Legal Eagle and Blogger Gary J. Wise writes, re the CHRC case against Mark Steyn:
I view the Steyn-CIC matter as an example of the broader problem of politically-driven lawsuit abuse, rather than as a specific indictment of Canada's human rights legislation.
The "real world" that I observe frequently includes litigants who cleverly exploit any legislation or legal avenue open to them in pursuit of their often-transparent advocacy agendas. Sometimes they succeed with this type of litigation. Sometimes they do not.
Examples of lawsuit abuse might include Mark Steyn's former boss, Conrad Black, who once sued Toronto Life for spoiling his chance at getting into heaven, and prominent Steyn supporter Ezra "Litigation" Levant, who has sued, well, pretty much everyone that ever pissed him off:
When it has suited him in the past – and when the verbal attacks have focused on him, say, and not a non-white family, or a Muslim kid, or a gay man – Ezra has launched a fusillade of legal actions. He has papered the courts with legal actions, and legal threats, which presumably leave the intended targets feeling that their freedom of speech is being limited. When it is his feelings being hurt, watch out; anyone else’s – too bad.
(As a side note, this is from a Kinsella blog post that the Natty Post pulled from its website because it might have hurt Ezra's feelings. Talk about quashing dissent!)
Perhaps I missed it, but I don't think I've ever read Steyn going off on these people for abusing the legal system.
And I'm afraid my opinion is less "moderate" than that of the good Mr. Wise. As long as the ability to abuse the legal system exists, which I imagine will be forever, why should it be restricted to right wing lawyers and media moguls? If Canadian hate crimes legislation lets a greater diversity of people into the game, then so be it.
In any event, the Steyn case serves one good purpose in that it allows us to throw a spotlight on the continued deterioration of Macleans magazine as a Canadian institution. Because the real story here is the ferment Steyn's travails have caused within the Canadian far right political community. As I have written previously, Steyn has triggered a bout of soul-searching among Canadian Nazis the likes of which I have never seen. Here is a guy with a Jewish sounding last name--who sets off the trusty Nazi "Jewdar" like crazy--and yet he's bashing dark skinned immigrants! Whose side is he on? The Nazis are torn, confused, conflicted, and unsure as to whether they should rush to Steyn's defense or condemn him on racialist principles.
Are we seeing intellectual evolution at work among Canadian Nazis? If so, Steyn and MacLeans deserve all the credit.