Mr. Arni C. Thorsteinson, Chairperson, Board of Trustees,
Canadian Museum of Human Rights
Suite 500-269 Main St.
Feb. 7, 2011
Dear Mr. Thorsteinson:
Last year, I attended the Vancouver public information forum of the Canadian Human Rights Museum, where I received a DVD and documents which invited conference participants to submit ideas for possible inclusion in the Museum.
I want to suggest inclusion of an important dimension that, to the best of the information I have read, has not yet been discussed: the plight of Canadians who have been pilloried and persecuted by Canada’s Human Rights Tribunals. The stories of two—Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn—gained some media attention, primarily because the targets of those cases were media personalities. But there are many more. (I have included a list below.)
My own case is amply illustrative of the deficiencies in the process, and how (in the words of Ezra Levant) “the process is the punishment.”
The story behind my case actually begins in California in 2000, when the two co-editors of The Stanford Law Review decided to devote an entire edition of their quarterly magazine to legal issues surrounding the ‘gay rights’ agenda . They solicited articles from more than a dozen recognized legal and sociological authorities representing both sides of the issue; but when the Review was published in Spring, 2001 it contained only the politically correct pro-‘gay’ essays. One of the two co-editors had censored articles that in any way questioned the validity of the ‘gay rights’ agenda.
The other co-editor took the excluded essays to Regent University Law School in Virginia, proposing that they be published in the Regent Law Review in order to present “the other side” of the issue to legal scholars and the interested public.
The Regent Law Review published those essays in April, 2002; when that issue of the Regent Law Review and the story behind it came to the attention of WorldNetDaily (the world’s largest independent Internet news site), they carried a story summarizing some of the censored essays. In the interests of balanced journalism, before publishing the story WND showed it to PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation)—and their comments were included in the WND story.
When I read that story on WorldNetDaily, I felt the information was important to the public policy debate then raging in Canada (this was still before Parliament had passed Bill C-250, the “hate crimes” amendment to the Criminal Code, or Bill C-38, legalizing same-sex “marriage”). So as National Leader of the CHP (the fifth-largest registered national political party in Canada), I reproduced the WorldNetDaily story on the CHP’s web-site. The story was also reproduced on the local web-page of the CHP’s Skeena Electoral District Association.
From its inception, the CHP has had a policy which states:
“It should be beyond the power of any legislative or administrative body to recognize, affirm, condone, or discriminate in favor of identifiably sexually aberrant individuals or groups.”
This policy was put in place because of a wealth of evidence that homosexuality harms society in many ways: where it is being taught in schools as “an acceptable alternative lifestyle”, it is potentially harmful to the children: Dr. Scott Lively, who taught law at Pepperdine University in California, warned school trustees that if their schools promote acceptance of homosexuality as “normal” or “natural”, and if as a result some children are tempted to experiment, and as a result contract one or more of the sexually transmitted diseases that are epidemic among homosexuals, the school boards might be liable. The American College of pediatricians also warned school boards that such programs are harmful to children.
The French Parliament, after more than a year of study, voted not to allow same-sex “marriage” or same-sex adoptions. The Parliamentary committee’s statement on adoption was: “The prupose of adoption is not to give a child to a family, but to give a family to a child.” Numerous studies have shown that children do much better when they have a father and a mother, rather than two same-sex parents. And several recent studies, by homosexual researchers, show that the incidence of domestic violence is markedly higher in same-sex couples than in normal family formations.
The CHP remains the only federal political party in Canada that opposes same-sex “marriage” or civil unions, and/or teaching children that homosexuality is “normal” or “an acceptable alternate lifestyle.” We contend that, since homosexual behaviour shortens life expectancy by as much as 20 years (according to a study conducted in Vancouver in 2000, and reported in the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association and in the International Journal of Epidemiology; some experts say homosexual practices impact life expectancy even more severely), it is demonstrably unhealthy; and we in the CHP contend that its recognition and acceptance should not be promulgated in schools, nor by public events like “Gay Pride” parades.
Publishing the WND article on the CHP web-page was intended to make important articles by sociological and legal experts available to the Canadian public, and to provide peer-reviewed academic support for our long-established policy.
I first learned of the three complaints by an Edmonton activist in December, 2006 when the CHP’s Skeena/Bulkley Valley Electoral District Association faxed me a copy of a letter they had received from the Canadian Human Rights Commission, informing them that a complaint had been filed against them for reproducing the WND article on the Skeena EDA web-site.
Subsequently, in January, 2007, I was informed by the CHRC that the same man had also filed complaints against the CHP National Office; and against me, personally.
The first contact was an invitation by the CHRC mediator for us to enter into mediation with the complainant. I contacted the mediator and said I could alter my travel schedule to come to Edmonton for mediation on Feb. 26, 2007. The CHRC mediator, Mr. Bob Fagan, said he would contact the complainant and let me know. I asked Mr. Fagan to allow me to act (as Party Leader) for all three complaints, and he concurred.
By Feb. 19, the day when I had to leave for meetings of the CHP National Board in Lethbridge, Alberta, I had not yet heard from Mr. Fagan; so I called him to say that it was now too late for me to re-arrange my travel schedule. I then asked that he and the complainant suggest an alternate date for mediation, and said I would try to accommodate them to the extent that my work and travel schedule allowed. I also asked permission to have an observer from the Skeena EDA (as a co-defendant) accompany me.
I received no reply.
At the same time—Feb. 19, 2007—I wrote to Mr. Richard Tardif, Deputy Secretary-General of the CHRC, asking him to explain why he thought the CHRC would have jurisdiction over a registered federal political party and its leader, articulating a long-standing official policy approved by the triennial convention.
To this day, I have had no response from Mr. Tardif.
The next communication from the CHRC to me was June 7, 2007, when Mr. Michel Paré, Director of Alternative Dispute Resolution Services Division of the CHRC, informed me that “since both parties have refused mediation”—which was not true: I had offered to facilitate mediation by traveling from my home in Langley to Edmonton—the case was being turned over to Investigations Branch. (It seemed to me that if the complainant rejected mediation, the complaint itself should be dropped.)
I wrote to Mr. Paré, reviewing the history of the three complaints, and correcting his misunderstanding that I or the CHP had rejected mediation. We were willing to enter mediation, but had heard nothing at all from the mediator. I also sent him a copy of my letter to Mr. Tardif, raising the issue of jurisdiction.
I received a letter from Mr. Paré, dated June 29, 2007, simply stating that the complaints had been referred to the Investigations Division.
However on June 25, 2007 the Skeena EDA of the CHP had already received a letter from an investigator for the CHRC—which they faxed to me. I called the investigator and explained to her that I had not received answers to any of my communications with the CHRC, and that I was still ready to meet with the mediator, and that I was responding to all three complaints. She told me they had previously experienced similar difficulties with the Mediation Branch, and she asked that I fax her copies of all the previous correspondence—which I did. .
The next communication I received from the CHRC was an e-mail from the investigator—dated June 25, 2007, but only received by ExpressPost at my home in Langley, BC on July 13, 2007—asking me four questions. I replied that I did not believe I should attorn to jurisdiction by answering her questions, until the issue of jurisdiction had been settled.
I told the investigator that if the complainant truly felt that the CHP and I were motivated by hate, he should file his complaint with the RCMP under Sec. 319 of the Criminal Code.
I had also mentioned to the mediator, when speaking to him Feb. 19, that it seems to me an abuse of the Canadian Human Rights Act to use it as a weapon with which to censor ideas with which one disagrees; his response was astonishing:
“The Human Rights Act is about censorship!” he replied.
I retained a lawyer—Mr. Ron McDonald of Lethbridge, AB—who prepared an extensive brief and forwarded it to the CHRC investigator.
Late in 2008, the CHRC informed me that the investigator had concluded that the complaints against me and the CHP were without foundation, and the file had been dropped.
I want my case, and others like it, to be included in the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, so the public can be informed of how CHRC mishandled a spurious complaint, and that their incompetence cost me 2 1/2 years and $51,000; and seriously impaired my service to the CHP during those years.
It is also important that the Canadian public know that, while all the complainant’s legal fees and other related costs are covered by the taxpayer, the defendant—whether guilty or innocent—must bear his or her own expenses. And, outrageously, the Canadian Human Rights Act prohibits lawsuits against the Commission or the complainant to recover expenses in a vexatious complaint.
Of course, I’m not alone. Here’s a partial list of those whose human and civil rights have been impaired by the quasi-judicial powers of Canada’s federal and provincial human rights tribunals:
Christian Horizons in Ontario
Scott Brockie in Toronto
Ezra Levant in Calgary
Bill Whatcott in Saskatchewan
Calgary Street Church (Art Pavlovski, Pastor)
Stephen Boissoin in Red Deer
Will Goertzen in Yellowknife
BC Knights of Columbus
Calgary RC Bishop Fred Henry
Kari Simpson of the Citizens’ Research Institute (and now RoadKill Radio)
Manitoba, Sask & Nfld Marriage Commissioners
David Hauser in Port Coquitlam (fired by Costco)
Students in BC since June, 2006 (Corren Agreement)
John diCicco in Kamloops
Catholic Insight magazine
Ontario Catholic School Boards
Parents in Hamilton-Wentworth (Ontario)
Mark Steyn & Maclean’s magazine
Don Spratt & Cissy von Dehn
Vancouver Rape Relief Society
Mark & Connie Fournier, proprietors of Free Dominion website
Dagmar and Arnost Cepica, owners of Beach View Bed and Breakfast, PEI
Susan & Les Molnar, Grand Forks B&B owners
On the other hand:
From Ezra Levant’s blog:
The Canadian Human Rights Commission has rejected a human rights complaint filed against a radical Muslim imam who published an viciously bigoted book about gays, Jews, women, Christians—and even called for the murder of “infidels”.
Marc Lebuis, the publisher of the Quebec blog Point de Bascule, filed a complaint with the CHRC back in April, after reading Islam or Fundamentalism. (You can see a copy of the book in its entirety here. (It’s in French.)
The book plainly meets all the tests of section 13, including the jurisdictional test—it was written by a radical Muslim cleric here in Canada, named Abou Hammaad Sulaiman Al-Hayiti, and it was published on the Internet by him, too.
More importantly, Al-Hayiti’s book seethes with hate. According to Lebuis’s careful notes, it included statements such as these (Ezra Levant, who compiled this list, says he has included only a portion of them):
• Homosexuals and lesbians should be “exterminated in this life”
• “Homosexuals caught performing sodomy are beheaded”
• Most Infidels “live like animals”
• “sending our sons and daughters to the schools of the Infidels has devastating effects on their beliefs, their behavior and their character. For the children of Infidels are the most pervert children. At a very early age, they adopt the behavior of their parents “
Men are superior to women
• “men are superior to women and better than them”. In general, “men have a more complete intellect and memory than women”
Muslim women are superior to Infidel women
• “The veiled Muslim woman is a light in the darkness of the 20th century, she carries the torch of modesty, of chastity and of Islamic values”
• “male Infidels will not be happy with us until our women are in their beds, in their magazines and in their dancing clubs !”
• “If a Muslim woman marries a non-Muslim man … their marriage is invalid, in fact it is adultery”
Muslims are superior to Infidels
• “… a Muslim must never put his brother in Islam at the same level as an Infidel. In fact, to place Infidels at equality with Muslims is one of the greatest form of ignorance and injustice”
• “The rule is that the most disobedient among Muslims is better than the most virtuous, the most polite, the most honest and the most loyal among the Infidels”
• “It is because of this religion of lies, which goes against human nature, that the West is now full of perversity, corruption and adultery”
• Jews “spread corruption and chaos on earth”
• Most Jews “seek only material goods and money, apart from that, they have nothing”
• “owning slaves is not prohibited”
• “Allah has allowed men to marry two, three or four women, but one who fears he will not be fair can marry only one or have slaves.”
Democracy is contrary to Islam. Jihad is a duty of sedition
• “Democracy is a system in total contradiction with Islam”
• “… freedom is unknown in Islam, it contradicts Islam, therefore it is a false concept”
• “[freedom] serves to justify corruption” and “stooping to the lowest levels of bestiality”
• “Anyone who leaves Islam, cut his neck”
… in an Islamic state, Christians and Jews can keep their religion but they must pay a sum of money, the Jizyah. “The purpose of the Jizyah is to humiliate and punish Infidels to encourage them to accept Islam.” The other Infidels (Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, etc.) have no options but to accept Islam or be killed.”
Such a publication goes far beyond “fair comment”, and (unlike the WND story reprinted by the CHP) has no supporting peer-reviewed evidence to support its statements. Yet the CHRC rejected the complaint (perhaps cowed by the memory of the violence that resulted from the Danish cartoons which Mr. Levant had the courage (unlike any other Canadian news media) to publish.
The Canadian Human Rights Museum will be severely impaired in telling the full story of the fight for human rights in Canada if these stories are not included; their exclusion would leave the Museum as a one-side propaganda instrument. I know you do not want that to happen.
#37, 2315 — 198th Street
Cc: The Hon James Moore,
Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Copies to media