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 Posted Wednesday, December 15, 1999


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CANADIAN ASSOCIATION FOR FREE EXPRESSION INC. P.O. Box 332, Rexdale, Ontario, M9W 5L3 PH: 905-897-7221: FAX: 905-277-3914

London, Tuesday, December 14, 1999

Human Rights Commission issues Stalinist Blueprint, CAFE charges

 THE B.C. Human Rights Commission has drafted a blueprint for Stalinist repression that, if adopted would turn Canada into a police state," Paul Fromm, noted civil libertarian and director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression warned today.

Entitled "A Call to Action: Combatting Hate in British Columbia", the B.C. blueprint is a clear effort to enforce a state ideology, criminalize thought, and suppress political dissent, especially on such issues as immigration and native land claims, the Toronto-based civil libertarian charged.

Among other recommendations, A Call to Action urges:

  •   Making possession of "hate propaganda" for the purpose of distribution a crime. "This would cripple groups that might dissent on immigration of native land claims," Fromm warns.
  •   Allowing police to seize computer hard drives that contain "hate." Again, says Fromm, "this is aimed at throttling groups or individuals who dissent from the politically correct."
  •   Denying public facilities to groups or individuals who might communicate ideas of "hate" or inequality. "This proposal is an outrage," says Fromm. "This proposal clearly ties the taxpayer funded commission with those communists, anarchists and street thugs who have tried to break up free speech and immigration reform meetings in the past few years in B.C. How can facilities be denied a priori because of what a group or person might say? This is a complete reversal of Anglo-Saxon justice where one is deemed innocent until proven guilty."
  •   Changing the libel law "to ensure it is not used as an intimidating and harassing tactic against equality-seeking groups." What the human rights commissars want here," says Fromm, "is to deny groups and individuals who have been lied about and defamed by censors and anti-racists from having recourse to the courts through the laws of libel. Such a change would truly bring about the very inequality they claim to be fighting. They seem to want to be able to defame, demonize and lie about dissidents with impunity," he charges.
  •   "Modifying "the defence of religious belief in s. 318 to ensure that hatred is not being perpetrated under the guise of religion." Says Fromm: ":This effort to remove a defence against a charge under the Hate Law is aimed at conservative Christians, especially their opposition to homosexuality. Should this pass, traditional Christians will either have to be silent or take to the catacombs," he warns. "So much for tolerance and diversity!"

First, Fromm explains, the B.C. Human Rights commissars define "hate" so broadly as to include any dissent from political correctness. The Call to Action defines "hate" as: including " threatening insults and gestures, as well as written graffiti on personal property. Other forms of intimidation, such as jostling, spitting, verbal and written abuse, that is unprovoked and repeated, and is motivated by hate, bias and prejudice, may also constitute a hate crime or activity or may be characterized as harassment, a form of discrimination. The production and distribution of hate propaganda is also considered a hate activity."

"The B.C. Human Rights censors have no use for freedom of speech," says Fromm. The Call to Action states: "'The criminal suppression of hate propaganda is rationally connected to the protection of groups typically targeted for hate and the promotion of social cohesion. It reminds all Canadians of the value of multiculturalism, diversity and equality. Expressions of hatred are not condoned by notions of free speech because of the damage they inflict on the self-esteem and dignity of the target group members. Hate speech can also place target group members at risk of physical and emotional attacks.'"

"The human rights censors are creating new rights -- the right of privileged minorities to feel good and have warm fuzzies -- and trampling on the time honoured rights of the Canadian Majority to engage in spirited debate and dissent," Fromm charges. "Anything critical of these minorities is labelled 'hate' and subject to sanctions," he adds.

"We have repeatedly warned that one of the evil results of Canada's multiculturalism policies is increasing restrictions on the freedom of speech of the Majority," says Fromm.

The December 12 issue of The New York Times contained an excellent article on the sorry state of freedom of speech in Canada, says Fromm. Typical of the arrogance of many in the Canadian establishment in their dismissal of this most important right was the comment of Andrea Wylie, a member of the CRTC: ""We don't have the hang-up you Americans have with free speech."

"Freedom of speech and discussion is not a hang-up," retorts Fromm. "It's the prerequisite, the essence of any democracy. The proposals of the B.C. Human Rights Commission mark a big step toward a statist dictatorship," he adds.

The above press release is reproduced without editing other than typographical
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