The U.S. State Department has released its International Religious Freedom Report 2009. While Canada has more respect for religious freedom than many countries (Red China, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, etc…), it is far from perfect. There is much to digest and comment upon, but it is worth pointing out that the State Department’s religious freedom report takes special note of the activities of the Canadian human rights commission industry:

In August 2008 the provincial Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission dismissed a complaint by the Edmonton Council of Muslim Communities against journalist Ezra Levant for republishing Danish cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. 

In 2008 the provincial Ontario Human Rights Commission dismissed a complaint filed by the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) against Maclean’s magazine regarding the publication of articles and book excerpts by author Mark Steyn between 2005 and 2007. Although the Ontario Human Rights Commission ruled it had no jurisdiction over print media, it denounced the magazine for publishing “Islamophobic portrayals of Muslims.” The federal Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) and provincial British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal also dismissed concurrent CIC complaints alleging that the magazine had published anti-Islamic articles. 

In December 2008 the CHRC dismissed a complaint against Muslim cleric Abou Hammaad Sulaiman Dameus al-Hayiti for his book attacking homosexuals, Jews, and Christians. 

In July 2008 a homosexual rights activist filed an application before the Federal Court of Canada for judicial review of a decision of the CHRC to dismiss his complaint against Catholic Insight magazine for allegedly promoting hatred of homosexuals. The application remained pending at the end of the reporting period. 

In June 2008 Reverend Stephen Boissoin filed an appeal before an Alberta court of the May 2008 order by the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission that he cease making disparaging comments about homosexuals, pay a fine of approximately $6,570 (C$7,000), and publish an apology. Boissoin’s appeal to the Alberta provincial court remained pending at the end of the reporting period.

On the plus side, the report states “There were no reports of religious detainees or prisoners in the country.”