Great columnists and bloggers analyze the results of Tuesday’s rare open hearing of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, in the case of professional complainer Richard Warman vs. small-time racist Marc Lemire:
Mark Steyn notes the absolute contempt for justice of plaintiff Richard Warman, who did not even show up to the hearing!
Jonathan Kay states what he thinks is the deadly blow this hearing revealed: that Commission member Dean Steacy tried to protect his anonymity as he posted entrapment messages on neo-nazi web sites by surreptitiously logging on to the internet via the unsecured wireless router of the resident of a nearby apartment dweller.
Ezra Levant, a lawyer himself, exposes the utter lack of fair legal process in the commissions, starting with the fact that the “judge” isn’t a judge at all.
Finally, Steyn pens this epic column for Maclean’s, based on his day in the dreary hearing room with bored Toronto lawyers, neo-nazi pals, obfuscating witnesses, fake judges, lonely bloggers, and the odd mainstream journalist. On the topic of the slug-like commissioners:
I can’t claim to be privy to the thoughts of the HRC inner circle, but I would imagine if they could turn back the clock they’d gladly drop the Western Standard and Maclean’s prosecutions, and go back to their nice little earner of sticking it to neo-Nazis, homophobic Christians, and other underfunded losers in basements whom they could chastise with impunity, far from the prying eyes of press and public.
On the arbitrariness of the commissioners:
The “Canadian” Human Rights Commission does not treat all Canadians equally. The lead investigator testifying on Tuesday, Dean Steacy, is blind, but the justice his commission administers certainly isn’t: if you’re one of their allies, they’ll start lurking on websites before you’ve made a formal complaint. But, if you’re not simpatico, they’ll reject your complaint on the grounds that it was on double-sided paper. Which was what happened to Mr. Lemire, when he tried to file his own Section 13 complaint against the police. Apparently, Mr. Lemire’s complaint was double-sided — which came as news to Mr. Lemire, since he faxed it in. But by the time it uncoiled itself at the other end it had become the first double-sided fax on the planet. “I don’t know what happened to the fax,” said Mr. Steacy non-committally. Hey, it’s a federal bureaucracy: things happen. Evidently one reason why Richard Warman has been the complainant on every Section 13 case since 2002 is that he’s the only one who remembers the critical single-sided rule.
On the habit of commissioners pretending to be neo-nazis, in order to entrap their targets:
There must be a few genuine white supremacists whooping it up over at “Stormfront,” but they seem to be thin on the ground. Mr. Steacy, the CHRC’s lead investigator, is a member of Stormfront; Richard Warman, celebrated Canadian “human rights” crusader and plaintiff on every CHRC case since 2002, is a member of Stormfront; and Sgt. Stephen Camp is a member of Stormfront. What proportion of Canada’s “white supremacists” are, in fact, government employees? On a quiet day, chances must be pretty good that you’ll log on and find the joint deserted except for “jadewarr” (Mr. Steacy) trying to entrap “estate” (Sgt. Camp) while “estate” (Sgt. Camp) is simultaneously trying to entrap “axetogrind” (Mr. Warman). “There really should be a register of pseudonyms,” urged lawyer Doug Christie, “so that investigators don’t wind up investigating each other.”
Thanks to this rare glimpse inside the sausage factory, Liberal MP Keith Martin’s goal of eliminating the dreaded Section 13.1 is gaining serious momentum.