortion and death-threats, the court sees as no reason to accuse them of it! Whee!
The Supreme Court of Canada has struck down as too sweeping part of Saskatchewan’s human rights code banning any speech that “ridicules, belittles, or affronts the dignity of any person or persons,” and in doing so has set out guidelines for all provinces to use in determining what may be construed as hate speech.
The top court found that most of the province’s human rights code was constitutional, and so it ruled against a man who had distributed anti-gay pamphlets in Saskatchewan.
It said that two of four types of flyers he handed out were, in fact, hate speech and that he must pay $7,500 to two people who received them.
William Whatcott distributed material critical of gay lifestyles in Saskatchewan.
The other two flyers did not meet the definition, the court said.
William Whatcott, a former Edmonton mayoral candidate, called the judgment “complete rubbish,” said he would not be paying the sum and would continue to hand out flyers because, he said, it’s God’s plan for him.
“I’d rather follow God than seven socialists who wear black robes and think they’re smart,” Whatcott said in an interview with Postmedia News.
“I’m very concerned regarding the state of religious liberty and free speech in this country in light of this ruling.”
Alberta Justice Minister Jonathan Denis said Wednesday “my department and I are now taking the time to properly analyze the decision to see how it could possibly affect Alberta’s current legislation.
“Our government supports building an inclusive and welcoming Alberta where people are able to be who they are, express themselves freely and are treated the same.”
Whatcott, who engaged in gay sex before finding religion, placed four anti-gay flyers in the mailboxes of various homes in Saskatoon and Regina in 2001 and 2002 on behalf of the Christian Truth Activists, according to court documents.
Four of the people who received the flyers filed complaints, saying that the material “promotes hatred against individuals because of their sexual orientation,” in violation of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code.
The original human rights tribunal agreed, ordering Whatcott to pay $17,500 to four people who were offended by his words.
But in 2010 the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal granted Whatcott’s appeal, ruling that the anti-gay flyers were not hate speech.
The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission appealed to Canada’s top court, and the case was heard in October 2011 before finally being decided Wednesday.
In a 6-0 decision, the Supreme Court sided with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, in part.
The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission called Wednesday’s decision a victory for minority groups, who are often the targets of discrimination.
“The court has made its position clear: When it comes to speech, we are free to be critical, controversial and even careless but we cannot be hateful,” David Arnot, chief commissioner for the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, said in a written statement.
In narrowing the definition of Saskatchewan’s hate speech laws, the Supreme Court set out a test to act as a guide for other provinces when viewing hatred in the context of a prohibition of expression: whether a reasonable person would view it as likely to expose a person or persons to “detestation and vilification on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.”
The top court found that two of Whatcott’s flyers – identical reprints of a page of classified ads from a queer publication, along with his handwritten note that sodomy shouldn’t be legal in Saskatchewan – were offensive but weren’t hate speech.
“Offensive ideas are not suficient to ground a justification for infringing on freedom of expression.
“While such expression may inspire feelings of disdain or superiority, it does not expose the targeted group to hatred,” the justices said.
But the other two – which equated homosexuals with “carriers of disease, sex addicts, pedophiles and predators” – would be seen objectively as exposing homosexuals to “detestation and vilification,” the court added.
A conservative activist who campaigns against gay rights and abortion, among other causes, Whatcott has run for political office three times, including for mayor of Edmonton in 2007, when he finished sixth among nine candidates with 1,665 votes.
Previously, he ran and lost as a candidate for mayor of Regina in 2000, and in the riding of Toronto Centre in the Ontario election of 1999.
Whatcott distributed thousands of pamphlets in Edmonton mailboxes in 2005, prompting a flood of complaints to city police.
The hate crimes unit launched an investigation of him, but no charges were laid.
So 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;
“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”?!
Related: reverse-onus state-theft “laws” unanimously endorsed by these convoluted twisters:
THE POLICE CAN NOW ACT ON ONLY THEIR OWN INTUITIVE SUSPICIONS AND WITHOUT ANY EVIDENCE AT ALL ‘SEIZE’ (STEAL) CITIZEN’S POSSESSIONS WITHOUT WARNING NOR COMPENSATION TO ‘REMEDY’ THESE LACK-OF-CRIMES.
THIS WAS AN UNANIMOUS SUPREME-COURT ‘DECISION’ ENDING THE SLIPPERY SLOPE.
IT’S ALL HERE NOW, SO WELCOME TO THE CANADIAN POLICE STATE; SIEGE HELL!
Court rules provinces can seize crime bounty
-whether or not it’s ever determined to be ‘crime bounty!’ This removes their onus of doing so – of ever again actually having to charge and try people under the aegis of evidentiary rules – we are all now merely statistics to the state actors, and they’ve just lowered the bar and so the boom on us peons, in their favour at 49/51 % (because “beyond a resonable doubt” just got demoted to “on the balance of probabilites” when mere citizens ‘interact’ with – er, I mean ‘get sued by’ the state’s now wholly self-policing ‘authority’ of mindless fear)!!!
Welcome to the uniformed mafia.
BY JANICE TIBBETTS The Ottawa Citizen
Sat, 18 Apr 2009
Provincial governments were spared the prospect of returning millions of dollars in seized property When the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Friday that the Crown has the power to confiscate the proceeds of crime.
The unanimous decision preserves provincial laws adopted across Canada in recent years permitting governments to attempt to take the profit out of crime and to compensate victims by ordering the forfeiture of ill- got-ten goods.
The ruling rejected an Ontario man’s argument that the province’s Civil Remedies Act is unconstitutional because it treads on federal jurisdiction over criminal law.
“Each level of government bears a portion of the costs of criminality and each level of government, therefore, has an interest in its suppression,” Justice Ian Binnie wrote in the 7-0 decision.
Robin Chatterjee, a former student at Carleton University, was en route to his home in Thornhill, Ont, in March 2003 when police pulled him over because his car was missing a front licence plate.
They discovered he was breaching a court order to live in Ottawa and upon searching his car, found a ight ballast, one light socket and an exhaust fan items commonly used for marijuana grow opertions. He also had $29,000 cash.
Police did not charge the young man because they said they did not have enough evidence.
Ontario’s Civil Remedies Act, however, does not require a criminal conviction, so the province moved in and seized the goods after receiving judicial approval. A judge can give permission based on a balance of probabilities that the goods were proceeds of crime, a standard that is not as high as the criminal test of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia all have forfeiture laws, according to documents filed in the Supreme Court.
Chatterjee’s lawyer, James Diamond, predicted a spike in forfeitures following the Supreme Court’s endorsement. Also, provinces that have put their efforts on hold pending the ruling can now proceed, he said.
“I certainly expect that all the provinces will step up their efforts,” said Diamond.
Seven provinces joined the court challenge to side with Ontario in its successful argument that seizing proceeds of crime falls under provincial power over property and civil rights, rather than federal jurisdiction to craft criminal law.
WHAT SORT OF “REMEDY” LAW “REMEDIES” ACTS NOT PROVEN TO HAVE BEEN CRIMES IN THE FIRST PLACE?!
“Forfeiture is the (FORCED!!!) transfer of property from the owner to the Crown,” wrote Binnie. “Forfeiture does not result in the conviction of anybody for any offence.”
THEN IT’S STATE THEFT, PURE AND SIMPLE.
As of August 2007, Ontario had seized $15 million in property, according to court records.
Friday’s Supreme Court decision upholds two previous rulings in the lower courts, including the Ontario Court of Appeal, which ruled in May 2007 that the criminal Law is not a “watertight compartment” that precludes provincial involvement.
THEN WHY EVEN BOTHER TO HAVE A CONSTITUTIONALLY-MANDATED DIVISION OF POWERS AT ALL?!
SO MUCH FOR THE RULE OF WRITTEN LAW; IT’S ALL JUDGE-MAKE (AND NOW COP-MADE, TOO) INTERPRETIVE BS! WHO NEEDS THE COURTS AT ALL ANY MORE?!
The government also can freeze assets, as it did in January, in a case involving an alleged Ottawa crack house at 155 Spadina Ave.
British Columbia’s Civil Forfeiture Office reported last August that it had seized $5.6 million in assets, mainly from illicit drug cases, since its law took effect in 2006.
CANWEST NEWS SERVICE