Across the Great White North, "Human Rights Comissions" are running amok and making a mockery of the Canadian Charter of Rights, which guarantees "freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication."
I've written fairly extensively in the past about the criminalization of free speech in Canada, particularly the cases of journalists Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant. In both those cases, however, the Human Rights Tribunals went after prominent journalists who have been able to fight back quite effectively.
Still, many other Canadians get caught up in these star chambers. Here's the lastest -- the Vancouver, B.C. Human Rights Commission took up the case of a woman who got insulted at a comedy club. The comedian apparently made some jokes about her sexual orientation. After being subject to one of the HRC's laughable, quasi-legal "tribunals" where there are no formal legal rules or standards for evidence and the state pays for prosecution's case while the accused is forced to rack up legal bills, the comedian has been fined $15,000:
Stand-up comedian Guy Earl was ordered to pay the money to Lorna Pardy, 32, while the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal also ordered the Vancouver restaurant owner, Salam Ishmail, to pay her $7,500.
Pardy said Earle directed homophobic and sexist insults at her when she was a patron, and he was the master of ceremonies at an open mic comedy show at the restaurant in 2007.
Earle said he will appeal the ruling and that all he did was insult audience members who insulted him first. He also denied that he said some of the things he has been accused of, said Pardy threw a drink in his face and argued that the tribunal had no jurisdiction to hear the case.
Tribunal member Murray Geiger-Adams said Earle repeated vulgar language in public and attacked Pardy's identity and dignity as a woman and a lesbian and ordered the payment for lost wages and for injury to dignity, feelings and self respect.
Speaking self-respect, I don't know how anyone who serves on the Vancouver Human Rights Commission has any. This nonsense has got to stop. Canada has a rich comedy tradition and this just an affront to Canadian culture. What's next? Are Human Rights Tribunals going to go after Mike Meyers for offending Scotsmen? Eugene Levy for demeaning dentists?