Friday, October 24, 2014

New Tory Hate Speech Laws? Richard Warman On Government's New Anti-Terror Initiatives

So I read this this morning:

OTTAWA — The Conservatives are understood to be considering new legislation that would make it an offence to condone terrorist acts online.

There is frustration in government, and among law enforcement agencies, that the authorities can’t detain or arrest people who express sympathy for atrocities committed overseas and who may pose a threat to public safety, one Conservative MP said. “Do we need new offences? If so which?”

Sources suggest the government is likely to bring in new hate speech legislation that would make it illegal to claim terrorist acts are justified online.

I emailed Richard Warman, an expert the legal status of on-line hate-speech, and he was kind enough to offer these brief comments:

Extreme online hate posts that target groups or justify violence based on their religion, race, or nationality were illegal under s. 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Conservative Party MPs voted unanimously to repeal s. 13 in June of 2012.  The Conservatives destroyed the only effective legal protection against online hate speech.  Conservative MP Brian Storseth described himself as "ecstatic".  Jonathan Kay of the National Post said "good riddance".

It was the Conservatives who dismantled the law that protected Canadians from online terror.

It would be beyond ironic if the Tories were to resurrect, or create something indistinguishable from, the law they spent so many years trying to get rid of.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Toronto Mayoral Election: A Brief Note


Monday, October 20, 2014

I Voted Out Of Fear Last Night

But I'm OK with it.  And I followed my usual tradition of supporting the person whose name most reminded me of a terrorist for Councillor.  So in that at least I remained true to my progressive roots.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

But Wait! Some Pundit Said Something About Gaffes!!!

Exclusive - While a general election must be held within a year, the Liberals Justin Trudeau continue to lead in voting intentions of Canadians. According to an EKOS survey CBC /, support for the Liberal Party of Canada are at 38.5%, more than 12 points ahead of the Conservatives, who collect only 26.4% of the vote. Nationally, the NDP at 25%.

You know, these days when a pundit criticizes you...what with the news industry in a tailspin down the toilet bowl of failure, and most pundits looking at career changes that likely involve spatula training and properly enunciating the words "would you like fries with that sir?"...it's a little bit like getting yelled at by some homeless guy.  The nerve of these people! you think.

PS.  Also lots of talk re Tom Mulcair getting his chance!  Is it too soon to say he's already blown it?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Iraq Debate: The Center Of Gravitas Shifts

...to Jean Chretien.  Mind you, I'm not particularly set in my opinions re Canada's contribution to the fight against ISIS.  These thoughts still apply, more so, perhaps, now that the tide seems to have turned in Kobani.  But JC's main point, that there are more roles to be played in this situation beyond bomb-lobbing, and that being among the bomb-lobbers now may preclude taking up certain other roles later, is a sound one.  It's is certainly nice to hear an adult voice in this debate, rather than kooks like Terry Glavin, who seems to be dabbling a bit heavy in some kind testosterone replacement therapy.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Randy Hillier Turns On His Own

Three would-be leaders of Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives made obeisance to the Ontario Landowners Association last weekend, horrifying their caucusmate who helped found the group.

Christine Elliott, Vic Fedeli and Lisa MacLeod, all senior Tory MPPs, went to an “international property rights conference” the association held in Kanata Saturday. Speakers included former Australian politician Len Harris (the only senator ever elected by the nationalist One Nation party, who served one term), Oregon mining-rights activist Ron Gibson (who advocates for private claimants’ right to prospect and mine on federal property) and U.S. environmental thinker Michael Coffman (who promotes a “Judeo-Christian” idea of stewardship that’s opposed to the “pantheistic” religion of modern environmentalism).

On Twitter, Elliott called it a “very informative day.” “Interesting speeches!” Fedeli gushed. MacLeod posted a grinning selfie there.

They must have all made some sort of mistake, says Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington MPP Randy Hillier.

“I would be devastated if any of them knew just what (the landowners’ groups) are promoting these days,” he says.

I'm not sure I buy Randy's claim that he tried to discourage nutbars when he ran the OLA.  However, his break with them took place several years ago and if you read this you'll see his concerns (the landowners focus on the mysterious powers of Crown Land Patents) have remained the same during the intervening period.