I fundamentally agree with the points Ezra Levant makes in his book Shakedown: That Canada’s human-rights commissions are violating freedom of speech and are conducting interrogations and investigations outside the rule of law. I adamantly oppose journalists who favour, endorse, excuse, or appease these unconstitutional and oppressive activities. Please do not ever compare me to these unprincipled turncoats.


I come into this knowing a bit more about the human-rights process than most people. I won a settlement circa 1989 for discrimination on the basis of sex. (Yes.) And it set a precedent: Both the discriminating companies had to pay. I waltzed over to Bay-Bloor Radio and bought the highest-end VCR they had. It was a good day.

More seriously, without human-rights complaints in one guise or another, people with disabilities would barely enjoy half the rights they presently do. I assure you there wouldn’t be captioning and description on TV in any significant quantity, for example. That’s why I asked Levant about disability claims when I chatted him up a few weeks ago. I am pretty sure he has no objection to genuine complaints of disability-related discrimination. Now, would those be better off in some arm of the actual court system? For disabled people, yes, I expect so.

However, two revelations in Levant’s book surprised and disturbed me.

  1. Did you know that Canadian Human Rights Commission staff troll white-supremacist and hate sites? Maybe it would be OK to read them (anyone should be able to read any legally available material). Maybe it would also be OK to read them at work. But they go much farther than that: They post hateful messages, themselves illegal, in the hopes of goading other white supremacists and hatemongers into saying something incriminating. They commit the same offences they prosecute. Quite simply, is that not entrapment? (This shouldn’t be surprising in retrospect. A report on the workplace culture of the Ontario Human Rights Commission found it rife with hatred and racism. Despite searching newspaper databases for quite a while, though, I can’t put my finger on a citation for that report.)

  2. In a failed stunt to demonstrate the folly of anti-speech human-rights laws, Levant documents how someone filed a complaint against Kenny vs. Spenny, thereby putting everyone involved in that show at risk of extralegal government investigation and harassment at their own risk and expense. Not merely false and vexatious, that action shows outright malice.

I should also add that Jan Wong, in a recent presentation at the library, complained that not a single journalists’ organization had offered any support for her when she stated, quite truthfully, that Quebec is pretty much the last place on earth that still openly talks about people with pure bloodlines being better than everyone else. I ran right up to her afterward and told her I supported her.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2009.05.15 13:05. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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