Meanwhile, in Montreal, Jennifer Lynch, Q.C., Canada’s Chief Censor, gave a speech to CASHRA. Do you know what CASHRA is? You should. You pay for it. It’s the Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies. That’s right; they have a club they all belong to. Alas, the conga lines were more muted this year. Like professor Martin, Commissar Lynch worries about the threat to free speech in Canada. But, in her case, the Chief Censor is now complaining that I’m suppressing the free speech of her massive government bureaucracy. Seriously. As the National Post put it:
“She also claimed that those who accused the CHRC and its provincial counterparts of ‘chilling’ free expression with the prosecutions of writers such as Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant were themselves guilty of ‘reverse chill.’ Harsh criticism of the commissions in the media had discouraged many of their supporters from coming forward to defend their missions, she said. Others who were brave enough to speak out had been subjected to withering personal criticism in opinion pieces and letters to the editor.”
Oh, dear, what’s the country coming to? Defenders of state censorship are too cowed to speak out in favour of not letting people speak out? You could hardly ask for a better snapshot of the degradation of “human rights” in contemporary Canada than the chief censor whining to a banqueting suite full of government apparatchiks that the ingrate citizenry are insufficiently respectful of them. The bureaucrats at the top table control hundreds of millions of public dollars. Jennifer Lynch represents state power; Ezra and I represent a bunch of impecunious bloggers. Yet the Dominion of Canada has been reduced to complaining that Blazing Cat Fur is out to get it.
“Human rights” are rights for humans, for individuals . . . and restraints upon government power. Canada has now precisely inverted the concept to mean enhanced government power and restraints on individuals. The CHRC justifies it thus:
“In the debate about freedom of expression and freedom from hate, Canada’s commitment to equality lies at the centre.”
Ah, but there is no equality. An Alberta pastor writes a short letter to the paper about homosexuals and gets a lifetime speech ban. A Montreal imam publishes an entire book calling for homosexuals to be “beheaded,” and the CHRC rejects the complaint.
This is from a couple of months ago; it's a good reminder of the kind of PC censorship bullcrap the left would really, really like to put into effect here. They can do it in cowardly institutions of learning like Yale, but have a hard time putting it into law; but if we don't keep putting the spotlight of mockery and "There's no damn way we will tolerate this", they will.