The Ontario Civil Liberties Association Calls on Ontario Attorney General to Revoke Consent for ‘Hate’ Charges Against Dr. Sears & Leroy St. Germaine (YOUR WARD NEWS); Kevin J. Johnston & Bill Whatcott

The Ontario Civil Liberties Association Calls on Ontario Attorney General to Revoke Consent for ‘Hate’ Charges Against Dr. Sears & Leroy St. Germaine (YOUR WARD NEWS); Kevin J. Johnston & Bill Whatcott
http://ocla.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/2018-07-24-Letter-OCLA-to-AG-Ontario-Mulroney.pdf 
Media Release: 
The Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) has sent a letter to Ontario’s new 
Attorney General Caroline Mulroney, re: Criminal code censorship prosecutions in Ontario.
By Email
 
July 24, 2018

 

Hon. Caroline Mulroney
Attorney General of Ontario
Ontario, Canada
Dear Attorney General Mulroney:
 
Re:  Criminal Code censorship prosecutions in Ontario

 

The Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) advocates for civil and human rights, including the fundamental human right of individual expression, opinion and belief.
We write to ask you to refrain during your mandate from consenting to any prosecutions based on the censorship provisions of the Criminal Code, because the said provisions categorically violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (the “Covenant”) ratified by Canada in 1976.
The impugned sections of the Criminal Code are:

 

LIBEL
·   S. 296 – Blasphemous libel
·   Ss. 297 to 317 – Defamatory libel

 

HATE PROPAGANDA
·   S. 318 – Advocating genocide
·   S. 319 – Public incitement of hatred / Wilful promotion of hatred
·   Ss. 320 to 320.1 – Warrant of seizure

 

Our point is not that expression cannot be criminal. For example:  ss. 22 and 464 of the Criminal Code, which apply to valid provisions of the Criminal Code.
Our point is that Canada and the provinces are obligated under international law not to enact and use laws that violate fundamental human rights.
The “blasphemous libel” (s. 296) and “defamatory libel” (ss. 297 to 317) provisions are squarely contrary to international law,[1] and opposite to all the relevant joint statements of international rapporteurs on human rights.[2],[3],[4] In particular, the said provisions prescribe imprisonment, whereas international law expressly disallows imprisonment as a penalty for any type of defamation, whether characterized as “criminal” or not.[5]

 

Section 296 will be repealed by Bill C-51 (referred to committee on Senate second reading). The defamatory libel” sections (ss. 297 to 317) are maintained, except that “published” cannot mean solely to the person who is defamed (s. 299(c)).

 

The “advocating genocide” provision of the Criminal Code (s. 318), is noncompliant with the Covenant because it does not prescribe an onus on the state to establish a “direct and immediate connection” to an actual “threat”:[6]

 

When a State party invokes a legitimate ground for restriction of freedom of expression, it must demonstrate in specific and individualized fashion the precise nature of the threat, and the necessity and proportionality of the specific action taken, in particular by establishing a direct and immediate connection between the expression and the threat.
A valid law prohibiting advocating genocide is required to prescribe that the “advocating” must be credible and causally connected to a palpable threat.
The “public incitement of hatred / wilful promotion of hatred” provisions (s. 319) violate the Covenant because no actual harm to any specific person needs to be proven by the state; nor is the issue incitement of a crime, but rather incitement of “hatred” (an emotion which is not in itself a crime) in unspecified persons at large.
The court is asked to subjectively hypothesize an induced “hatred” at large. The state need only wave the magic wand of “hatred”, subjectively inferred from the impugned expression itself, to imprison an individual for up to two years.
These are victimless crimes of hypothetically inducing emotions transmitted into the ether of society, which hypothetically cause unspecified harm to unspecified persons. No evidence of any kind is needed beyond the impugned expression itself and the context of the expression.
The Supreme Court itself determined this statutory interpretation of prosecutions pursuant to ss. 319(1) and 319(2):[7]
“The offence does not require proof that the communication caused actual hatred. … The risk of hatred caused by hate propaganda is very real.  This is the harm that justifies prosecuting individuals under this section [319] of the Criminal Code.  In the Media Case, the ICTR said that ‘[t]he denigration of persons on the basis of their ethnic identity or other group membership in and of itself, as well as in its other consequences, can be an irreversible harm’.”  [Emphasis added]
The proverbial slippery slope has now led us beyond this victimless crime — in which any effect or harm from the expression need not be proven and cannot be tested — to a place where “holocaust denial” is argued to automatically generate the said hatred at large. On the contrary, the Covenant holds the state to an entirely different standard:[8]

 

Laws that penalize the expression of opinions about historical facts are incompatible with the obligations that the Covenant imposes on States parties in relation to the respect for freedom of opinion and expression. The Covenant does not permit general prohibition of expressions of an erroneous opinion or an incorrect interpretation of past events.

 

The impugned Criminal Code provisions include overt “book burning” clauses (ss. 319(4), 320 and 320.1) for recorded materials that are subjectively hypothesized to induce “hatred” in the reader, listener or viewer.
Canada has an obligation to remove these laws,[9] an obligation that it appears to be largely disregarding despite our calls starting in February 2016.
All prosecutions pursuant to the impugned provisions are fundamentally unjust towards the individual, extraordinarily wasteful of public resources, and harmful to democracy itself.

 

The “hate propaganda” prosecutions are structurally political because they are made at the discretion of the Attorney General (ss. 318(3), 319(6) and 320(7)). They have a potential to be used as propaganda and societal manipulation, much as witch trials were used in the Reformation in competing for “religious market share” between Catholics and Protestants.[10] Those who seek censorship of a particular negative view are often partisans of a particular political party or ideology or may have a special interest they wish to advance. Reactions to views one finds repugnant are emotional vectors that can align, consolidate, increase or strengthen partisan affiliation when the issue is predictably mediatized through a controversial trial.

 

In addition, we ask you to retract the Attorney General’s consent for all the ongoing such prosecutions, which were consented to by the previous Attorney General despite our requests.

 

We know of three current such prosecutions being pursued in Ontario:
  • Kevin Johnston – for expressed negative opinions about Muslims
  • James Sears – for expressed negative opinions about women and Jews
  • Bill Whatcott – for expressed negative opinions about gays

 

Please let us know your responses so that we may report these to our members and to the public.
Yours truly,
Joseph Hickey
Executive Director
Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) http://ocla.ca
613-252-6148 (c)
Cc: Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould, Attorney General of Canada, Jody.Wilson-Raybould@parl.gc.camcu@justice.gc.ca
[1] General comment No. 34, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Human Rights Committee, 102nd
session, CCPR/C/GC/34, <http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/docs/gc34.pdf>, paras. 47 to 49
[2] JOINT DECLARATION: Current Challenges to Media Freedom, by the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media and the OAS Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, 30 November 2000, <http://www.osce.org/fom/40190>
[3] JOINT DECLARATION, by the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media and the OAS Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, 10 December 2002, <http://www.osce.org/fom/39838>
[4] JOINT DECLARATION ON DEFAMATION OF RELIGIONS, AND ANTI-TERRORISM AND ANTI-EXTREMISM LEGISLATION, by the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, the OAS Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and the ACHPR (African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, 10 December 2008, <http://www.osce.org/fom/35639>
[5] General comment No. 34, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Human Rights Committee, 102nd
session, CCPR/C/GC/34, <http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/docs/gc34.pdf>, para. 47
[6] See Article 20 of the Covenant; and see General comment No. 34, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Human Rights Committee, 102nd session, CCPR/C/GC/34, para. 35
[7] Mugesera v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), [2005] 2 SCR 100, 2005 SCC 40 (CanLII), <http://canlii.ca/t/1l249>, at para. 102
[8] General comment No. 34, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Human Rights Committee, 102nd session, CCPR/C/GC/34, <http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/docs/gc34.pdf>, at para. 49
[9] General comment No. 31, The Nature of the General Legal Obligation Imposed on States Parties to the Covenant, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Human Rights Committee, 80th session, CCPR/C/21/Rev.1/Add. 13, 26 May 2004, <http://www.refworld.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/rwmain?docid=478b26ae2>, para. 13
[10] “Witch Trials” by Peter T. Leeson and Jacob W. Russ, The Economic Journal, 2017, DOI: 10.1111/ecoj.12498
Contact:
Joseph Hickey
Executive Director
Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) http://ocla.ca
613-252-6148 (c)

ONTARIO CIVIL LIBERTIES ASSOCIATION BLASTS MONIKA DETENTION AS ILLEGAL & DEMAND CANADIAN GOV’T ACTION TO FREE MONIKA FROM HER “UNJUST & IMMORAL IMPRISONMENT ​” July 16, 2018 By Email Honourable Chrystia Freeland Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada chrystia.freeland@parl.gc.ca Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould Minister of Justice of Canada jody.wilson- raybould@parl.gc.ca Dear Ministers Freeland and Wilson-Raybould: Re: Imprisonment of Canadian Monika Schaefer in Germany for a video expressing a view about the Nazi holocaust The Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) advocates for civil and human rights, including the human right of freedom of expression, opinion and belief. The OCLA is concerned about an apparent unwillingness of Canada to come to the aid of a Canadian political prisoner in Germany, who is charged using a German criminal law that does not exist in Canada and that is categorically contrary to international law. Canada ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in 1976. As you know, General Comments (GC) of the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) interpret and specify the ICCPR covenant and constitute international law. At paragraph 49 in General Comment No. 34 [CCPR/C/GC/34, 2011] the UNHRC determined: Laws that penalize the expression of opinions about historical facts are incompatible with the obligations that the Covenant imposes on States parties in relation to the respect for freedom of opinion and expression. The Covenant does not permit general prohibition of expressions of an erroneous opinion or an incorrect interpretation of past events. Therefore, the German law in issue, which criminalizes negative expression about the historical events of the Nazi holocaust, is a so-called “memory-law” (HRC term) that violates the human right of free expression. It carries a maximum jail sentence of five years. We have reviewed the reason given that Ms. Schaeffer was arrested, charged and detained in Germany when she travelled to that country. It is her -minute video titled “Sorry mom I was wrong about the holocaust”, which she made in Canada about Canada and published from Canada, and which the CBC embedded in its July 15, 2016 article entitled “Hate speech complaint filed against Jasper woman for Holocaust denial video”: https://archive.org/details/SorryMomIWasWrongAboutTheHolocaust_201709 In this way, the CBC participated in a criminal offence under German law (perpetrated in Canada), which is absurd. We ask you both to do everything you can to save Monika Schaefer from her on-going unjust and immoral imprisonment in Germany and that you tell your efforts in this regard publicly. Ms. Schaefer’s trial is in progress. In particular, we ask Canada to appoint a consular observer and direct contact for Ms. Schaefer immediately. Every day that Canada refuses to act or acts ineffectively is a day that Ms. Schaefer spends in a foreign jail. Therefore, we express the required urgency. Please let us know your responses so that we may report these on our website. Yours truly, Joseph Hickey Executive Director Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) http://ocla.ca 613-252-6148 (c) joseph.hickey@ocla.ca

ONTARIO CIVIL LIBERTIES ASSOCIATION BLASTS MONIKA DETENTION  AS ILLEGAL & DEMAND CANADIAN GOV’T ACTION TO FREE MONIKA FROM HER “UNJUST & IMMORAL IMPRISONMENT

 

​”

July 16, 2018

 

 

By Email

Honourable Chrystia Freeland

Minister of Foreign Affairs

of Canada

chrystia.freeland@parl.gc.ca

 

Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould

Minister of Justice

of Canada

jody.wilson-

raybould@parl.gc.ca

 

Dear Ministers Freeland and Wilson-Raybould:

 

Re: Imprisonment of Canadian Monika Schaefer in Germany for a video expressing a view about the Nazi holocaust

 

The Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) advocates for civil and human rights, including the human right of freedom of expression, opinion and belief.

 

The OCLA is concerned about an apparent unwillingness of Canada to come to the aid of a Canadian political prisoner in Germany, who is charged using a German  criminal law that does not exist in Canada and that is categorically contrary to international law.

 

Canada ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in 1976. As you know, General Comments (GC) of the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) interpret and specify the ICCPR covenant and constitute international law.

 

At paragraph 49 in General Comment No. 34 [CCPR/C/GC/34, 2011] the UNHRC determined:

Laws that penalize the expression of opinions about historical facts are  incompatible with the obligations that the Covenant imposes on States

parties in relation to the respect for freedom of opinion and expression. The Covenant does not permit general prohibition of expressions of an erroneous  opinion or an incorrect interpretation of past events. Therefore, the German law in issue, which criminalizes negative expression about the historical events of the Nazi holocaust, is a so-called “memory-law” (HRC term) that violates the human right of free expression. It carries a maximum jail sentence of five years.

 

We have reviewed the reason given that Ms. Schaeffer was arrested, charged and detained in Germany when she travelled to that country. It is her -minute video titled “Sorry mom I was wrong about the holocaust”, which she made in Canada  about Canada and published from Canada, and which the CBC embedded in its July 15, 2016 article entitled “Hate speech complaint filed against Jasper woman for Holocaust denial video”:

https://archive.org/details/SorryMomIWasWrongAboutTheHolocaust_201709

 

In this way, the CBC participated in a criminal offence under German law (perpetrated in Canada), which is absurd.

 

We ask you both to do everything you can to save Monika Schaefer from her on-going unjust and immoral imprisonment in Germany and that you tell your efforts in this regard publicly. Ms. Schaefer’s trial is in progress. In particular, we ask Canada to appoint a consular observer and direct contact for Ms. Schaefer immediately.

 

Every day that Canada refuses to act or acts ineffectively is a day that Ms. Schaefer spends in a

foreign jail. Therefore, we express the required urgency.

 

Please let us know your responses so that we may report these on our website.

 

Yours truly,

Joseph Hickey

Executive Director

 

Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) http://ocla.ca

613-252-6148 (c)

joseph.hickey@ocla.ca

OCLA Petition: Congratulations and Thank You to all who have signed it

http://www.radicalpress.com/?p=6530

OCLA Petition: Congratulations and Thank You to all who have signed it

October 20, 2014

Please do your best to share this email and petition with friends and family and associates. We need to build the support for the OCLA initiative by increasing the signatures into the thousands. See additional information on the OCLA petition below:

 
 
Dear Supporters of Freedom of Expression, 

Please take a moment to read and consider signing OCLA’s petition in defence of the civil rights of Arthur Topham, a BC man who is currently being prosecuted under a “Hate Propaganda” section of Canada’s Criminal Code. The petition is online at the following link: http://www.change.org/p/hon-suzanne-anton-attorney-general-of-bc-jag-minister-gov-bc-ca-hon-suzanne-anton-retract-your-consent-for-the-criminal-proceedings-against-mr-arthur-topham?utm_source=guides&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=petition_created
 
OCLA has the position that sections 318 to 320 of the Criminal Code should be repealed. These sections allow egregious violations of the civil rights of liberty, just process, and freedom of expression. Under these provisions, a person can be jailed without the Crown being required to prove any actual harm to a single identified individual.
 
Mr. Topham was arrested in front of his spouse, detained, subjected to a home-invasive seizure, and faces jail time if convicted, for expressing his highly unpopular views.
 
OCLA’s public statement on this matter is available at: http://ocla.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/OCLA-statement-re-Arthur-Topham.pdf
 
Please read OCLA’s letter to the BC Attorney General asking her to withdraw her consent for this prosecution, which is available at: http://ocla.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/2014-09-24-Letter-OCLA-to-AG-of-BC.pdf
 
Yours truly, 
 
Joseph Hickey
Executive Director
Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) http://ocla.ca
 
“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” – Voltaire

 

Huge Development: Ontario Civil Liberties Association Backs Arthur Topham in Internet “Hate” Case & Calls on B.C,. AG to Withdraw the Charges

Huge Development: Ontario Civil Liberties Association Backs Arthur Topham in Internet “Hate” Case & Calls on B.C,. AG to Withdraw the Charges

Arthur Topham is the victim of eight years of judicial persecution for the non-violent expression of his anti-Zionist opinions on his website Radicalpress.com

Arthur-Topham

First, he was the object of a complaint by B’nai Brith Harry Abrams under the old Sec. 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act (Internet censorship). The case was heading toward a tribunal hearing. However, Sec. 13 was stymied by the Marc Lemire ruling. Then, Parliament, after much pressure by free speech supporters, repealed Sec. 13.

So, Abrams and his new ally Richard Warman (the instigator of numerous Sec. 13 complaints) regrouped. They complained to the BC “hate squad” and Arthur Topham was charged under Sec. 319 of Canada’s Criminal Code — the notorious “hate law.”

He could go to jail for two years simply for the non-violent expression of his political or historical opinions.

CAFE has backed him from the start. We were granted intervener status at the planned Canadian Human Rights Tribunal hearings. We have continued to back him during his latest judicial torment.

He has now attracted the support of the influential and prestigious Ontario Civil Liberties Association. this is huge. This group is calling on B.C. Attorney General Suzanne Anton to “withdraw her consent” to these charges; that is, drop the charges. Under the “hate law”, a charge can only be laid with the consent of the provincial attorney general. If she takes a second look at this disgraceful case of harassment and abuse by process and withdraws her consent, that will be the end of Topham’s torment.

It is vitally important that you sign this online petition initiated by the OCLA for Arthur.

Paul Fromm
Director
CANADIAN ASSOCIATION FOR FREE EXPRESSION

http://www.change.org/p/hon-suzanne-anton-attorney-general-of-bc-jag-minister-gov-bc-ca-hon-suzanne-anton-retract-your-consent-for-the-criminal-proceedings-against-mr-arthur-topham

You don’t have to be a Canadian to sign this petition and I humbly ask that everyone who values the right to self-expression please sign it and if possible add a comment as to why you did. As well, please pass this on to anyone else who may value freedom of speech.

  • Petitioning Hon. Suzanne Anton, Attorney General of BC,JAG.Minister@gov.bc.ca

Hon. Suzanne Anton — Retract your consent for the criminal proceedings against Mr. Arthur Topham.

    1. Petition by
    2. Ontario Civil Liberties Association

 

Join the Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) in defending the civil rights of Arthur Topham. No one in Canada should be jailed or criminally convicted for saying what they believe, or for stating an opinion, ever. No proven and caused actual harm to an actual identified person, no jail, and no criminal charge!

Please sign the petition.

OCLA

The Ontario Civil Liberties Association vigorously advocates for authentic and unqualified freedom of expression of individuals, on all topics and in every form, in accordance with the right to free expression enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Civil rights and legal context

The threats to civil liberties caused by the hate propaganda provisions (sections 318 to 320) of the Criminal Code of Canada affect all Canadians.

The said sections define offences resulting in prison sentences of up to five years for speech that need not be proven to have caused physical or psychological harm to any person. The sections define crimes of expression in which the Crown is not required to prove that there was a victim, or that any person suffered actual harm.

The said sections are applied at the discretion of the Government, since no proceeding can be instituted without the consent of the Attorney General. As such, the use of such a proceeding as a political instrument is an inescapable feature of the law.

The political nature of charges made to date under the said sections is evident. Powerful individuals calling for or condoning wars of aggression that are actually carried out are never charged. The accused are typically politically isolated ordinary bloggers and publicists, who express highly unpopular views that attract the political opportunism of influential lobby groups.

At the Government’s whim, the accused is confronted with the unlimited legal resources of the Crown, and the investigative resources of the police – who will typically make a home-invasive seizure of all storage and communication equipment and agreements (mobile phones, computers, account statements, stored emails, books, etc.).

The arrested individual must apply for bail release. If released from custody, bail conditions can include a partial or total gag-order about the proceedings and about the impugned expression.

On-going Arthur Topham prosecution

Mr. Topham is a peaceful married man, a father of four, grandfather of eight, and a small business man in a rural community, who has not previously been charged with any crime. In 2012, he was arrested in front of his spouse, detained, and has been subjected to a broad house-invasive seizure, and to many preliminary court proceedings, in which he is now self-represented by necessity.

Mr. Topham has a website on which he publishes his critical views and those of others. On this website, as explained by the Crown in a preliminary court hearing held in January 2014, Mr. Topham has:

1)       re-published the 1941 book by Theodore N. Kaufman, entitled “Germany Must Perish!”;

2)       published his expressly-satirical piece entitled “Israel Must Perish!”, in which he solely changed “Germany” to “Israel”, “German” to “Jew”, and “Hitler” to “Netanyahu” in parts of the original book by Kaufman;

3)       re-published “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, (first published in Russia in 1903);

4)       re-published the 1967 book by Eustace Mullins, entitled “The Biological Jew”;

5)       re-published the 1964 book by Elizabeth Dilling, entitled “The Jewish Religion: Its Influence Today”;

6)       published a blog post by himself, entitled “Karen Selick: Just Another Hate-mongering Germanophobe Jew”.

On the basis of such internet materials, posted to a website, the BC resident is being prosecuted pursuant to section 319(2) of the Criminal Code:

—-Every one who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, wilfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group is guilty of

(a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or

(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.—-

Mr. Topham is a passionate communicator with unpopular views about society. Mr. Topham is open, authentic, and honest, as is evident from his postings about the proceedings against him.

The Ontario Civil Liberties Association believes that the proceedings against Mr. Topham are systemically political in nature and should not be consuming public, police, and judicial resources. We believe that the proceedings are harmful to Canadian society, in addition to being unacceptably unjust towards a citizen.

The Ontario Civil Liberties Association knows of no scientific basis (sociological or psychological) whereby the emotion of “hate” can be causally and deterministically induced in a person by a communicator of words posted to a website.

The next court hearing, in Quesnel, BC, is scheduled for September 29, 2014.

We ask that the Attorney General retract her consent for the proceeding against Mr. Topham, in the interest of preserving a just and democratic Canada.

To:
Hon. Suzanne Anton, Attorney General of BC,JAG.Minister@gov.bc.ca

Hon. Suzanne Anton — Retract your consent for the criminal proceedings against Mr. Arthur Topham.

Sincerely,
[Your name]