Northern Discomfort

As I began to read the facts of Levant’s case, I came to the sad realization that Canada no longer has freedom of speech. The “human rights” commissions (HRCs) all over Canada, staffed by bureaucrats and not following normal legal procedures, had originally been set up to deal with blatant cases of discrimination; they had morphed into star chambers weighing in on what the press could print, what pastors could say from the pulpit, whether certain Bible verses could be displayed publicly, and so on.

Later in the year, when National Review’s own Mark Steyn was ensnared by both Canada’s national and the British Columbia HRC for an article he published, I ended up covering Steyn’s case, as well as Canada’s kangaroo courts more broadly. (Steyn has written a foreword to Shakedown.) Every rock I turned over revealed the HRCs to be even more pernicious then they appeared, and they looked Orwellian to begin with. These commissions have the power to impose financial and legal penalties, and yet they don’t adhere to the most basic protections of due process found in a real court of law.

via Northern Discomfort by Mark Hemingway on National Review Online.

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