STUNNING VICTORY FOR FREEDOM OF SPEECH
by Merv Ritchie
The Terrace Daily
2nd September 2009
This morning a new light shines across Canada. The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) has had its fangs trimmed. Section 13, the law that prohibits speaking openly about uncomfortable truths has finally been defeated. Commonly referred to as the anti hate law it has been used to stifle criticism of policy and ideology on almost every medium. The first use of the law was to force a man, John Ross Taylor, to stop using his own personal telephone answering machine to leave messages for people that wanted to call in and hear what he had to say. Generally his thoughts were against Canadas immigration laws. The latest use of the law was to charge a man, Marc Lemire, who ran an internet chat forum. Although he did not approve postings to the message board (it was an open message forum) he was held to account for what others posted.
A BC website (operated by a former Kitimat native) is also currently under indictment by the CHRT for criticizing an ultra right wing faction of Israeli/Jewish politics called Zionists. Many do not like Arthur Topham's blunt, unorthodox, politically incorrect writings on his website, Radicalpress.com, however he provides evidence and background to back up everything he writes. Truth is not a defence against the CHRT as every person and organization that has come under their radar has discovered, as they all were convicted. That is a 100 percent prosecutorial success rate, a rate unheard of anywhere in the world except in this secretive organization that has recently been investigated by the RCMP.
In his decision Athanasios D. Hadjis set a very high bar for new prosecutions under this act. Only the most vile and alarmist writings should be considered for prosecutions and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians, allows Canadians, to discuss issues that are not politically correct. The conclusion is as follows;
I have determined that Mr. Lemire contravened s. 13 of the Act in only one of the instances alleged by Mr. Warman, namely the AIDS Secrets article. However, I have also concluded that s. 13(1) in conjunction with ss. 54(1) and (1.1) are inconsistent with s. 2(b) of the Charter, which guarantees the freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression. The restriction imposed by these provisions is not a reasonable limit within the meaning of s. 1 of the Charter. Since a formal declaration of invalidity is not a remedy available to the Tribunal (see Cuddy Chicks Ltd. V. Ontario (Labour Relations Board),  2 S.C.R. 5), I will simply refuse to apply these provisions for the purposes of the complaint against Mr. Lemire and I will not issue any remedial order against him (see Nova Scotia (Workers' Compensation Board) v. Martin, 2003 SCC 54 at paras. 26-7).
His comments on the AIDS Secret article in part are as follows;
In my view, the material found in the AIDS Secrets article expresses unusually strong and deep-felt emotions of detestation and vilification towards homosexuals in particular. The article is rife with hyperbole and moral condemnation. Homosexuals, and Blacks to a lesser extent, are denigrated as purveyors of a “killer” that is on the loose, agonizingly destroying the lives of American children and adults alike. Extreme language is used to vilify them and their lifestyles. They are portrayed as a powerful force that is conspiring to bring harm to others. Rather than using the statistics and studies in a dispassionately scientific manner, the article adopts an alarmist, almost hysteric tone, which along the above mentioned characterizations, is likely to expose them to hatred or contempt.
This is a very dramatic shift in the manner in which Canadians might discuss issues. It allows for a much greater freedom to engage in discussions. It also has very profound impacts on internet websites and forums.
Although Mr. Lemire did not compose the AIDS Secrets article he allowed it to be posted on his website and therefore was found responsible for distributing this material.
The conclusion found Section 13 to be at odds with the Charter of Rights. The next few weeks and months will determine the future of the CHRT. It has caused much grief for many individuals who wanted to expose some knowledge they discovered to the general public. Today a fresh wind of freedom to speak out has blown across Canada.