Thursday, May 27, 2010

And The Heads Exploded Far And Wide

Richard Warman has launched his own website to, as he puts it, "counter some of the nonsense out there". Suck on that.


Southern Quebec said...

Could he have made the site any harder to read?

Robert G. Harvie, Q.C. said...


I create my own blog, and then, add to it an area ahout "what others are saying about me", and include this:

“Is this the bravest man in Canada?”

Arrogant much?

Here is the thing.. it's difficult to feel too sorry for some of the scum than Warman has attacked, but the libel decisions he refers to are, from this lawyer's perspective, a good example of what happens when the law takes a back seat to political ideology.

Warman - quite clearly, has made himself a public figure, and a beacon in the debate between the competing issues of free speech and what we have called "hate speech" or "hate literature".

I posit this to those who might tend to not to see how this might impact them:

Do you believe you should be subject to a libel suit if you choose to call Stephen Harper a "Nazi" or a "Fascist". Are we to now fear the use of hyperbole in criticizing those with whom we disagree.

The commentary of the court that seems to suggest that because Warman was doing what he was "legally entitled to do", he shouldn't be subject to ridicule or attack is a pretty questionable position.

Certainly most every politician is doing what they are "legally entitled to do" (generally speaking), so does that mean, someone, that criticism, even virulent, ignorant and hyperbolic criticism should be prohibited?

Will I be sued if I dare to suggest that a certain polition who blames immigrants for a failed referendum is a bigot?

Should any Liberal or NDP supporter who suggests that Stephen Harper is complicit in killing women by refusing to fund abortions be similarly subject to a damage claim?

Or do we embrace, in a broader way, the reality that criticism is not always going to be tempered with good taste, but that is the price in a free society.

Just a thought.

Kurt Phillips said...

"Do you believe you should be subject to a libel suit if you choose to call Stephen Harper a "Nazi" or a "Fascist". Are we to now fear the use of hyperbole in criticizing those with whom we disagree."

When it libels a person, yes. I don't like Harper in the least, but he's certainly not a Nazi or a fascist. It really isn't simply hyperbole, but an attack on his character, reputation, dignity and standing in the community. It is personally and financially harmful.

Warman, like Harper, is not immune to criticism. What should be expected is that criticism doesn't become defamatory. Disagree with Warman about his stance on section 13 and his use (or abuse if you like) of the law, but don't make statements that are libelous.

Holly Stick said...

"6.“Warman is a political animal.”
Western Standard (now defunct)"

Heh heh heh...

Anonymous said...

It is undeniable that Warman has been libeled despite what many may think of him. Warman has decided not to remain quiet and has pursued libel proceedings where he feels he has a legal right to do so. Good for him!

I have watched a nunmber of bloggers think that somehow for only reasons they would understand are immune from libel actions. People like Ezra Levant, the Shaidles (Arnie and Kathy), and others may be in for a big surprise when they face thousands of dollars in damages.

I am hoping that others who have been targeted like Marci MacDonald, Bernie Farber, Frank Dimant, will follow Mr. Warman's lead and also go after these bloggers in Court.

Yes we should argue and debate. Passion is a good thing. However when debate turns to libel, slander and gross incivility that can damage a person's reputation, it should not be stood for.

bigcitylib said...

Yeah, Rob, the Section 13 stuff should be kept separate from the defamation stuff. Warman thinks he was defamed in regards to a number of specific statements that I personally think can be demonstrated to be false and malicious.

Why would you deny Warman the same recourse as Ezra? Ezra sues or threatens to sue on a regular basis.

Reality Bites said...

Yes, but Warman has competent representation when he sues. That's an unfair advantage.

Jerome Bastien said...

Im pretty sure Warman isnt suing anyone for calling him a nazi. I think he's suing about the Ann Cools post, which is certainly defamatory if false and if no other defense applies.

Anyways, nice site except for the fact that it is devoid of interesting content.

My office is one floor above the HRC "knowledge center" (whatever that is), and Im pretty sure I see him in the elevator from time to time.

Robert G. Harvie, Q.C. said...

I think, to be defamatory, a statement has to be reasonably taken as a statement of fact.

ie) Joe Smith once was convicted of being a pedophile.

I think broad statement of insult, "Ignatieff is a closet Stalinist", "Harper is a fascist", are taken by any reasonable person as not a factual statement, but a statement of opinion.

When it's suggested that Warman has abused his position in his use of the Human Rights commission, having been a past employee, I think that's something that should be open to debate.

I think broad suggestions that he is anti-free speech are more than a fair suggestion. That's the whole point of the battle.

We call politicians and public people "Homophobes", "Anti-Semites" and such all the time - not because they demonstrably ARE, but because they do things what MIGHT raise that inference.

The court says no.

Next they'll be telling you that you can't accuse the Canadian government and military brass of being "war criminals".

And the following bloggers will be on the bad end of a libel suit:

bigcitylib said...

R.G., you realize the Post already threw in the towel on this lawsuit?