29th Annual George Orwell Free Speech Dinner Honours the Late Doug Christie
VICTORIA, BC. October 18. The 29th annual George Orwell Free Speech dinner was held her today, drawing free speech supporters from all over British Colmbia and from as far away at Ontario and Texas. Keltie Zubko , editor of Friends of Freeom Newsletter of the Canadian Free Speech League and wife of the late free speech champion Doug Christie, is keeping this annual tradition alive. It was an emotional event and a moving and proper tribute to a man who was a giant in the free speech movement in Canada for over 30 years.
The meeting preceeding the dinner was chaired by law student Jeremy Mattock. He recalled: “I worked with Doug for three years and he inspired me to work for a better, freer, more just society.
He discussed the persecution of the planned Trinity Western University law school. “This would be a Christian university and encourage lawyers to be Christian servants of their clients. However, there have been efforts to prohibit future graduates of Trinity Western Law School from getting articling jobs (essential before being called to the bar). The philosophy of Trinity Western is to ask students and faculty to refrain from excessive use of alcohol and drugs and to maintain traditional Christian standards of sexual morality,” he explained. “Yet, many lawyers want to prohibit such people who voluntarily agree to such restrictions from even practising law.”
He warned: “There are increasing and dangerous restrictions on who can and cannot speak out. Evangelist and author Bill Whatcott was fined $17,000 by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission for expressing the traditional Christian view on homosexuality.”
“How long will it be,” he asked, “before expressing the traditional Christian view on marriage could land you in jail or be excluded from polite society?”
And, he warned, “web publisher Arthur Topham (radicalpress.com) may face jail time for making available on the Internet what’s available in some bookstores and libraries, books like The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion and Germany Must Perish. But the government does not go after bookstores or libraries. It goes after the little guy, like Arthur Topham.”
Victoria lawyer Barclay Johnson who wound down much of Mr. Christie’s law practice and represented CAFE in its appeal to Federal Court in the Marc Lemire Sec. 13 case, joked about wearing an Hawaiian happy shirt. He said that crime rates in Canada are falling but police forces keep growing. “Between 2001 and 2012, policing costs rose 8.7% but crime fell 26.7% and police work load decreased,” To justify their expansion and the huge bite they take out of local budgets, police are increasingly in the revenue collecting business. Police salaries are huge. “The average salary for a policeman in Victorias is $96,000 per year,” he said.
“We have way too many police officers. So, they come up with these strategies so that no one will complain about their high salaries. “They are writing tickets like crazy.” He cited a weekend blitz exposed last summer in the Vancouver Province. The RCMP were out in force in the sparsely travelled stretch of Highway 3, between Hope and Princeton. Over 100 cars were seized under civil forfeiture on the spot. One family who had their car seized were in a remote area out of cellphone range. They had to flag passersby just to return to a large town.” That’s also bear country. The police just left them. In that case, Judge Bowden ruled that yiou cabn’t be subject to civil forfeiture for speeding.
Civil forfeiture is a major abuse and both Doug Christie and Barclay Johnson were among the first to expose it more than two years ago. “Why is the government getting into selling used cars? It’s all about money. The municipalities’ biggest expense is policing,” he noted.
Paul Fromm, Director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression, gave the keynote presentation about the present state of free speech in Canada. “Sometime next year,” he said, “the B’nai Brith and Richard Warman Sec. 319 ‘hate law’ charges against Arthur Topham will go to trial in Quesnel. Topham is a fearless terrier and will not give up.” CAFÉ has been helping him financially and will continue to help him in this evil case, where he is being prosecuted for material posted on his website radicalpress.com, includingThe Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, Germany Must Perish (a hateful book providing a blueprint for genocide of the German people) and Israel Must Perish, a clever Topham spoof of the previous book. For the prune-faced, humourless politically correct, it was a SATIRE, meant to expose and criticize Germany Must Perish,” Mr. Fromm chided.
“This is a crucial case,” Mr. Fromm warned. “We hope to discredit the ‘hate law’ and challenge its application to the Internet. Interestingly, the first two impugned books are freely available at libraries and at some bookstores. Once again, the law is being used to silence the independent, the little guy.”
Good news: The Ontario Civil Liberties Association has entered the fray on Arthur’s behalf and is circulating an on-line petition urging British Columbia Attorney General Suzanne Anton to withdraw her consent to this “hate law” prosecution.
” In New Brunswick, we will soon go to the New Brunswick Court of Appeal in the matter of the McCorkill will,” he said. Robert McCorkill, a retired chemistry professor willed the U.S.-based National Alliance his collection of rare coins and artefacts, valued at upwards of $250,000. The free speech hating Southern Poverty Law Centre in Montgomery, Alabama objected about this support for “White supremacists.” Ottawa lawyer and frequent human rights complainant Richard Warman alleged the bequest was contrary to “public policy.”
“The next thing we knew,” Mr. Fromm recalled, “Isabelle McCorkell (yes, different spelling), the professor’s long estranged sister, who had made no legal moves since his death in 2004, surfaced and challenged the will seeking to have it overturned as ‘contrary to public policy.’ Umm, was someone whispering in her ear? Almost immediately, the New Brunswick Attorney General, the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs and the League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith sought and obtained intervener status. CAFÉ intervened on behalf of the estate.”
“In June, we were stunned by the decision of Mr. Justice Grant to invalidate the bequest,” Mr. Fromm reported. The reason: the bequest was contrary to public policy; that is, the NA’s views were politically incorrect. For good measure, without even a charge or trial, much less evidence or a defence, the judge found that the National Alliance was guilty of violating Canada’s ‘hate laws.’ This decision puts the boots to property rights and freedom of belief and MUST be appealed. We must win this case or the right to bequeath your property to whom you will may have to pass the litmus test of political correctness,” he warned.
“There is a visceral hatred for Christians on the part of most of the political and legal establishment in this country,” Mr. Fromm argueed. He pointed to last year’s decision in the Whatcott case where the “cultural Marxists on the Supreme Court of Canada” basically ruled against public expressions of traditional teaching on homosexuality. Homosexuals are now a designated “vulnerable minority” although the militant homosexual lobby has won almost every battle it has fought. “The Supremos ruled that not scientific truth, not sincerely held religious belief, not political discourse nor hoest opinion were defences against the accusation of exposing a privileged minority to contempt. Quite simply they hate Christians,” Mr. Fromm warned a subdued audience.
And, the appalling harassment of Christian crusader Bill Whatcott continues. Mr. Fromm recounted Mr. Whatcott’s latest run is with cowardice and censorship. “He sought to organize a meeting on Christian morality in the modern world. He had a lawyer vet a proposed ad in the Regina Leader-Post. The Leader-Post refused to run this tasteful and non-inflammatory ad. Thus, it would be hard to advertise his meeting. Mr. Whatcott then ran off and distributed 5,000 leaflets advertising the meeting to be held in Lee’s Funeral Home. The press contacted the home and asked whether they were comfortable with protests. The management, who agreed with Whatcott’s conservative Christian morality, promptly collapsed and cancelled the meeting, much to the delight of the Leader-Post. The Delta Regina, on seeing the publicity, reneged on its booking. Mr. Whatcott then lined up St. Athanasius Ukrainian Catholic Church. It too wimped out fearing negative publicity. Thus, a conservative Christian cannot find a venue and cannot publicly advertise a meeting to discuss morality vis a vis homosexuality and abortion.”
“Many Canadians have only the vaguest commitment to free speech. Businesses often are utter cowards and censors. We have a lot of work to do, not just in protesting to those businesses that trampled on Mr. Whatcott’s rights but in trying to turn more Canadians on to freedom. Doug Christie always said: ‘It doesn’t matter what is in constitutions or Charters of Rights and Freedoms; you only have the rights you are prepared to FIGHT for,’ he concluded.