Free Speech Booted in the Groin at Toronto Library Board

Free Speech Booted in the Groin at Toronto Library Board

   TORONTO, December 11, 2017. Free speech took a hefty jackboot in the groin tonight, as the Toronto Library Board unanimously approved a new pace Rental Policy that will allow staff to deny meeting space to events “likely to promote, discrimination, contempt or hatred of any group, hatred for any person on the basis of race, ethnic origin, place of origin, citizenship, colour, ancestry, language, creed (religion), age, sex, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, disability, political affiliation, membership in a union or staff association, receipt of public assistance, level of literacy or any other similar factor.”

 

   The Board had met in private session before the 6:00 p.m. public meeting. It was clear the fix was in and the decision had already been made. In the short discussion that followed four public delegations, the word “unanimous” was heard several times. Indeed, when Chairman Ron Carinci called the question, not a single member of the 12-person Board stood for free speech.

 

   The new policy will allow staff, especially if one of the anti-free speech groups complains, to decide what will be said at a meeting that hasn’t occurred yet and determine whether hate, contempt or discrimination against any of the long list of privileged people “might” occur and, on the basis, deny the booking. Three opponents of free speech spoke as delegations, including Bernie Farber, formerly CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress, and Madi Murariu of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.

 

    I had driven for an hour and 20 minutes on treacherous roads in the Winter’s first snow storm to arrive late but still on time for my presentation — the outline of which is attached.

    The Toronto Star (December 11, 2107) reported: ” Paul Fromm was visibly upset when the board voted in favour of the restrictions.

‘I’m very disappointed the board has signed up for censorship and shut down views,’ said Fromm, who is director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression.

Police were alerted ahead of what turned out to be a peaceful meeting as a ‘precaution, as we always do when there’s a potentially controversial situation,’ said Ana-Maria Critchley, a library spokesperson.”


​Paul Fromm addressing Toronto Library Board

   In the short non-debate, board members did much virtue signalling and several breathlessly proclaimed: “Free speech does not translate into hate speech.” as if they’d dreamed up this non sequitur on their own.

 

   John, a long-time free speech and CAFE supporter noted sadly that libraries used to be in the forefront of the fight against censorship and that the word “hate” has been hijacked and is meaningless. It is used to smear any idea the user does not like.

 

   Bernie Farber, a persistent opponent of free speech for decades, told his “I was a poor little Jewish boy being bullied in Ottawa and found safety in the library” story. He now says he’d feel unsafe in a library that allows people whose views he opposes to meet.

     So, apparently to comfort the snowflake, any meetings that “might” promote “hate” or even “contempt” must be silenced. I tried to point out to the Board that “contempt” really is just negative criticism.

 

   It was clear from the short discussion that the rental policies had been reviewed after intense lobbying from the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, which also, incredibly, was consulted in the drafting of the new gag rules. Needless to say, the Canadian Association for Free Expression was not contacted. But then, this was never about freedom; it was really about limiting speech in buildings we all pay for.

 

   One Board member exulted: “The Toronto Public Library will be an oasis from hate and discrimination” and, it might be added, from the free expression of ideas.

   Tonight free speech in Toronto took a hit. Snowflakes and censors, 1; free thinkers, 0! — Paul Fromm

PRESENTATION TO TORONTO LIBRARY BOARD AGAINST PLANS TO IMPOSE POLITICALLY CORRECT RULES TO PREVENT MEETINGS
 
The enemies of free speech, the usual suspects — the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, B’nai Brith, Bernie Farber, Warren Kinsella and the street thugs of the Antifa raised a huge ruckus in July to try to shutdown CAFE’s memorial for free speech lawyer Barbara Kulazska. The Library hung tough. the meeting proceeded without a hitch. However, the Library was clearly spooked and promised to “review” its policies. The review goes to the Library Board tonight.  It is a vile document of cloying political correctness which would let staff deny a booking on the mere suspicion that remarks might expose a group or person to “contempt”; that is, criticism. Here is the presentation I shall giver.
 
Paul Fromm
Director
CANADIAN ASSOCIATION FOR FREE EXPRESSION
 

Canadian Association for Free Expression

Box 332,

Rexdale, Ontario, M9W

PH: 416-428-5308 ; FAX: 905-566-4820

Frederick Paul Fromm, B.Ed, M.A. Director

Presentation to the Toronto Library Board by Frederick Paul Fromm – December 11, 2017

1.  The Toronto Library Board is considering revisions to its  Community and Event Space Rental Policy What concerns us are changes to the Denial of Use Section of the Policy.

“The Purpose section has been revised to add language about the Library’s objectives of providing equitable access to services and maintaining a welcoming supportive environment free from discrimination and harassment. 

 

· The Denial of Use sections 4.4 (a) and 5.4(a) both state much more strongly that room bookings will be denied or cancelled when the Library reasonably believes the purpose of the booking is likely to promote, or would have the effect of promoting, discrimination, contempt or hatred of any group, hatred for any person on the basis of race, ethnic origin, place of origin, citizenship, colour, ancestry, language, creed (religion), age, sex, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, disability, political affiliation, membership in a union or staff association, receipt of public assistance, level of literacy or any other similar factor. 

 

· Under the same Denial of Use sections 4.4(b) and 5.4(b), violations of the Criminal Code of Canada (including hate propaganda laws) and the Ontario Human Rights Code are specifically referenced as unacceptable.”

 

2. First, the Toronto Public Library is not a private club. It belongs to all citizens and should be open to use, including rental of rooms for meetings, to all citizens, without discrimination, if for no other reason than all taxpayers pay for it.

 

3. It is fair to ask persons renting facilities to be aware that they must obey the law, including the Criminal Code and various bylaws. Thus, for instance, a smokers’ rights group should be able to rent a room for a meeting, but, if they announced, they would stage a smoke-in to dramatize their views, it would make sense to deny the booking.

 

4. People renting Library facilities must be responsible to their own words and actions. Staff should not have to try to guess what their words or actions might be.

 

5. In renting meeting space, the Library is not condoning or supporting any point of view, any more than having a book on the shelves means the library endorses the book’s conclusions. Clearly, the library contains many books with wildly different views on a given subject.

 

6. The revised policy is saddling staff with an impossible task — to decide, in advance, of an event, what will be said at that event and whether words that haven’t yet been uttered  are “likely to promote, or would have the effect of promoting, discrimination, contempt or hatred of any group, hatred for any person on the basis of race, ethnic origin, place of origin, citizenship, colour, ancestry, language, creed (religion), age, sex, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, disability, political affiliation, membership in a union or staff association, receipt of public assistance, level of literacy or any other similar factor.”

 

* “Promotion of hatred” is a bogeyman. No person or group who has rented Toronto Public Library facilities has, to our knowledge, ever been charged or convicted of “hate”; that is, Section 319 of the Criminal Code. This is a restrictive policy seeking to solve a problem that does not exist.

 

* But, it’s not just “hatred” but contempt that is being prohibited. “Contempt” is a very broad term, meaning dislike of a negative opinion of. It is hard to see how any criticism based on “race, religion, gender orientation or political affiliation or any of the other mentioned grounds” could pass muster. Suppose someone wrote a book entitled Mike Harris 20 Years Later. If the book repeated some of the common criticisms of the time — that Mike Harris balanced the budget on the backs of the poor and squeezed the education system —  and if the author were to speak about his book at a meeting, might is not be likely that the meeting would promote contempt of Mr. Harris because of his political affiliation and, therefore, should be cancelled?

 

* “Contempt” was included in the Sec. 13 (Internet censorship) of the Canadian Human Rights Act but was repealed by Parliament in 2013. It is overly broad and basically chills any criticism on a whole range of topics.

 

* One wonders what “any other similar factor” might be.

 

7. This policy could lead to the banning of all sorts of meetings dealing with contentious topics. It is an affront to free speech, especially as it involves subjective “prior restraint” which is a violation of Canadians’ basic right to be considered innocent until proven guilty.

 

7. This policy is a reaction to an organized campaign by censorship minded groups and individuals who protested a memorial to a lawyer who represented controversial clients. these groups took the view that, because they disagreed with Barbara Kulazska’s clients, her friends and admirers should not be allowed to meet to remember her. The Library did the right thing in permitting that memorial to proceed.

 

8. In October, C-FAR Books sought to book a meeting for a talk by Victor Fletcher, editor and publisher of Toronto Street News. We were turned down on October 3 and informed: “  Given the history of the individual and group involved in the booking and the publication being discussed, Library staff believe that the booking could lead to a violation of hate speech legislation.” This decision was unreasonable and outrageous. Neither the individual or group involved in the booking or Mr. Fletcher or Toronto Street News has ever been charged, let alone convicted under Sec. 319. We fear that this censorship is a harbinger of what will happen should the Board adopt this new policy.

 

9. We fear the hecklers’ veto. If an organized lobby makes enough noise in trying to shut down a meeting of people they don’t like, the new policy is so broad that it gives staff the power to shut down any gathering more controversial than the Rosedale Orchid Society.

 

10. The policy contains no independent appeals process against the denial of a room booking. This is especially important as staff decisions may be made only on the basis of accusations or allegations made by groups or individuals seeking to get a meeting cancelled.

 

10. May we suggest a truly inclusive, open door policy. Any person or group, who is a taxpayer,  should be able to rent a meeting room, if available. They are made aware that they are responsible for their own conduct and for obeying all relevant laws. The community should be informed that the library follows a free speech policy. Meetings will not be cancelled because the speakers or topics are controversial.

 

11. The proposed policy will not buy peace but will embolden those who have no tolerance for views critical of their own group or ideology to try to shut down groups or speakers to whom they object.

PRESENTATION TO TORONTO LIBRARY BOARD AGAINST PLANS TO IMPOSE POLITICALLY CORRECT RULES TO PREVENT MEETINGS

PRESENTATION TO TORONTO LIBRARY BOARD AGAINST PLANS TO IMPOSE POLITICALLY CORRECT RULES TO PREVENT MEETINGS
 
The enemies of free speech, the usual suspects — the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, B’nai Brith, Bernie Farber, Warren Kinsella and the street thugs of the Antifa raised a huge ruckus in July to try to shutdown CAFE’s memorial for free speech lawyer Barbara Kulazska. The Library hung tough. the meeting proceeded without a hitch. However, the Library was clearly spooked and promised to “review” its policies. The review goes to the Library Board tonight.  It is a vile document of cloying political correctness which would let staff deny a booking on the mere suspicion that remarks might expose a group or person to “contempt”; that is, criticism. Here is the presentation I shall giver.
 
Paul Fromm
Director
CANADIAN ASSOCIATION FOR FREE EXPRESSION
 

Canadian Association for Free Expression

Box 332,

Rexdale, Ontario, M9W

PH: 416-428-5308 ; FAX: 905-566-4820

Frederick Paul Fromm, B.Ed, M.A. Director

Presentation to the Toronto Library Board by Frederick Paul Fromm – December 11, 2017

1.  The Toronto Library Board is considering revisions to its  Community and Event Space Rental Policy What concerns us are changes to the Denial of Use Section of the Policy.

“The Purpose section has been revised to add language about the Library’s objectives of providing equitable access to services and maintaining a welcoming supportive environment free from discrimination and harassment. 

 

· The Denial of Use sections 4.4 (a) and 5.4(a) both state much more strongly that room bookings will be denied or cancelled when the Library reasonably believes the purpose of the booking is likely to promote, or would have the effect of promoting, discrimination, contempt or hatred of any group, hatred for any person on the basis of race, ethnic origin, place of origin, citizenship, colour, ancestry, language, creed (religion), age, sex, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, disability, political affiliation, membership in a union or staff association, receipt of public assistance, level of literacy or any other similar factor. 

 

· Under the same Denial of Use sections 4.4(b) and 5.4(b), violations of the Criminal Code of Canada (including hate propaganda laws) and the Ontario Human Rights Code are specifically referenced as unacceptable.”

 

2. First, the Toronto Public Library is not a private club. It belongs to all citizens and should be open to use, including rental of rooms for meetings, to all citizens, without discrimination, if for no other reason than all taxpayers pay for it.

 

3. It is fair to ask persons renting facilities to be aware that they must obey the law, including the Criminal Code and various bylaws. Thus, for instance, a smokers’ rights group should be able to rent a room for a meeting, but, if they announced, they would stage a smoke-in to dramatize their views, it would make sense to deny the booking.

 

4. People renting Library facilities must be responsible to their own words and actions. Staff should not have to try to guess what their words or actions might be.

 

5. In renting meeting space, the Library is not condoning or supporting any point of view, any more than having a book on the shelves means the library endorses the book’s conclusions. Clearly, the library contains many books with wildly different views on a given subject.

 

6. The revised policy is saddling staff with an impossible task — to decide, in advance, of an event, what will be said at that event and whether words that haven’t yet been uttered  are “likely to promote, or would have the effect of promoting, discrimination, contempt or hatred of any group, hatred for any person on the basis of race, ethnic origin, place of origin, citizenship, colour, ancestry, language, creed (religion), age, sex, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, disability, political affiliation, membership in a union or staff association, receipt of public assistance, level of literacy or any other similar factor.”

 

* “Promotion of hatred” is a bogeyman. No person or group who has rented Toronto Public Library facilities has, to our knowledge, ever been charged or convicted of “hate”; that is, Section 319 of the Criminal Code. This is a restrictive policy seeking to solve a problem that does not exist.

 

* But, it’s not just “hatred” but contempt that is being prohibited. “Contempt” is a very broad term, meaning dislike of a negative opinion of. It is hard to see how any criticism based on “race, religion, gender orientation or political affiliation or any of the other mentioned grounds” could pass muster. Suppose someone wrote a book entitled Mike Harris 20 Years Later. If the book repeated some of the common criticisms of the time — that Mike Harris balanced the budget on the backs of the poor and squeezed the education system —  and if the author were to speak about his book at a meeting, might is not be likely that the meeting would promote contempt of Mr. Harris because of his political affiliation and, therefore, should be cancelled?

 

* “Contempt” was included in the Sec. 13 (Internet censorship) of the Canadian Human Rights Act but was repealed by Parliament in 2013. It is overly broad and basically chills any criticism on a whole range of topics.

 

* One wonders what “any other similar factor” might be.

 

7. This policy could lead to the banning of all sorts of meetings dealing with contentious topics. It is an affront to free speech, especially as it involves subjective “prior restraint” which is a violation of Canadians’ basic right to be considered innocent until proven guilty.

 

7. This policy is a reaction to an organized campaign by censorship minded groups and individuals who protested a memorial to a lawyer who represented controversial clients. these groups took the view that, because they disagreed with Barbara Kulazska’s clients, her friends and admirers should not be allowed to meet to remember her. The Library did the right thing in permitting that memorial to proceed.

 

8. In October, C-FAR Books sought to book a meeting for a talk by Victor Fletcher, editor and publisher of Toronto Street News. We were turned down on October 3 and informed: “  Given the history of the individual and group involved in the booking and the publication being discussed, Library staff believe that the booking could lead to a violation of hate speech legislation.” This decision was unreasonable and outrageous. Neither the individual or group involved in the booking or Mr. Fletcher or Toronto Street News has ever been charged, let alone convicted under Sec. 319. We fear that this censorship is a harbinger of what will happen should the Board adopt this new policy.

 

9. We fear the hecklers’ veto. If an organized lobby makes enough noise in trying to shut down a meeting of people they don’t like, the new policy is so broad that it gives staff the power to shut down any gathering more controversial than the Rosedale Orchid Society.

 

10. The policy contains no independent appeals process against the denial of a room booking. This is especially important as staff decisions may be made only on the basis of accusations or allegations made by groups or individuals seeking to get a meeting cancelled.

 

10. May we suggest a truly inclusive, open door policy. Any person or group, who is a taxpayer,  should be able to rent a meeting room, if available. They are made aware that they are responsible for their own conduct and for obeying all relevant laws. The community should be informed that the library follows a free speech policy. Meetings will not be cancelled because the speakers or topics are controversial.

 

11. The proposed policy will not buy peace but will embolden those who have no tolerance for views critical of their own group or ideology to try to shut down groups or speakers to whom they object.

YOUR WARD NEWS UPDATE: Important Victory: Kinsellas/Warman Motion to Adjourn Hearings Thwarted — Paul Fromm Reporting

YOUR WARD NEWS UPDATE: Important Victory: Kinsellas/Warman Motion to Adjourn Hearings Thwarted

— Paul Fromm Reporting
UPDATE: Coverage of the Board of Review hearings into the…
YOUTUBE.COM

 

CAFE Holds Memorial for Author, Wife & Freedom Fighter Ingrid Rimland in Toronto

CAFE Holds Memorial for Author, Wife & Freedom Fighter Ingrid Rimland in Toronto

TORONTO, December 3, 2017. They came from as far away as Michigan and from all across Southern Ontario to honour a free speech warrior and a passionate advocate of truth and justice for Germans.  Tpday,

Christian Klein a Toronto advocate for the German expellees and Paul Fromm, Director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression spoke as did a surprise visitor from Michigan, Rudi LIst..

Part of a film Germans, Off Your Knees! featuring Ernst Zundel and Ingrid Rimland was also screened, showing important moments from their life together.

Music was supplied by Dieter Kahl on the accordion and Christian Klein on guitar. The memorial ended with one of the theme songs of the free speech movement, the old German folk song Die Gedanken Sind Frei (Thoughts Are Free).

MESSAGE FROM MARK WEBER, DIRECTOR, INSTITUTE FOR HISTORICAL REVIEW

A wise man once said that success should be measured not by the position one has reached in life, but rather by the obstacles he has overcome. That standard is certainly relevant as today we remember and honor a remarkable woman.

 

Ingrid Rimland was born in 1936 into an ethnic German Mennonite community in Soviet Ukraine. When she was five years old, her father was taken from her – arrested by Bolshevik authorities and deported to Siberia – never again to be seen by his little daughter or other loved ones. A short time later, the people of her community — along with millions of others in Ukraine and other Soviet-controlled areas – welcomed the German troops who were advancing eastwards to bring down the Red empire.

 

A few years later, during the final months of the war in Europe, and as the resurgent Red Army was retaking Ukraine, she and many others fled westwards with the retreating German troops. Then, after several years living as a refugee, she and other members of her community migrated to South America where they began new lives in an isolated Mennonite settlement in Paraguay.

 

From there she moved with a husband and a young son to Ontario, Canada, where she had a second son, and then to the United States, where she eventually became a U.S. citizen. She earned a Bachelor’s degree, and then a Master’s, and then, a Doctorate of education.  For years she worked as an educational psychologist in California public schools, specializing in special education and education for migrant children. She later worked as an education consultant and testing specialist for some 40 schools in southern California. At the same time she ran a private practice in child psychology.   

 

That’s already quite a record for someone of her modest origins and difficult early life. But she pushed herself still further, making a name as an acclaimed writer.

 

Her novel, The Wanderers, drew on experiences from her own life and the lives of others in the community of her birth. This book earned the California Literature Medal Award for best fiction in 1977. A mass-market paperback edition was issued by Bantam publishers.


 

She also wrote an autobiography, titled The Furies and the Flame, and a book entitled Demon Doctor, as well as an ambitious three-volume novel, Lebensraum.

 

During the final decades of her life she was well known, of course, for her association with Ernst Zündel, the bold, energetic and courageous publisher and activist. She was much more than just his wife. She was a fiercely loyal defender and a valued collaborator.

 

During those years — in California, and then in Tennessee, where she lived until her recent death — she dedicated herself to the task, as she saw it, of defending the heritage and honor of her much maligned and mistreated people.


To this new career she devoted the same tenacity, skill and self-discipline she had put into her earlier professional life. For years she wrote and published a newsletter that won a loyal readership, and she maintained the influential “Zundelsite” website.

 

Although I cannot say that I knew her well, I’m pleased that she and I worked together on several projects. The most important, probably, was the demonstration we staged together in early 2005 outside the Canadian Consulate in downtown Los Angeles to protest the outrageous treatment of Ernst Zündel by Canadian authorities.

 

Today we remember with gratitude the life of a woman of idealism and ability who overcame poverty, privation, uprooting, and personal loss to achieve success in life, and whose struggle serves to inspire and encourage all of us, and many others as well.

MESSAGE FROM DR. ROBERT FAURISSON

Ernst Zündel died on August 5, 2017.

I had phoned him at his place in Germany on August 4.

He revealed me that Ingrid was going to die very soon

and he got down to some terrible specifics.

Never would I have guessed that Ernst would disappear

the next day. I was surprised by his death. I was not

surprised by Ingrid’s death in spite of what she wrote

about her surgical operation in Power‘s issue Nr.462

(September 2017, p. 7A). She thought she knew better

than the doctors. She even wrote : “Don’t you believe

them […]. I am back home, recuperating […]”. She was wrong.

The doctors and her husband were right.

Barbara Kulaszka died on June 15, Ernst Zündel on

August 5, Serge Thion on October 15 and Ingrid Rimland-

Zündel few days later. I guess I know the next one.

“Les dieux ont soif” (Gods are thirsty) but, alive or dead, we shall win.

 Robert Faurisson, Vichy, Monday, October 30, 2017

Thought Control Forces Lose One: Professor Tony Hall Returns to U of Lethbridge

Thought Control Forces Lose One: Professor Tony Hall Returns to U of Lethbridge

On November 22, we got good news. Professor Tony Hall of the University of Lethbridge was back in the classroom. Changes in provincial law — yes, Rachel Notley has managed to do one thing right — forced the university to cancel its suspension and  BANNING from, campus of Professor Hall. He had criticized Zionism and insisted that there should be open debate on the holocaust. B’nai Brith, one of Canada’s most strident anti-free speech group, howled and Tony Hall, a tenured professor, was banned from campus last year and faces charges before the Alberta Human Rights Commission. CAFE wrote a number of letters supporting him and I know many of you did too.

The Canadian Press (November 22, 2017) reported: “A professor accused of espousing anti-Semitic views has been reinstated at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta. The university confirmed in an e-mail Thursday that Anthony Hall is no longer suspended, but wouldn’t comment further. … Hall, a tenured professor who has taught Native American studies, liberal education and globalization over his 26 years at the university, was suspended in October 2016 following comments he made in online articles and videos suggesting there was a Zionist connection to the 9/11 attacks and that the events of the Holocaust should be up for debate. He maintains the issue is academic freedom and that he should be allowed to promote his work as he sees fit.”

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B’nai Brith threw a hissy fit in an extravagant press release: ” B’nai Brith Canada is outraged that Professor Anthony Hall has returned to work at the University of Lethbridge, after he was suspended for promoting antisemitism in October of 2016. Hall’s return was facilitated by Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s NDP Government, which passed two bills in mid-2017 that strengthened the position of Hall’s faculty association. In August, the Government even took the rare step of launching a direct legal intervention that aided Hall, and eventually prompted a labour arbitrator to order him back to work in November. …

‘Premier Notley and her Government bear direct responsibility for placing a discredited conspiracy theorist back in a university classroom,’ said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “We repeatedly warned the Government of the likely outcome of its actions, but they sadly chose to ignore our warnings and expose Alberta university students to antisemitism and discrimination instead. … Hall came under fire for teaching students that Israel was responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and for producing Holocaust denial videos with German-Canadian …  Alfred Schaefer.

Hall became the centre of a national controversy after his Facebook friend posted an image calling to “KILL ALL JEWS NOW!” on his Facebook wall.” [The outrageous posting was actually posted on Professor Hall’s Facebook by an American Jewish hacker and, in no way, reflects the longtime schilar’s opinions.]

 
Paul Fromm
Director
CANADIAN ASSOCIATION FOR FREE EXPRESSION