When a businessman talks about living in a country where he is told who he can and cannot sell his products to, such a scenario usually conjures up images of Stalinist Russia or a banana republic. Unfortunately, however, it is not at all alien to Canada.

In June, Christian business owner Scott Brockie faced an Ontario Human Rights Tribunal inquisition that originated more than three years ago from a complaint made by homosexualist activist Ray Brillinger.

Mr. Brockie operates a family printing business in Toronto. Mr. Brillinger, who worked for the Lesbian and Gay Archives, took offence at Mr. Brockie’s refusal to accept a printing job for his organization.

Mr. Brockie says that he made it clear that his objection was not the fact that the Lesbian and Gay Archives was a homosexual organization, but that the specific material he was being asked to print would be used in the promotion of behaviour that violates Mr. Brockie’s religious convictions.

Mr. Brillinger was not satisfied.

Scott Brockie has maintained remarkably good spirits through the whole ordeal. His goal is to use every opportunity in the OHRT process to evangelize those with whom he comes in contact. After the latest round of hearings, he told supporters via e-mail: “There was a very specific instance when the words of Mark 13:11 were proved true: “Whenever you are … brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.'”

The closing arguments are scheduled for August 26. Mr. Brockie is committed to appealing the ruling if it goes against him, hoping to propel the case into the legitimate court system.

His determination to appeal to the courts is very significant. The human rights commissions throughout Canada operate outside the court system, and are not restrained by normal rules of evidence and due process. As a result, most people accused of human rights violations agree to settle their cases quietly before any real hearing is held. If Mr. Brockie is successful, he may help set a precedent which would rein in the human rights commissions, widely regarded as “kangaroo courts.”