Wednesday, February 11, 2009

HRCs Decide They Haven't Done Enough Damage, Seek More Power

This one's for all of those optimists who think that the free speech fight in Canada is coming to a close. We haven't won yet. In fact, we don't even have the enemy in retreat.

Ottawa Citizen:

The Ontario Human Rights Commission is calling for Parliament to force all Canadian magazines, newspapers and "media services" websites to join a national press council with the power to adjudicate breaches of professional standards and complaints of discrimination.

The council "would help bring about more consistency across all jurisdictions in Canada," reads an OHRC report to the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

The media's freedom of expression comes with a duty to "address issues of hate expression, and (media) should do so either voluntarily through provincial press councils, or through statutory creation of a national press council with compulsory membership," the report says.

Under this proposal, media outlets would have the following choice before them: either to "voluntarily" join a provincial press council (with the implicit threat of coercion should they refuse, of course) or to be coerced into joining some perverse national press council through compulsory membership backed by the government.

Make no mistake about what this proposal amounts to. This would be state control of the media, pure and simple. If this proposal succeeds, government bureaucrats would essentially arrogate to themselves the power to control and limit the words and ideas of all Canadian magazines, newspapers, and media services.

Oops. Now we're Russia.

Mr. Harper, I wonder if these thugs read your interview and wondered just how much more they could get away with before somebody actually decides to do something about these blatant violations of free speech.

These fascists are re-defining free speech right under our noses and inventing duties that do not and should not exist. Like I wrote yesterday, we are a very long way from seeing the end of this fight for the achievement of free expression in Canada. Allow this to function as a bracing reminder not to get cocky just because politicians are discussing section 13.1 of the CHRA.

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