Ezra Levant at The Mark on the need to reform the Canadian Human Rights Commission:
The government should not wait for the question of political censorship to work its way through the courts. It should act now to repeal Section 13 and to make other badly needed reforms to the CHRC, including bringing in a civil liberties oversight committee to monitor abuses by CHRC staff, who have admitted under oath to publishing anti-Semitic, racist, and anti-gay material themselves in an effort to entrap citizens. A full-scale audit of the CHRC’s policies by the auditor general is also in order, especially given the failing grade the CHRC received in a confidential internal government audit…
From a political point of view, it’s a winner for the government. Standing up for freedom of expression puts the government on the side of groups that traditionally have liberal sympathies, from artists and authors to civil libertarians. Even groups like Egale Canada, the gay rights lobby, have called for the repeal of Section 13, along with the likes of PEN Canada and the Canadian Association of Journalists. It would be a win for the government to have them as allies.
Other than those who earn their living from human rights commissions or file complaints there against their political enemies, there are no supporters of Section 13 in the whole political spectrum…
Repealing Section 13 and deeply reforming the culture of the CHRC is a political winner. It would strengthen the government’s civil libertarian bona fides. It would appeal to the party’s base, which correctly senses that the CHRC is on an anti-conservative warpath. It would likely garner enough opposition votes to pass – and if an opposition leader insisted on opposing such reforms, it would likely cause splits in those opposition caucuses.
In other words, reforming the CHRC to prevent censorship of certain views is not only good policy, it’s good politics. Some of us would go further and suggest shutting down the entire human rights commission industry rather than reforming it, but that probably is not politically feasible.
You can check out our human rights commission archives here.