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Dispatch from Canuckistan, or: Coming Soon to a Country Near You?

October 11, 2009

Away from NewsReal, I spend much of my time battling state censorship in the name of “political correctness” up here in Canada.

Asked to compose a rare (for me) weekend post, I think you’ll indulge my veering into “foreign entanglements” when you see the names of our two featured players: Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant.

Those not familiar with their recent “troubles” with state-sponsored censorship at the behest of radical Muslims can get the basic background from this FrontPage article, written around the mid-point of their travails.

Having triumphed over their accusers (and each written terrific new books about their adventures), Steyn and Levant now welcome every opportunity to speak about their experiences. They do so on behalf of the many others brought before our Human Rights Tribunals who don’t possess their Rolodexes of powerful allies, or their eloquence — eloquence on full display in these videos.

Last week, both men were called to testify at a Parliamentary hearing regarding Canada’s draconian censorship laws.

I think you’ll find their testimony entertaining, enlightening — and disturbing. (Don’t assume your First Amendment will necessarily protect you from similar stuff — we have “freedom of speech” in our “constitution” too. Fat lot of good.)

For now, here are Ezra Levant’s opening remarks:

And now Mark Steyn’s:

(PS: in case you’re wondering — yes, Steyn and Levant are immune from being sued for anything they said under oath that day. Which is good news because, well…)

  1. Julie Trevor permalink
    October 11, 2009 6:52 am

    “I think you’ll find their testimony entertaining, enlightening — and disturbing.”

    You would be correct…

    PS – I could listen to Mark Steyn all day..

  2. October 11, 2009 2:20 pm

    Brian Murphy, in his comments following Steyn’s testimony, provides a great example of the whiny left’s way of thinking – “…but they shock the conscience of people, and they go beyond freedom of speech.” With the line being determined by… well, whom, given that the current arbiters have failed so horribly?

    But never mind, let’s look past all the egregious “procedural” mistakes Levant and Steyn have laid out and remind ourselves about the horrors of free speech. If we abandon the CHRC, people will be reduced to nothing by the mean words of others! A Progressive’s unfaltering confidence in government to care for its subjects will never cease to amaze me.

    Thanks, Ms. Shaidle, for sticking with this and covering it so effectively!

  3. October 11, 2009 6:05 pm

    J. Hart,

    At one of many many such meetings I’ve attended, a member of what Ezra Levant calls “Canada’s Official Jews” — who were instrumental in bringing in these laws, only to (shock!) now see them used against them by radical Muslims — was being questioned by one of my free speech friends:

    “But who decides where this ‘line’ is drawn? Whose to say what speech ‘goes too far’??’

    Exasperated, the panelist (a lawyer and very high falutin’ member of the community) spat out, “Look, people like you and I just KNOW!”

    It’s hard to capture his look and tone in print like this, but I will never forget it. It was so revealing.

    What many folks don’t understand is the “class warfare” aspect to many “hate speech” cases up here. Inevitably, upper class, highly credentialed and well connected liberal/leftist lawyers are going after working and lower class people who make the mistake of using language the elites deem crude to discuss forbidden subjects like immigration, gay rights etc online. Conveniently for the elites, these lower class people can’t afford lawyers either… And no, there is no Legal Aid for Tribunal victims.

    As a former working class person myself, I recognize the way these “thought criminals” speak. They speak like the people I grew up with. They aren’t politically correct.

    The elites are trying to stop them from talking amongst themselves. The elites go after their politically incorrect language, but what they really want is to intimidate ordinary people into silence regarding multiculturalism and other sacred cows.


  4. Revnant Dream permalink
    October 11, 2009 7:38 pm

    Well said!

  5. October 12, 2009 10:09 am

    Wait till the Obomites get rolling with their censorship programs, under the guise of diversity, equality, Hate Speech, and other such PC garbage!


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