Free Speech in Canada???

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Sven Sven's picture
Free Speech in Canada???

 

Sven Sven's picture

I was watching a YouTube clip of George Carlin today. He was offending just about everyone—a milder version of which was: “There was this [b][i]fat fuck[/b][/i] sitting in front of me....” No one—and no one’s religion, gender, sexual orientation, politics, occupation, physical appearance, or other characteristic or belief system—was spared by Carlin.

But, in Canada, we now have one of Canada’s (infamous) “Human Rights Tribunals” going after a Canadian comedian for saying something (presumably) very “offensive” (don’t know exactly what was said) to two lesbians who were heckling him from the crowd (read about it here in yesterday’s [url=http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=7096c4b6-e48c-46ea... Vancouver Sun[/url]).

The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal said that if what was claimed to have been said was actually said, then the comedian’s comments were “intended to humiliate” the plaintiffs and, thus, be a violation of the Human Rights Code.

Much of comedy is intended to be offensive...and sometimes very, very offensive. Strip out offensive remarks and you’ll be left with little more than the “humor” of a “Family Circle” cartoon.

But, in B.C., that’s no joking matter.

Sven Sven's picture

This from another thread:

quote:

Originally posted by jrootham:
[b]Me, I don't think what the Human Rights Commissions are doing amounts to an attack on freedom of speech.[/b]

What do babblers think with regard to this latest (joking) matter?

Is there not a Canadian analogue of the American Civil Liberties Union???

pogge

quote:


Originally posted by Sven:
But, in Canada, we now have one of Canada’s (infamous) “Human Rights Tribunals” [b]going after[/b] a Canadian comedian for saying something (presumably) very “offensive”...

My emphasis. No point in trying to discuss this all over again if you're going to misrepresent the matter. And after all the previous discussions here on the way these tribunals work, I feel safe in characterizing it that way.

The BCHRT hasn't initiated this action. They've received a complaint from a private citizen and decided, as the article says, that "there is enough evidence to hear the case." Not quite the same thing as the tribunal "going after" someone. The way you've framed this echoes the crap that the so-called free speech warriors toss around. Another word for that would be "baiting." Notice the sneer quotes. Wonder where I got that idea.

And incidentally, based on what I've read about the incident, I doubt the complaint will be upheld.

pogge

And by the way:

quote:

Originally posted by Sven:
[b]Is there not a Canadian analogue of the American Civil Liberties Union???[/b]

Google is your friend.

[url=http://www.ccla.org/]Canadian Civil Liberties Association[/url] (they're hiring)

[url=http://www.historyofrights.com/ngo/cclu.html]Canadian Civil Liberties Union[/url] (possibly now defunct but you'd have to dig deeper to find out)

[ 26 June 2008: Message edited by: pogge ]

Sven Sven's picture

quote:


Originally posted by pogge:
[b]I doubt the complaint will be upheld.[/b]

We'll see.

But, the very fact that the BCHRT is even going to go forward with this matter (is "going forward" better?) is stunning.

Sven Sven's picture

quote:


Originally posted by pogge:
[b]Google is your friend.

[url=http://www.ccla.org/]Canadian Civil Liberties Association[/url] (they're hiring)[/b]


But, they, in contrast to what the ACLU would do, appear to be completely AWOL on this issue.

jrootham

I don't think this complaint should wind up with penalties. Given the circumstances it may well be appropriate to be dismissed immediately. My guess is the women are trying this on and the complaint doesn't fall into the frivolous category.

I thought the response of the Ontario Commission to the complaint about Steyn was particularly good (it's officially offensive, but we lack jurisdiction to penalize). The use of the commission to amplify the counter speech is a good thing, even given absolute free speech.

A tweak in the law to quickly rule out penalties but continue the complaint for official pronouncements would probably be a good thing.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Sven:
[b]

We'll see.

But, the very fact that the BCHRT is even going to go forward with this matter (is "going forward" better?) is stunning.[/b]


The Liberal's axed BC's Human Rights Commission and only left the Tribunal standing. If a private citizen makes a complaint it is now like the court system if there is any chance that there is case they must proceed.

I don't know the facts of this case but to me that is what it must depend on. As a comedian making jokes he should be protected however if he stepped out of his role as a comedian and instead used his stage to attack individuals personally because of their sexual orientation then it could be discrimination. One would be making a joke about a class of people the other is making a joke about a specific person because they are a member of a class of people.

For instance if I am a black person and I walk into a club that is frequented by white supremists who like the club's whiteness should the comedian be allowed to start denigrating me personally because of my race to ensure I get the message I am not wanted?. I suspect that is the issue in play.

As I said I don't know the facts and the decision is based on limited facts because this is a preliminary ruling saying only maybe there is a case but we need to hear all the evidence to determine if there is.

Sven Sven's picture

quote:


Originally posted by jrootham:
[b]Given the circumstances it may well be appropriate to be dismissed immediately.[/b]

The BCHRT [b][i]was[/b][/i] asked to dismiss the matter...but the BCHRT [url=http://www.bchrt.bc.ca/decisions/2008/pdf/june/241_Pardy_v_Earle_and_oth... to dismiss[/url] the claim.

Sven Sven's picture

quote:


Originally posted by kropotkin1951:
[b]As a comedian making jokes he should be protected however if he stepped out of his role as a comedian and instead used his stage to attack individuals personally because of their sexual orientation then it could be discrimination.[/b]

To use the term used by Carlin in the clip I mentioned in the opening post, are you saying that a comedian could say something "funny" about a hypothetical "fat fuck" within the context of a joke but could, in the next minute, be liable under the Human Rights Code for referring to a "fat fuck" when trying to shut up a particular heckler...because it was personal?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Possibly but since I haven't heard all the facts I don't know. It seems to me that if that could not be the case then they would have dismissed the case altogether. The question is was he acting as a comedian.

Is it not discriminatory for a waitress in a loud voice to make racist jokes to draw attention to a black person in a whites "only" bar? One's personal answer to that question will likely determine their view of this case.

Sven Sven's picture

quote:


Originally posted by kropotkin1951:
[b]Possibly but since I haven't heard all the facts I don't know.[/b]

Only a few do know the facts, although here is a second-hand account from[url=http://www.xtra.ca/public/viewstory.aspx?AFF_TYPE=4&STORY_ID=3159&PUB_TE....

quote:

Originally posted by kropotkin1951:
[b]The question is was he acting as a comedian.[/b]

Is it?

In any event, I think it safe to say he was saying the things in his role [i]as a comedian[/i], for as I'm sure every comedian will tell you, putting down hecklers is a comes-with-the-territory task of every comedian [i]as a comedian[/i].

Besides, that didn't appear to be a matter of import, one way or the other, in the published BCHRT ruling.

quote:

Originally posted by kropotkin1951:
[b]Is it not discriminatory for a waitress in a loud voice to make racist jokes to draw attention to a black person in a whites "only" bar? One's personal answer to that question will likely determine their view of this case.[/b]

We're getting a bit far a field hypothesizing about a "whites only" bar, aren't we?

Makwa Makwa's picture

How does this differ from the Michael Richards incident, other than that it didn't make it to youtube?

MCunningBC

quote:


Originally posted by jrootham:
[b]I thought the response of the Ontario Commission to the complaint about Steyn was particularly good (it's officially offensive, but we lack jurisdiction to penalize). [/b]

How does this work? They refuse to hear something but say it's "officially" offensive?

sanizadeh

quote:


Originally posted by jrootham:
[b]
I thought the response of the Ontario Commission to the complaint about Steyn was particularly good (it's officially offensive, but we lack jurisdiction to penalize). The use of the commission to amplify the counter speech is a good thing, even given absolute free speech.
[/b]

I found it outrageous that the Chief commissioner Barbara Hall allowed herself, in her official position, to pass a judgment in the case without a hearing. If that was a personal opinion, she is not allowed to make it the official position of OHRC. Who is Barabara Hall to decide what is offensive to Muslims and what is not? This is an abuse of authority IMO.

There should be a penalty for public officials who abuse their authority. That should particularly includes corrupt judges, police officers, and other people with official power. This is one crime for which I definitely support the death penalty.

sanizadeh

quote:


Originally posted by kropotkin1951:
[b]Possibly but since I haven't heard all the facts I don't know. It seems to me that if that could not be the case then they would have dismissed the case altogether. The question is was he acting as a comedian.

Is it not discriminatory for a waitress in a loud voice to make racist jokes to draw attention to a black person in a whites "only" bar? One's personal answer to that question will likely determine their view of this case.[/b]


It seems the complainants were heckling him. When you heckle a comedian, the gloves are off.

Sven Sven's picture

My prediction? This guy will cop a plea, apologize, and pay a small fine. Given that he's a relatively unknown artist, I suspect that he doesn't have the financial wherewithal to hire the lawyers to fight this, in contrast to some other more well-known defendants before similar tribunals.

John K

It might be helpful to read the actual BCHRT decision:
[url=http://www.bchrt.bc.ca/decisions/2008/pdf/june/241_Pardy_v_Earle_and_oth... Decision of June 24, 2008[/url]

The fact that Earle was late in filing his application to strike the complaint didn't help his cause. More importantly, the grounds for striking a human rights complaint are similar to those in getting a civil action struck, i.e. the complaint has to be frivilous, vexatious or an abuse of process.

I predict the complaint will be dismissed if it ever goes to a hearing. Even so, the fact we have a law allowing such a complaint to even get to first base is disturbing. If a self-described Triple X comedian isn't allowed to engage in offensive speech in an adults only comedy club, who is?

Maybe Guy Earle's homophobic rant deserves the same fate as Michael Richards racist rant. Instead of taking a well-deserved hit to his public reputation like Richards did, Earle gets to be a free speech martyr.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Speech is no freer in America, Sven. Quick case in point, the guy that played Kramer. He too lost it with hecklers, made some racist remarks, and found himself apologizing as his career went into the toilet. He should have restricted himself to disparaging Muslims. That's acceptable. Ask Daniel Pipes or that Canadian idiot who wrote about the world Jewish ... OOPS! I mean Islamic conspiracy.

[ 27 June 2008: Message edited by: Frustrated Mess ]

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

What happened with Richards WASN'T a violation of his free speech rights.

He said what he said.

Other people had the right to say what they said in response.

It's not like Michael Richards was sent to Gitmo.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Oh, was someone in Canada sent to Gitmo? I only know of the child soldier our government has forsaken as, you know, he is dark skinned and muslim.

But a comedian was sent to Gitmo? Huh.

You may say Richards free speech wasn't violated, but he was certainly raked over the coals. His career is basically dead. The shock jock Imeson was fired, wasn't he? And then there was a reverend who had a leg broken for wearing a t-shirt a guard disagreed with while trying to enter a committee meeting room in DC, right?

And how about that taser use?

jrootham

quote:


Originally posted by sanizadeh:
[b]

I found it outrageous that the Chief commissioner Barbara Hall allowed herself, in her official position, to pass a judgment in the case without a hearing. If that was a personal opinion, she is not allowed to make it the official position of OHRC. Who is Barabara Hall to decide what is offensive to Muslims and what is not? This is an abuse of authority IMO.

[/b]


There was a hearing, or at least there was a complaint process which allowed a hearing. Barbara Hall is the Ontario Human Rights Commissioner, deciding what is offensive or not is her job, and I am very happy she's doing it.

What Barbara Hall did is exactly what the free speech absolutists propose as the answer to hate speech. She spoke.

jrootham

quote:


Originally posted by MCunningBC:
[b]

How does this work? They refuse to hear something but say it's "officially" offensive?[/b]


No, remember this is a multi stage process, there is a hearing to start with, as a result of that hearing the determination is made that there is no jurisdiction to apply penalties. That hearing does determine that the speech is offensive.

Sven Sven's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Frustrated Mess:
[b]Speech is no freer in America, Sven. Quick case in point, the guy that played Kramer. He too lost it with hecklers, made some racist remarks, and found himself apologizing as his career went into the toilet. He should have restricted himself to disparaging Muslims. That's acceptable. Ask Daniel Pipes or that Canadian idiot who wrote about the world Jewish ... OOPS! I mean Islamic conspiracy. [/b]

“Kramer” was tried by the court of public opinion—and has suffered an appropriately significant punishment for his actions. He was not prosecuted by a government organ for his speech.

That is a [i]fundamental[/i] difference between his case and this Canadian comedian’s case.

Sven Sven's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Frustrated Mess:
[b]You may say Richards free speech wasn't violated, but he was certainly raked over the coals. His career is basically dead.[/b]

I have no sympathy for him. He suffered the consequences of being publicly ostracized for his remarks.

But, again, there is a fundamental difference, as I noted above, between [b][i]the state[/b][/i] telling you what you can and cannot say and a [b][i]public[/b][/i] reaction to something that you are free to say—if there is no government interference.

I don’t want government bureaucrats telling people what they can and cannot say because the content of speech may be “offensive”.

quote:

Originally posted by jrootham:
[b]Barbara Hall is the Ontario Human Rights Commissioner, deciding what is offensive or not is her job, and I am very happy she's doing it.[/b]

You want to leave it to government bureaucrats to tell people what is “offensive” and, therefore, impermissible to utter?

For example, under what definition of “offensive”, for example, would George Carlin calling people “fat fucks” [b][i]not[/b][/i] be “offensive”?

[ 27 June 2008: Message edited by: Sven ]

jrootham

quote:


You want to leave it to government bureaucrats to tell people what is “offensive” and, therefore, impermissible to utter?

You are missing the point in two different directions.

It's not leaving it to the Commissioner, it's also having the Commissioner. You are perfectly free to publicly disagree with the Commissioner.

Just because the Commissioner says it is offensive does not make it impermissible to utter. There is no penalty.

Sven Sven's picture

quote:


Originally posted by jrootham:
[b]Just because the Commissioner says it is offensive does not make it impermissible to utter. There is no penalty.[/b]

If a tribunal has no jurisdiction over a particular matter and a commissioner simply says, as a matter of personal opinion, that such-and-such is “offensive”, I couldn’t care less. She could take out a full-page advert in every newspaper in the country and declare it “offensive”, for all I care (although I’m sure Canadian taxpayers may have another view of the matter if the government would be footing the advertising bill).

But, these Section 13 claims (and their analogues under the provinces) come with penalties every time a matter goes to a hearing and a defendant is found guilty of uttering “offensive” speech.

jrootham

It's not a personal opinion. It's a considered judgement of the Commission.

The OHRC did not apply any penalties.

What part of none do you not understand?

Sven Sven's picture

quote:


Originally posted by jrootham:
[b]It's not a personal opinion. It's a considered judgement of the Commission. [/b]

If a matter is not even heard before a tribunal (as was the case with the Steyn matter which the OHRC dismissed), then any opinion expressed is not a “judgment”—at least not in the judicial sense. It’s only a “judgment” in so far as you or I may have a “judgment” about the quality of a play. In other words, it’s a matter of opinion, and it’s an unofficial opinion to boot.

It’s like a dissenting opinion in an appellate court case. When Justice Stevens of the U.S. Supreme Court wrote a dissenting opinion to the Washington D.C. gun case that was released yesterday, his dissent was a matter of personal opinion. It wasn’t a “judgment” and it has zero legal precedent.

After dismissing the Steyn matter before the OHRC, the commission said:

"While freedom of expression must be recognized as a cornerstone of a functioning democracy, the Commission strongly condemns the Islamophobic portrayal of Muslims, Arabs, South Asians and indeed any racialized community in the media, such as the Maclean’s article and others like them, as being inconsistent with the values enshrined in our human rights codes. Media has a responsibility to engage in fair and unbiased journalism."

That's an unofficial opinion.

But, we are getting far a field of the matter because the Steyn case was clearly an anomaly. Ever other case brought before a Canadian HRC under Section 13 (or one of the provincial analogues) has resulted in a “guilty” finding with an official judgment of “offensiveness” rendered. Only those cases really matter.

jrootham

That's a misstatement.

Every case that has made it to appeal has been confirmed. The vast majority get turned down before they get there.

So it's not "every case that has been brought".

Sven Sven's picture

Lemme ask those who defend the HRCs as guardians against "offensive" speech, would you approve:

George Carlin, in a comedy performance, saying something like, "Well, fuck those dirty, slimy right-wing Christian fucks for doing X, Y, and Z!!!"

And, Dennis Miller, also in a comedy performance, saying something like, "Well, fuck those dirty, slimy terrorist Muslims fucks for doing X, Y, and Z!!!"

Would it matter if it wasn't Dennis Miller or George Carlin and "comedy" was replaced with "political commentary"?

Sven Sven's picture

quote:


Originally posted by jrootham:
[b]That's a misstatement.[/b]

Okay. If I'm wrong, I'll admit it. What cases have been dismissed that have been brought under Section 13 (or its analogue), other than the Steyn matter before the OHRC?

Pogo Pogo's picture

quote:


Originally posted by pogge:
[b]And by the way:

[url=http://www.ccla.org/]Canadian Civil Liberties Association[/url] (they're hiring)

[url=http://www.historyofrights.com/ngo/cclu.html]Canadian Civil Liberties Union[/url] (possibly now defunct but you'd have to dig deeper to find out)

[ 26 June 2008: Message edited by: pogge ][/b]


The more appropriate group would be the BC Civil Liberties Association. CCLA is very Ontario centric.

First we need to differentiate between ridiculing a hypothetical stereotype and ridiculing the person sitting in front of you. I think we can agree that one is far more hurtful than the other.

The rule I personally have is that don't go to comedy clubs if you don't have a thick skin, as comedians usually say tons of ignorant and offensive stuff passing it off as jokes. But then again I used to believe that you didn't go to bars if you couldn't stand the smoke.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Frustrated Mess:
[b]Oh, was someone in Canada sent to Gitmo? I only know of the child soldier our government has forsaken as, you know, he is dark skinned and muslim.

But a comedian was sent to Gitmo? Huh.

You may say Richards free speech wasn't violated, but he was certainly raked over the coals. His career is basically dead. The shock jock Don Imus was fired, wasn't he? And then there was a reverend who had a leg broken for wearing a t-shirt a guard disagreed with while trying to enter a committee meeting room in DC, right?

And how about that taser use?[/b]


1)You know I wasn't defending the taser use, or the assault on the reverend, and you know I wasn't implying that anyone in CANADA had been sent to Gitmo. Don't twist my words.

2)Michael Richards said some stupid things. His career did suffer for it. But it was corporate power that did that, not the state.

Don't ever accuse me of being an apologist for the U.S. government and its abuses against civil liberties.

All I was saying is that Michael Richards wasn't a victim of some kind of political persecution. He said some stupid shit and paid a career price for it. But it's an insult to real victims of political oppression to compare him to them.

Draco

quote:


Originally posted by Frustrated Mess:
[b]You may say Richards free speech wasn't violated, but he was certainly raked over the coals. His career is basically dead. The shock jock Imeson was fired, wasn't he? [/b]

Comparing this story to those makes me wonder if the HRC process doesn't have a negative effect on how the public views these incidents. The public condemnation and shunning of Richards and Imus was a fairly positive public response. Here, I think the presence of legal proceedings encourage people to come to this comedian's defense, and instead make the issue about his right to free speech, rather than the hostile and hateful nature of his comments.

With the Stephen Boissoin case here in Alberta, while I have great sympathy and understanding for the motivation of the person who brought the complaint, I don't think the net effect has been to reduce the amount of hate speech directed at LGBT persons. Rather, it's been to create a martyr out of him and give yet another hateful crackpot an undeserved spotlight.

jrootham

quote:


Originally posted by Sven:
[b]

Okay. If I'm wrong, I'll admit it. What cases have been dismissed that have been brought under Section 13 (or its analogue), other than the Steyn matter before the OHRC?[/b]


Phillipe Rushton for one.
Free Domminion
Rabble

[url=http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=594639]2%[/url] of the caseload nationally.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

quote:


Don't ever accuse me of being an apologist for the U.S. government and its abuses against civil liberties.

I didn't. Gee, is that a self-accusation?

quote:

All I was saying is that Michael Richards wasn't a victim of some kind of political persecution. He said some stupid shit and paid a career price for it. But it's an insult to real victims of political oppression to compare him to them.

This thread isn't about any real political oppression or persecution. It is about a comedian who said some stupid shit, admits he said some stupid shit, and is being held to account under a process in which he is entitled full participation and representation.

quote:

Michael Richards said some stupid things. His career did suffer for it. But it was corporate power that did that, not the state.

The US is a corporate security state. Corporate power/state power same shit. The difference is, Richards has no representation but his own and he is not allowed equal participation. He just bears it and hopes to survive.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

IF you WEREN'T implying that I let the U.S. off easy on civil liberties issues, what the hell was THIS:

quote:

[b]You may say Richards free speech wasn't violated, but he was certainly raked over the coals. His career is basically dead. The shock jock Don Imus was fired, wasn't he? And then there was a reverend who had a leg broken for wearing a t-shirt a guard disagreed with while trying to enter a committee meeting room in DC, right?

And how about that taser use?[/b]


You took my comments about Richards and then extrapolated them into a whole series of bogus assumptions about how I feel on OTHER civil liberties issues. You had no reason to imply that I didn't care about those other victims(people who had suffered far worse than Michael Richards)and yet you did make that implication. That was out of line and you owe me an apology.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

quote:


Comparing this story to those makes me wonder if the HRC process doesn't have a negative effect on how the public views these incidents. The public condemnation and shunning of Richards and Imus was a fairly positive public response. Here, I think the presence of legal proceedings encourage people to come to this comedian's defense, and instead make the issue about his right to free speech, rather than the hostile and hateful nature of his comments.

With the Stephen Boissoin case here in Alberta, while I have great sympathy and understanding for the motivation of the person who brought the complaint, I don't think the net effect has been to reduce the amount of hate speech directed at LGBT persons. Rather, it's been to create a martyr out of him and give yet another hateful crackpot an undeserved spotlight.


That is because there are legitimate hate speech targets and illegitimate hate speech targets. Where was the media rallying to the defense of the native chief who made the hateful comment regarding Hitler and Jews? Didn't happen, right?

That is because Jews and the holocaust are off limits. So are blacks as we saw with Ismus and Richards. But the right wing media attack dogs are readily loosed when the targets are homosexual, female, Islamic, or some other minorities.

What if Steyn's book and the Macleans excerpts targeted Jews rather than Muslims? Would the response had been the same? Would the media attack dogs be rallying to his defense? If you wrote such an article about Jews as Steyn wrote about Muslims, Macleans wouldn't touch it never mind publish it. But if the target for hate is Muslims, fair game.

During the second world war, in the US, pacifists and war opponents were beaten and sometimes killed for their views.

Free speech only exists in a very tenuous state. So long as the listener agrees, speech is free. Cross the line and watch how quickly your freedoms become a threat to someone else's security.

[ 27 June 2008: Message edited by: Frustrated Mess ]

sanizadeh

quote:


Originally posted by jrootham:
[b]It's not a personal opinion. It's a considered judgement of the Commission.

The OHRC did not apply any penalties.

What part of none do you not understand?[/b]


You are contradicting yourself. If it is a judgment, it is not covered by the right to freedom of speech (which is reserved for individuals). As others said, Barbara Hall as an individual can write op-ed in a paper and declare Macleans' article offensive or racist. that's her freedom of speech. But if she is issuing a statement on behalf of OHRC, then it is not covered by her freedom of speech. It should be covered by the standards of the process.

In this case there was no hearing (the OHRC chose to declare lack of jurisdiction without a hearing), and Hall's statement was completely inappropriate and an abuse of the process. Refer to my previous post about the penalty that I believe should be applied to the officials who abuse their power.

[ 28 June 2008: Message edited by: sanizadeh ]

blogbart

quote:


Sven : “Kramer” was tried by the court of public opinion—and has suffered an appropriately significant punishment for his actions. He was not prosecuted by a government organ for his speech.

That is a fundamental difference between his case and this Canadian comedian’s case.


In this insightful observation lies a great solution:

The legislation that enables the intervention of a government entity in cases like this should immediately and initially have it pass a 'citizen's jury' which could perform a kind of 'triage'.

I often find myself wondering how we ever allowed unelected bureaucrats to make decisions that fundamentally alter our society by allowing them to interpret legislation (with potential modification by courts). It seems obvious that there should always be 'regular citizen' arbitration to help provide input as to whether or not something does offend. It would be like regular judicial jury duty.

[ 28 June 2008: Message edited by: blogbart ]

Maritimesea

What is the point of this thread? To point out how some people shouldn't be pointing fingers at the U.S. re free speech when we have situations in our own back yards? Yeah every country has bureaucratic over-reactions, Canada is not immune, but for someone from the U.S. to chastise....well ANY country about free speech, ...and I'm not even going to point out things like the Patriot Act, Homeland Security ,[anytime a country refers to itself as the "homeland" we end up with concentration camps, speaking of which], Guantanemo Bay, Fox news, and the Religious Right, is ridiculous.

Our religious backgrounds are similar , so with regard to sexuality we are probably fairly equal in terms of our multimedia censorship. We can't say those seven golden words, as George mentioned decades ago, any more than you can.

But our political freedom of speech is much greater than the U.S. Careers have been destroyed in the U.S., like Bill Maher, the Dixie chicks, for pointing out the obvious innane policies of your government.

Do you ever wonder why Jon Stewart and The Colbert dude do their shows wrapped in the American flag? It's so they won't be branded terrorist supporters by the sheep waving those stupid little american flags. That's how much political fear there is in "america".

Every TV show, news show is wrapped in the american flag, CNN might as well have an hour of flag appreciaction.

The United States is on the verge of fascism and you are worried about a comedy act here in Canada?

About how it may affect our preconceived ideas about freedom of speech in Canada?

Perhaps you should change your sig fro "Envy breed unhappiness" to " I got enough on my plate".

[ 04 July 2008: Message edited by: Maritimesea ]

MCunningBC

quote:


Originally posted by jrootham:
[b]

No, remember this is a multi stage process, there is a hearing to start with, as a result of that hearing the determination is made that there is no jurisdiction to apply penalties. That hearing does determine that the speech is offensive.[/b]


Er, ... ah, ... can you provide a link?

MCunningBC

quote:


Originally posted by Sven:
[b]After dismissing the Steyn matter before the OHRC, the commission said:

"While freedom of expression must be recognized as a cornerstone of a functioning democracy, the Commission strongly condemns the Islamophobic portrayal of Muslims, Arabs, South Asians and indeed any racialized community in the media, such as the Maclean’s article and others like them, as being inconsistent with the values enshrined in our human rights codes. Media has a responsibility to engage in fair and unbiased journalism."

[/b]


Is there a link for this passage and this case by the Ontario Commission?

MCunningBC

quote:


Originally posted by Sven:
[b]And, Dennis Miller, also in a comedy performance, saying something like, "Well, fuck those dirty, slimy terrorist Muslims fucks for doing X, Y, and Z!!!"

[/b]


I do not approve of Dennis Miller under any set of circumstances whatsoever, no matter what.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Frustrated Mess:
[b]

That is because there are legitimate hate speech targets and illegitimate hate speech targets. Where was the media rallying to the defense of the native chief who made the hateful comment regarding Hitler and Jews? Didn't happen, right?

That is because Jews and the holocaust are off limits. So are blacks as we saw with Ismus and Richards. But the right wing media attack dogs are readily loosed when the targets are homosexual, female, Islamic, or some other minorities.

What if Steyn's book and the Macleans excerpts targeted Jews rather than Muslims? Would the response had been the same? Would the media attack dogs be rallying to his defense? If you wrote such an article about Jews as Steyn wrote about Muslims, Macleans wouldn't touch it never mind publish it. But if the target for hate is Muslims, fair game.

During the second world war, in the US, pacifists and war opponents were beaten and sometimes killed for their views.

Free speech only exists in a very tenuous state. So long as the listener agrees, speech is free. Cross the line and watch how quickly your freedoms become a threat to someone else's security.

[ 27 June 2008: Message edited by: Frustrated Mess ][/b]


Interesting you should mention the hypocrisy of what is considered free speech.

Take a look at the Durban II threads to see how much the love of free speech has influenced Canada's decision to boycott the upcoming UN Anti-Racism conference.

Sven Sven's picture

quote:


Originally posted by MCunningBC:
[b]

Is there a link for this passage and this case by the Ontario Commission?[/b]


Here's the OHRC [url=http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/resources/news/statement]publicity statement[/url].

Sven Sven's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Maritimesea:
[b]But our political freedom of speech is much greater than the U.S. Careers have been destroyed in the U.S., like Bill Maher, the Dixie chicks, for pointing out the obvious innane policies of your government.[/b]

There's a bit difference between a government punishing speech because it's offensive and public opinion ostracizing speech.