Jack Layton has written a letter offering support to the Muslim students taking Macleans Magazine/Mark Steyn to the CHRC. The text of it can be found here.
Firstly, my hope is that Macleans accepts the students' offer to settle their complaint. This does not seem to me to be a probably outcome, however. Macleans has spent so much time cultivating Canada's Far Right over this issue that it would literally stand to lose handfuls of subscriptions if it were seen to back down.
Should the complaint proceed, I hope we get a replay of the OHRC response, which would be for the CHRC to say that, yeah, Macleans has gone Islamophobe in publishing Steyn (among other things), but their content nevertheless does not meet the standard of Section 13. In other words, give the magazine another public spanking, the way Barbara Hall did. Send Kenneth Whyte another message that taking a Canadian institution into the same sewer as he took the National Post is not a good business strategy.
Because this is about more than Free Speech. As Mr. Layton writes:
The NDP appreciates the battle you are waging against mainstream media’s portrayal of Muslim Canadians and the intolerance and hatred against other communities such as Arabs and South Asians.
...which is why, despite the slim technical merits of their case, I find our law students engaged in an attractively quixotic endeavour. Much better these guys should call the rancid husk of the old Macleans to task than the CJC should go after Arthur Topham, whose anti-Semitic writings are much more extreme than anything Steyn has ever written, but which are so long-winded and boring that they seem incapable of bringing harm to anyone.
PS. Steyn calls his post today Jack and the Jew-hater. Think about glass houses and all that, Mark. You've got a few Jew haters on your side of the issue as well.