Doug Christie Addresses CAFE’S Christmas Gathering — “Freedom Is the Cause, Not of a Day, but of a Lifetime”
TORONTO, December 2, 1012. Victoria-based lawyer and long-time free speech activist Douglas H. Christie addressed the Christmas gathering of the Canadian Association for Free Expression and posed some politically incorrect questions for his packed audience.
Challenging Canada’s Trudeau-era fetish with group rights and special privileges for certain groups, Mr. Christie asked: “Why can’t there be ‘anti-Semitism?’ Anti-Christianity is rampant. There’s a double standard. You can slam Christianity, but not Judaism or Islam.”
Under Canadian law, he noted, “you can expose an individual to hatred, contempt or ridicule as long as there is some basis in fact and this is your honestly held opinion.” He noted that some years ago he was called “a perverted monster” for defending Ernst Zundel by a Vancouver talk radio host. “A jury said it was defamatory but fair comment,” he explained.
“Opinions should be allowed,” Mr., Christie said. “Free speech is the one thing you must give your worst enemy, if you wish to keep it for yourself”
“Truth will offend,” the Battling Barrister noted. “Why should it be wrong for anti-homosexual activist Bill Whatcott to say homosexuality is evil?” There’s low tolerance for dissent in Canada, he added. “If you disagree, why not debate him. If we’re not free to debate, what are our brains for?” he asked. “A fearless national discourse changes potential violence into understanding.”
In the case of the complaints under Saskatchewan’s Human Rights Act against Mr. Whatcott, “the complaint of ‘discrimination’ does not refer to the denial of a service but anything that might take away the self-esteem of some privileged group, in this case homosexuals,” he explained. “But what if there are negative aspects to homosexual practices? Instead of a spirited debate, so-called human rights legislation, encourages offended homosexuals to say: ‘You’ve offended me. So, I’m taking you to the human rights commission to try to get you punished and silenced.'”
Part of the assault on free speech, Mr. Christie explained, is “a result of massive immigration from non-traditional societies. This has produced ‘diversity’ where people don’t have a common understanding.” But we’re not allowed to discuss differences honestly. Instead, we’ll go to court and academics and ‘experts’ at great expense will talk about ‘human rights,’ but what they practise is really tyranny,” he said. “We’ve delegated to the courts the power to make determinations of morality.”
“We’re seeing an ethical transformation imposed by government. In Ontario, Catholic schools are being forced, in the name of tolerance, to teach that homosexuality is a legitimate ‘lifestyle’ to be respected and protected, even though his notion is totally contrary to Catholic belief,” he charged.
Barbara Hall, Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, says “context” is everything. A priest or imam may refuse to “marry” two homosexuals, but a marriage commissioner may not, even though homosexual “marriage” violates his faith. “He belongs to the state,” Mr. Christie concluded.
The repressive power of the state and of human rights regimes suggests, said Mr. Christie, “the lesson that any sensible person should keep his head down, be afraid, drink his beer, because it’s all too complicated.” But, this is not a proper fate for free men and women,
Turning to recent developments in the Marc Lemire, Internet free speech case — the constitutional challenge to the constitutionality of Sec. 13,(Internet censorship) of the Canadian Human Rights Act, Judge Richard Mosley upheld the constitutionality of Sec. 13 but not the fines and penalties. The judge took the case under questionable circumstances: “It is clear to my mind that if you justified this legislation (Sec. 13’s extension to include the Internet) to Parliament and you’ve expressed an opinion, that raises the concern of reasonable apprehension of bias.” Mr. Justice Mosley “is a judge of the Federal Court, Trial Division. However, in 2001, as a senior lawyer for the Department of Justice, he was a critical player in drafting Bill C-36,” an anti-terrorism bill which, among other measures, turned over control of the Internet to the Canadian Human Rights Commission. “Now he’s adjudicating the very legislation he assisted in drafting” and which he assured the media was constitutional.
Indeed, “Sec. 13 cases may be about to resume, thanks to Judge Mosley,” he added.
In a rousing conclusion, Mr. Christie: “The State wants the power to take what you have and control your life. Don’t think that government is your friend, no matter what you political party is. The cause of freedom is not the cause of a day but of a lifetime. Am I going to live in fear and silence and censor myself? Never!”