From CFRB(a nice piece by Brian Lilley):
Steyn has spent much of his career working for newspapers or magazines owned by Conrad Black, a man famous for launching, or threatening to launch, lawsuits over words he took issue with. That says Mr. Steyn is different, the columnist says he believes in limits on free speech based on facts and truth and opposes limits on free speech based on a difference of opinion.
"For example, if you say that I am wanted for killing 32 prostitutes in Amsterdam last year" says Steyn. "And it turns out that I am in fact not wanted for killing 32 prostitutes in Amsterdam. Then I think I should have the right to take you to court about that. But there we would be arguing about the facts of the matter, to use a quaint old expression."
Mark, my lad, the problem with this defense is that a regular court is "pay to play", and if you don't have the dough, you never get a chance to even make your argument. So for example, when Toronto Life ran a satirical story arguing that His Blackness should be condemned to Hell forever, there was no question that this could be anything other than an expression of opinion, Black's laughable assertion that the article questioned his observance of the Roman Catholic faith notwithstanding.
No, that suit was launched quite simply as a means by which a very rich man could bring a Toronto-based magazine to heel, to make them think twice in future of criticising his pronouncements or actions. The actual outcome was immaterial to Black, and indeed when Toronto Life issued an apology rather than face the hassle of going to court, his legal assault had already served its purpose.
And it is not like this is the only case of Conrad's employing such tactics. Google "Conrad Black" and "Libel Chill" and see how many results you get, or just read this.
So Mr. Steyn's outrage against the Canadian HRCs would ring a little less hollow if he was not so particular about which among the legal weapons used to silence opinion that he disapproved of.