Maclean’s vs Canadian Human Rights Commission – Was a win a loss?
Posted by Ed C on Saturday, June 28, 2008
On June 26th, the Canadian Human Rights Commission dismissed the complaint against Maclean’s magazine brought by the Canadian Islamic Congress for publishing an article “The Future Belongs to Islam” an excerpt from America Alone by Mark Steyn.
From Maclean’s response:
Though gratified by the decision, Maclean’s continues to assert that no
human rights commission, whether at the federal or provincial level, has the
mandate or the expertise to monitor, inquire into, or assess the editorial
decisions of the nation’s media. And we continue to have grave concerns about
a system of complaint and adjudication that allows a media outlet to be
pursued in multiple jurisdictions on the same complaint, brought by the same
complainants, subjecting it to costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars, to
say nothing of the inconvenience. We enthusiastically support those
parliamentarians who are calling for legislative review of the commissions
with regard to speech issues.
As echoed in their statement, there was speculation that Maclean’s and Mark Steyn were looking for a loss so that they could challenge the entire Canadian Human Right Commission jurisdiction in a “proper” court.
Andrew Coyne, Maclean’s national editor live-blogged the 5 days of the hearings:
- Liveblogging the BC Human Rights Tribunal—Part I.
- Liveblogging the BC Human Rights Tribunal—Day I, Part II.
- Liveblogging the BC HRT, Day Two: A Day That Will Live in Entropy
- Liveblogging the Maclean’s Trial III: Die Another Day
- Liveblogging the Maclean’s Trial IV: Habib and Habib Not
- Liveblogging the Maclean’s Trial V: Stand and Deliver
In a brilliant display of the bureaucratic mind set and as Andrew said, a fitting cap to the proceedings, his live-blogging ended with this:
CODA: There will be no more liveblogging. As I left the courtroom for the lunch break, i was taken aside by a sheepish-looking court official, who said that he’d just learned that I had been “broadcasting” from inside the courtroom. So had I. Broadcasting, I said? I didn’t have a microphone, or a camera.
No, he explained: but liveblogging counts as broadcasting. It’s not the computer that’s the problem. You can type away on it all you want. If you step outside to send it, that’s okay, too. But if you send text from within the courtroom, that’s broadcasting.Anyway, I gave him my solemn word that I would do no more broadcasting. What with the hearings being almost over and all. It seemed a fitting way to put a cap on the week.
You can read much more on the the Human Rights Commission on the Mcleans decision and other proceedings, including the prosecution on “un-funny” comedians by Ezra Levant
As the Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats in the US Congress ponder bringing back the “fairness doctrine” that was ended by Ronald Regan (Pelosi Supports ‘Fairness Doctrine’), what goes on with our neighbor to the north shows what we could be in for, if we let it.