Does the Canadian Human Rights Commission value free speech?  A chilling answer was given by Dean Steacy, the primary internet “anti-hate” investigator for the Canadian Human Rights Commission, when questioned by Barbara Kulaszka, a lawyer for a website owner in the human rights case Warman vs. Lemire:
MS KULASZKA: Mr. Steacy, you were talking before about context and how important it is when you do your investigation. What value do you give freedom of speech when you investigate one of these complaints?   

MR. STEACY: Freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don’t give it any value.

MS KULASZKA: Okay. That was a clear answer.

MR. STEACY: “It’s not my job to give value to an American concept.”

There are concerns amongst Canadians, as expressed by dag, a Vancouver blogger who wrote “What Price Free Speech?” at No Dhimmitude blogspot, that investigators such as Steacy have been given the power by the Canadian state to, ” ‘cleanse’ the Internet of critical opinions, ideas, and speech they don’t like.  And unfortunately for Canadians, they have the authority to assess fines of up to $50,000 and incarcerate would-be ‘haters.’ ”

The recent cases of Mark Steyn, a writer for MacLean’s, and Ezra Levant, publisher of the Western Standard, being hauled in front of Human Rights Commissions in Ontario and British Columbia at the request of Islamic leaders, have brought to public attention the issue of the HRC acting as a censor of freedom of expression.  

Canadian-born writer, David Frum, a former speech-writer for President George W. Bush, talked about these cases against his “friends” this morning on Vancouver’s CKNW Radio.  Frum believes that the Steyn and Levant cases are so “egregious” that they could be a turning point; they could result in curbs on the power of Human Rights Commissions in Canada to act as censors in the “marketplace of ideas”.

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