As I reported on my blog a few days ago, I indicated how I would be spending March 25 at the Lemire-Warman hearing at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal a.k.a. the “Heresy Trial Court” of Canada.
(Inset picture: courtesy of Deborah Gyapong. Middle: Mark Steyn; to his immediate left, Connie Wilkins and Mark Fournier of Free Dominion then Dr. John Baglow from Dawg’s Blog on the far left; to his immediate right, CFRB/CJAD Radio Reporter Brian Lilley; and yours truly on the far right. Notice my attire? It wasn’t a real court so I didn’t dress like it was.)
I arrived at 160 Elgin Street just before 8:30am and proceeded to the 11th floor. As I exited the elevator, I turned right and noticed the glass doors with the “Canadian Human Rights Tribunal” text glued to them, along with their official looking emblem. (The kangaroo was missing and so was the red star.) I thought I might get a picture of the entrance so I pulled out my cell phone-equipped camera, and was about to quickly snap a picture when the CHRT hall monitor came out of no where and asked me to cease and desist. She looked at me rather sternly and with a cold and hard masculin voice said:
“There are no cameras permitted on this floor.”
“But I have not yet entered the CHRT office yet. I’m just taking one quick picture of your lovely window dressing”, I objected.
“You are not allowed to take pictures anywhere on this floor”, she responded brusquely.
“Holy crap”, I thought to myself, “this is not exactly breaking the stereotype of what these guys are about.” Normally, government is not very efficient in anything it does. It was even a couple of minutes before 8:30am, I think. You’d figure that no star chamber functionary would be out that early, but that was obviously not the case here. Apparently, where protecting Canadians from thought crimes is concerned, government vigilance and work ethic apparently surpass even those of the business world.
After putting away my camera, the CHRT functionary informed me that I was permitted to wait outside the hearing room in the lobby. So I walked down the corridor and entered the lobby outside the hearing room. On the door was a reminder for the public “NO CAMERAS ALLOWED”. Yeah, I know, I thought to myself. I certainly got that message. I had no sooner put my bag down then what did my wondering my eyes should appear but Mark Steyn himself!
I cordially introduced myself as the blogger for Socon or Bust and he was kind enough to show that he remembered the name. If he did or did not remember it, I don’t know, but Mark is too much of a gentleman and scholar to say he didn’t know my blog from a hill of beans.
We then proceeded to have a wonderful conversation about the whole Human Rights Racket for the next half hour. If you’ve never heard Mark Steyn in person, and you get an opportunity, I highly recommend you go and hear the man speak. He is just as entertaining in real life as he is in print. His humour and keen observations are so natural for him that it is easy to understand why he is such a successful columnist and author. The man just oozes dry wit and soft sarcasm. The fact that he will be the subject of one of these farcical human rights complaints makes Canada look worse than the banana republics that we like to castigate for their “human rights abuses”. The only significant human rights abuse going on right now in this country is the existence of the Human Rights Commissions and their lackeys pimping for and encouraging the attack on the most basic human right which is the right to free speech. It’s a national disgrace that Mark Steyn was covering a CHRT hearing today for Maclean’s. In June, he is going to be the one covered.
Oh yes, one more point. Mark said that his foray into Kangaroo Land might cost Maclean’s up to a million buckaroos. For him, it will be a bargain at a cool $250K. Blimey at least it’s not in pounds!
Anyhow, lets get down to some of the background…
This particular hearing was about the operating tactics of two CHRC investigators, Dean Stacey, the lead investigator at the CHRC and Hannya Rizk, an underling. The Commission lawyers had previously invoked S. 37 of the Canada Evidence Act in order to avoid answering some embarrassing questions. The CHRC said that if the tribunal judge in this case, Athanasios Hadjis, refused to ban the public from the hearing, the Commission’s lawyers would invoke the section 37 and refuse to testify — as always showing their complete transparency and fairness in these cases. Although Mr. Hadjis complied with the CHRC’s request originally (big surprise there), Lemire went to a real court and effectively forced the Commission drop their bogus complaints under S. 37. The questions they had been dodging were covered today at the tribunal hearing.
To get a taste of the kind of obstructionist tactics of the Commission’s lawyers, listen here to the frustration expressed by Paul Fromm’s lawyer, Douglas Christie, in trying to get at (what would later be revealed to be) a rather significant examination. His complaint here that follows is directed at Margo Blight, the Commission’s lawyer at the hearing. Let’s listen here.
I took the day off from work and it was indeed a worthwhile investment. I was rather shocked to find my own research that I blogged about (see the red highlighted section of the blog post) a few days ago being one of the subjects raised by Barbara Kulaszka, Lemire’s lawyer! If that were not enough, Mr. Steacy’s response to Ms. Kulaszka’s questioning on the subject turned out to be one of the more sensational parts of the hearing. I also know that my research was sent to Ms. Kulaszka for her consideration. It therefore was not merely a coincidence that she too brought up the question regarding why Dean Stacey had registered on Free Dominion BEFORE Ms. Gentes’ complaint was filed. (Sometimes I wonder if the time and effort we bloggers sacrifice is really worth it to ourselves and to our families. The answer for me – at least today – was a resounding yes. It only goes to show us bloggers how important and indispensable a role we play in defending the freedoms of Canadians. So I want to personally encourage you all to keep at it, keep digging and keeping fighting the jackboots. Sooner or later our side will win and the hobbit bloggers from near and far across this great country will be rightly credited with playing a huge role in it.)
The hearing opened up a whole series of further questions about the machinations of the commission. Everything from “double-sided faxes“; the identity of the mysterious “Nelly H.” of whom we have a full name, address, phone number, and IP address and who is the owner of the Bell User account the last time the infamous Commission “Jadewarr” Stormfront account was ever used; the supposed “non-agreement” between the CHRC and the country’s police forces, RCMP and – get this – Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (yes, that’s right folks, the official spy agency of the Canadian government – CSIS), and the infamous “I refuse to answer” answer from the Jade Warrior himself, Dean Steacy.
For all of the progressive bloggers who think the freespeecher blogosphere has blown this HRC fiasco out of proportion, well, you are dead wrong. Aside from the multiple “I don’t recall” or “I don’t remember” responses by both Rizk and Steacy which, of course, only solidifies the poor impression we have of Commission technicians, there were more than a few of notable exchanges and revelations from today’s hearings that will provide plenty of fodder for discussion. Over the course of the next week or so, I’ll be posting various audio clippings of the more memorable moments of today’s festivities. I’m sure you will be entertained and enraged at the same time. I know I was. Stay tuned.