Just to refresh your memory, yesterday I concluded Doug Collins's fiery missile in the following way:
"Mr. Aziz Khaki of the government-subsidized Committee for Racial Justice met with the attorney general of that time, Mr. Colin Gabelman. He also met with Miss Anita Hagen, who was responsible for multiculturalism. The Canadian Jewish Congress also made representations. References were made by government members during the debate in the legislature to the Ku Klux Klan, cross burnings, White Aryan Resistance, Nazi-like activity, Molotov cocktails and other things that had nothing to do with anything I had written or done; or, as far as I know with what anyone else had written or done. And as I have already stated, it was never shown that any harm had been done by anything I had written. The government's case was an exercise in vacuity and vagueness. It didn't like what I was saying. So ghosts and monsters were made to walk."
And now, with great pleasure I give you Part II of Doug Collins versus the Human Rights Tribunal of British Columbia:
Claims were made by government members that freedom of expression would not be affected by this legislation. I quote Mr. Evans again, who stated, incredibly (see Page 7341 of the Hansard of June 17): "We have brought in a law that guarantees freedom of speech." That theme was echoed by Ms. Joyce MacPhail, MLA, who stated (see Page 7339: "Free speech is not the issue. It is not a law that is aimed to suppress freedom of expression. In fact, the bill expands freedom of expression...". That's something for Alice In Wonderland. If freedom of expression has been expanded, why I have faced two tribunals? She must have walked through the looking glass.
In the Hansard of June 16, Page 7338, she referred to the Civil Rights Protection Act of British Columbia, which had been passed in the early 1980s, and stated: "The Protection Act is punitive and provides no remedy to the victim of hatred. In order to convict someone, a charge of promoting hatred and contempt must be approved according to a criminal standard; that is, beyond a reasonable doubt... and those who are familiar with our court system know how difficult that can be." That was yet another admission that the NDP government did not want to trust the courts and that it preferred its own kind of court.
How could such statements be made? Because they suggest that free speech is one thing and what our rulers and certain axe-grinders choose to see as hate speech is another. In other words, everyone must conform to the views of the Thought Police.
And the NDP government was not willing to brook any delay. The Opposition wanted a six month hiatus during which this issue could be properly examined - by the media, by the public and by the Law Society. That was refused.
In the normal course of events they would have consulted the B.C. Press Council before introducing this legislation.They never failed, for instance, to consult the B.C. Federation of Labour when labor laws were on the agenda. They didn't choose to do that in this case because they knew that what they were doing was outrageous and that it restricted freedom of the press.
So let me tell you what else the Press Council had to say in its submission to my first tribunal. The submission was titled, In Defence of a Free Press In British Columbia. And here are some of its main points, as listed by the Council's lawyers.
(1) The whole proceeding is an intolerable violation of Charter free speech rights
(2) It is the most serious threat to freedom of the press since Alberta's Press Law was enacted in 1937.
(3) The intention of the Code is to stifle speech that is not criminal.
(4) Since Confederation, and as far as is known, before that, no other newspaper or writer has been forced to appear before a government-appointed trubunal to defend an opinion column.
(5) Dissident expression is threatened with extinction. Section 7 (1) (of the Code) is a law that is but one step removed from a law that simply says: "If there is a complaint about speech, government shall gag the speaker."
(6) The Code permits a legal environment that has none of the safeguards that apply to civil courts' proceedings.
(7) Innocent intent is not a defence
(8) Truth is not a defence.
(9) Fair comment on facts is not a defence.
(10) Publication in the public interest is not a defence.
(11) Work done for artistic, academic, scientific or research purposes is not a defence.
(12) There is no right of appeal and no trial by jury. A defendant can only apply to the Supreme Court for a judicial review, which is not a true right of appeal.
(13) A defendant cannot recover legal costs. (And I might mention here that the successful defence against the complaint in the first tribunal made by the Canadian Jewish Congress cost the North Shore News $203,000, none of which was recoverable. That alone is a strong deterrent to allowing politically incorrect editorial opinions to be expressed.)
(14) Damages can be unlimited, and enforced by action against the assets of the defendant.
(15) B.C. is the only jurisdiction that prohibits so-called "discriminatory" publications in newspapers. The Press Council stated on Page 34 of its submission that with the exception of Manitoba, every other human rights statute in the provinces and territories which contains a prohibition against discriminatory publications also contains an exemption for expression of opinion. And even in Manitoba the Code does not apply to newspapers and does not contain a group defamation provision of the type found in the B.C. Code.
(16) In contrast to the B.C. Code, the Canadian Human Rights Code does not apply to newspapers.
(17) The B.C. Code is a Heresy Act and a Censorship Law, and the provincial government has pre-empted the role of the Canadian Parliament.
I referred earlier to what appeared to be a government conspiracy prior to the introduction of Bill 33, which became the Amendment to the Human Rights Act. On Page 125 of the Press Council's analysis there is a reference to the government's reluctance to disclose the facts of the matter.
The Council stated: "Rather than candidly disclose the government's complete basis for introducing Section 7 (1) of the Code in 1993, the Ministry of the Attorney General and the Ministry of Multiculturalism expunged huge sections of their records and have successfully sought shelter behind the exemptions in sections 12, 13, and 14 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act."
That was described by the Council as "a refusal to disclose all relevant information". The submission goes on to declare: "It will readily be seen that the documents sought by Mr. Porter [the Press Council Secretary] were highly germane. Accordingly, there should be a strong presumption that the non-disclosed documents would not support the governmentís position."
The Press Council was also critical of this tribunal's ruling in my case. In a press release dated Feb. 3, 1999, it stated that the speech restrictions in the Code are an unjustified violation of the principle of the freedom of the press, that this tribunal's order to print the summary of your verdict is not authorized by the B.C. Human Rights Code, and that no court in a common law province has ever seen fit to demand that a newspaper publish its findings. It added that the government has no business setting up special tribunals to tell newspapers what to print.
Earlier, I mentioned this tribunal's view that while none of the columns in question were in contravention of the Code individually, they were collectively. You went on to say that they had to be taken in context, a foggy area, shall we say, in which intellectual footpads may lurk.
It was even stated that I express hatred or contempt "indirectly and subtly", cunning fellow that I am, and that I MAY increase the likelihood that OTHERS will manifest their views in a more directly harmful manner. In other words, some simple souls may catch something from me. Strange, is it not, that people with Aids can roam this country without let or hindrance, while those with dangerous thoughts must be put behind the barbed wire of political correctness.
This tribunal also accepted evidence relating to something called psycholinguistics, in other words, psychobabble, since it relates to what was described as "the gloss of respectability" that covers my writings. You also claimed in your verdict that the Jews are still a vulnerable group.
Are Izzy Asper and his son Leonard vulnerable? Their corporation, Canwest Global, owns 13 daily newspapers in Canada, 126 community newspapers, half of the National Post, and over eighty trade publications.They also own a string of nineteen television stations, including the biggest one on the West Coast - BCTV. In British Columbia they control thirty-two newspapers including The Vancouver Sun, The Province, and the Victoria Times-Colonist. Or how about Mr. Robin Rabinovitch, the president of the CBC? The biggest bookselling company in Canada is controlled by a Jewish lady, Heather Reisman., and surveys have shown that Jews are the most prosperous ethnic group in the country.
Is there anything wrong with all that? In general, no. In particular, yes. In the CanWest- Global case, yes. No one should be allowed to control so many media outlets. Its predecessor, Hollinger/Southam, controlled by David Radler, never published the B.C. Press Council rebuttal of the Human Rights Code, and we can be quite sure that CanWest-Global never will. But my point is that all this makes nonsense of this tribunal's claim of Jewish vulnerability. Your statement displays a profound ignorance.
If you're looking for vulnerability, look at me. I have no money to speak of and no powerful friends in government. If anyone is a victim, I am it, and I've been a victim since 1994.
Another bad joke is that the Human Rights Code is remedial, not punitive. Put that in the same box of illusions as the claim by Miss McPhail that free speech is not the issue. As George Orwell said, Two and two make five, war is peace, and freedom is slavery.
Let us also not forget the hateful claim by the complainant, Harry Abrams, who was quoted in a local newspaper as saying that I am preparing the ground for a new holocaust. How's that for hatred? Maybe I should complain about hurt feelings. But I don;t think I would get very far. The B.C. Human Rights Commission is not there to help people of my political and social persuasion.
We now come to the core of this affair, which was my suggestion in the column "Hollywood Propaganda" that the six million figure of Jewish deaths in the holocaust is grossly exaggerated and that we have been subjected to an unceasing stream of propaganda on that subject, courtesy of Hollywood. Fifty-six years after the war ended we are still getting weekly features about it in the movies or on TV, and you can hardly pick up a newspaper without seeing some reference to it. It is said to be the job of journalists to question everything, but curiosity can kill the cat, and the enemies of free speech have certainly done their best to kill this cat.
I don't intend to defend my views on the holocaust here, truth in these tribunals being no defence. What matters under this law is not the truth but whether Harry Abrams claims to be hurt. In that sense, I am guilty - in a Kafa-esque sort of way. And if you don't know what I mean by that, read Kafka's book, The Prisoner. But, to repeat, I am the victim, not Abrams, not B'Nai Brith, and not the Canadian Jewish Congress.
So-called "holocaust denial" is not a crime in Canada. It is in Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Poland, France, Austria, Lithuania and Spain. But it isn't here. Not yet. The presssure groups get around that unfortunate omission, however, by making complaints to human rights tribunals. What they can't do by entering the front door, they do by way of the back door.
I know more about the Nazis than most people, and certainly more than Harry Abrams. I was there. I was there from 1939 right through to 1945. My puny efforts even brought me a Military Medal. I escaped from prison camps in Germany, Hungary and Romania, and have sat in Gestapo cells. I rejoined the army before the war was over and in 1945 saw Bergen-Belsen. In 1946 I became a Political Intelligence Officer with the British Control Commission in Germany and was active in the de-Nazification of that country. No, I don't need any lessons on that subject from Mr. Abrams, human rights tribunals or anyone else. And especially not from Lionel Kenner, a retired Jewish philosophy professor who needs some lessons in philosophy and was quoted in your report. Kenner had the gall to state that I am "the voice of the neo-Nazi movement in North Vancouver". Well, I have never heard of any neo-Nazi movement in North Vancouver. Does it have an office? How many members does it have?
I don't know about that but I do know about Kenner. He is a professional hater and speech suppressor. When I was awarded the Confederation Medal in 1992 he organized an unsuccessful national attempt to have the award cancelled. In a 40,000-word complaint to the Press Council he called me a liar about forty times and was cautioned by the Council Chairman to mind his language.
The late NDP government, as represented by the Attorney General's office, the Human Rights Commission and this tribunal, has done its best to prevent me from applying to the courts for a judicial review of the Human Rights Act. It strenuously opposed my application at the B.C. Supreme Court level and also before the B.C. Court of Appeals. That's why I am here today. Obviously, that government had something to hide, and it was afraid to test its Code under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. But tested it will be, if not today then tomorrow.
In a letter to Premier Glen Clark dated May 17, 1997, the Writers' Union of Canada deplored my being brought before a human rights tribunal. It also deplored the desire to censor journalists who express controversial points of view. It supported my right to freedom of expression and asked that the amendment to British Columbia's human rights legislation be repealed.
The Canadian Community Newspaper Association, representing 300 newspapers, stated that while I stand proudly on the right of Canadian thought I do not write hate literature.
In an editorial dated June 19, 1993, the Globe & Mail declared that B.C.'s new human rights law was "A Criminal Abuse of Human Rights".
On March 13, 1998, David Schreck, a former NDP MLA who helped to draft the law, was quoted in the Western Jewish Bulletin as stating that in my case the law was being misused.
Free speech is often unpopular. It was unpopular in Israel two thousand years ago. It was unpopular in Martin Luther's time and it is unpopular today. But if freedom of speech means anything, it means the right to say what some people don't want to hear. The right to say only what is seen to be the right thing is no right at all. You could stand outside the Kremlin all day and sing Stalin's praises. You could stand outside the Reichs Chancellery in Berlin and sing Hitler's praises. But you were out of luck if you didn't go with the stream. The same principle applies now in Canada, and especially in British Columbia, admittedly in reduced form. Truly controversial views will be vilified and their authors hauled before special courts like this one. And the psychobabble of that "expert witness" from Simon Fraser University who talked about psycholinguistics isn't too far removed from recommending that subtle fellows like me should be put in lunatic asylums until they repent, as they were in Russia.
Onwards and downwards.
For my part, I donít intend to swim with the stream if the stream is a dirty one, and this one repels me. So does that crowd of professional anti-free speech academic performers who have testified before you and have doctorates in the dangers of free speech. To repeat: There is no way, in a sane society, in which your order against myself and the North Shore News can be regarded as being demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society. There is nothing about it that is free and there is nothing about it that is democratic. And the sinister thing is that the NDP's would-be totalitarians know that.
Before Mr. Ujjal Dosanjh became premier he was the attorney general, and he was reported in the Western Jewish Bulletin of October 18, 1996, as admitting that the Human Rights Code may be unconstitutional. "That may be so at the end of the day" he was quoted as saying. Which shows, again, why he has been so keen to keep this case out of court.
I pointed out earlier that I have no money to speak of and certainly no friends in the worst government this Province has ever seen. But I have friends. They are the Canadian Free Speech League, the Canadian Association for Free Expression, and many concerned citizens.
Of the $203,000 the North Shore News spent on defence costs in the first tribunal, the public subscribed $150,000. Governments, of course, have unlimited funds at their disposal, but we have had to rely again on public subscriptions in order to keep this case going. But such support is a sign that you can't fool all Canadians all of the time, and that there are many who are alarmed by what is going on.
Thought for the Day:
"Woodman, spare that tree! Tough not a single bough! In youth it sheltered me, And I'll protect it now!"
(George Pope Morris)
Back to Table of Contents of the August 2001 ZGrams