Who says that "Free speech must be limited"?

Doug Collins & Free Speech vs. British Columbia and the Canadian Jewish Congress
Published: 1997-07-12

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Getting set to slay censorship

by Doug Collins [May 12, 1997, North Shore News]

Tomorrow, your man Doug and this gutsy newspaper go into the history books as the first in Canada to face a "human rights" tribunal. The first in journalism, that is.

And I thought I would never be famous!

The hearing will begin at 9.30 a.m. in the Century Plaza Hotel, 1015 Burrard St. Come and see socialist justice in action.

There is as yet no comparison between such a tribunal and what went on in the dictatorships. We still have real courts who can strike down "rights" excesses, although they don't always do so.

But the spirit of censorship is the same.

In 1945 I was a political intelligence officer in Germany. I spoke to many bright people who had supported Hitler.

Bright they may have been. They were also blind. For them, free speech had taken tenth place to their version of political correctness.

I thought of that when the NDP's Amendment to the B.C. Human Rights Act ("Bill 33") was passed four years ago.

Premier Mike Harcourt said free speech was fine "as long as it didn't harm anyone." A real intellectual, that. A lawyer, too.

There will be scads of hostile lawyers on parade tomorrow: from the government, from the ever-cavilling Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC), author of this vicious complaint, and from multicult groups.

All with the same idea in mind: stop speech that is too free.

The CJC's legal spokesman, Morris Soronow, was reported in the Western Jewish Bulletin as saying:

"We're counting on this legislation to discourage others."

Quite. That's why the CJC lobbied for it. To be safe, get your opinions cleared with him before you go into print.

"Bill 33" removed the right to free speech, but the NDP claimed that that didn't matter. Don't we have the Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

In other words, we will harass the hell out of you until you can get to the Supreme Court. So watch your step.

The law makes it hazardous to write anything "likely," to bring a group into "hatred or contempt" and a one-man tribunal will decide what is what. He also acts as judge, jury and prosecutor.

It reminds me of the U.S.S.R. If your attitude was "likely" to harm "socialist realism" off you went to a People's Court.

Bill 33 was steamrollered through in the face of fierce opposition. And some of the remarks in the debate were priceless.

The NDP's Corky Evans said the Bill was necessary because the courts didn't always do what the government wanted them to do. David Schreck even had the gall to say the government was "fundamentally committed to freedom of speech." Sure.

Len Fox of the Opposition said it would now be a case of "selective free speech." Harry De Jong called the legislation "a compulsory niceness bill. Love thy neighbor, or else!"

The NDP, he concluded, was showing "total disregard for individual freedom when it comes into conflict with the collective."

Free speech is in danger right across the country. Many in the big media applaud while pressure groups bully hotels into cancelling accommodation for those of whom they disapprove. Last year in Victoria such groups did their damndest to force the public library into cancelling a Doug Christie meeting. The library stood firm, despite scare headlines ("Beware Racists, etc.!") in the Times-Colonist.

But now the B.C. Library Association has given the library an intellectual freedom award, much to the dismay of Harry Abrams & Co, who thought it was appalling.

Abrams is a B'nai B'rith activist who has laid additional "rights" complaints against the News.

It costs him nothing. The system is only too happy to provide him with legal aid.

Free speech is appalling. The only thing that is more appalling is no free speech.

Let battle begin.

Memo to Rev. Ed Hird: Re your letter of last Sunday. I too am in favor of open discussion. But it's your friends the Jews who want to squelch it. (See above); and contrary to what you imply, I do not write against the Jews as such but against their self-appointed censors. Meanwhile, since you are so full of the milk of Christian kindness, how about getting those 28 parsons to subscribe to the North Shore News Free Speech Defence Fund?

-- The North Shore News believes strongly in freedom of speech and the right of all sides in a debate to be heard. The columnists published in the News present differing points of view, but those views are not necessarily those of the newspaper itself.

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Wrangle over rights hearing site

By Timothy Renshaw / Managing Editor / [email protected] [May 12, 1997, North Shore News]

Nearly three years after receiving a human rights complaint from the Canadian Jewish Congress against the North Shore News, the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has finally determined where the hearing into the matter will be held.

But not without concerted effort by the North Shore News to ensure that the location be large enough to accommodate members of the media covering the hearing and members of the public interested in attending it.

The News lodged a formal complaint with the tribunal's member-designate Tom Patch after learning that the original location for the hearing would be confined to the tiny Vancouver Police Commission boardroom — Room 407, 815 Hornby St.

News lawyer David Sutherland said the police boardroom "would have trouble just holding all the lawyers.

"The room would run short of air."

In an April 30 letter to Sutherland, Patch stated that, while "there is a real benefit to allowing members of the public to observe human rights hearings," the tribunal had to consider such factors as availability of space, the cost of the space and the impact such an expenditure would have on other hearings.

The News, meanwhile, has spent more than $70,000 in legal fees over the three years since the Canadian Jewish Congress filed its May 26, 1994, complaint with the Council of Human Rights over a March 9, 1994, News column written by Doug Collins.

Following the News' protest, Patch determined that the first three days of the hearing — May 12 to 14 — will be conducted in "a large room" at the Century Plaza Hotel, 1015 Burrard St., Vancouver.

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. on May 12.

After the first three days, however, the hearing will move to the much smaller Police Commission boardroom.

In his April 30 letter, Patch said he was "unable to justify a large expenditure of public money when there is a venue available that will accommodate the parties and a small gallery."

He said the split venue "will allow a large number of people to hear opening statements and get a flavor of the process.

"A smaller number will be able to observe the whole hearing."

He added that the tribunal will monitor the space requirements as the hearing unfolds.

The hearing is expected to run for approximately one month.

Said Sutherland: "I don't want to comment on detail in the press. I will say that this case is very, very important.

"I hope that relatively minor cost savings don't lead to disappointed would-be spectators."

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Denouncing Liberal dirt-digging

by Doug Collins [May 12, 1997]

Would you shake hands with Liberal candidate Warren Kinsella? Reformer Ted White wouldn't and neither would I. I would rather give a French kiss to the Phantom of the Opera.

It's not true that all is fair in love and war. There are limits. One doesn't shoot prisoners, for instance. Or rape women.

And Kinsella should not claim, hypocritically, that he wants to campaign "on the issues," and then dig up non-existent dirt about his main opponent.

I know of no one else in politics who has a bad personal word to say about White, who has worked indefatigably for his constituents.

But Kinsella is out to smear. You might think his Reform party opponent has direct or indirect links with all kinds of sinister folk.

Here's how it goes: White was a member of Doug Christie's Western Canada Concept (WCC) in the early 1980s. Therefore, White is a secret separatist.

Fact: thousands of good people joined the WCC. At that time they had nowhere else to go if they were fed up with the Liberals and Tories.

Fact: even Gordon Wilson of the Progressive Democratic Alliance has mused on how B.C. could do quite well as a "nation state."

Christie defended Ernst Zundel in his "spreading false news" trial. But in Kinsella's view that reflects badly on White. Isn't Zundel a "holocaust denier" and a neo-Nazi (whatever that is)?

Those are McCarthyite tactics. Besides which it was thanks to Christie that that dangerous "false news" law was defeated. Does Kinsella wish it hadn't been?

It doesn't stop there. Kinsella is still claiming that Christie "is the lawyer to the KKK." Bad grammar and a falsehood.

I checked with Christie about that months ago. He said he is not, and never has been. He once defended three men in a "hate trial," one of whom had been accused of being in the KKK. All three were acquitted.

The innuendo is that White equals Christie who equals the men in the white hoods. "Racism," and all that.

Is Kinsella running against Christie, or White? At times, as David Mitchell has suggested, he even seems to be running against me.

I have news. Christie is worth 20 Kinsellas. He has acted in the most important free speech cases in the country, often without fee. If there were a few more Christies around, free speech wouldn't be in so much trouble.

If there were a few more Kinsellas, though, it would be in much more trouble.

As is clear from his error-ridden book, Web of Hate, he favors every anti-free speech law there is and would like a few more, "to restrict the dissemination of hateful messages."

We all know where that kind of thinking has got us.

As for "issues," White isn't one. But Kinsella is. He's also a political trick cyclist.

As has been pointed out by others, students turning out for him when Jean Chretien was at Cap College had been bused in from elsewhere. But the impression Kinsella sought to create was that they were from the college.

He also makes much of White's "advertorial" in the North Shore News being paid for with tax dollars.

Fact: every MP gets an allowance for communicating with his constituents. Tory Mary Collins used it to send out brochures.

White uses it for an informative, party political column.

Are we to assume that Kinsella would give that allowance to charity, or reduce the debt by not using it at all?

As the man said, you can fool some of the people some of the time but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.

Only recently there was a letter in this newspaper on which the headline read:

"Kinsella an 'opportunist'. " Yes. His one ambition is to get back to Ottawa and climb again on to that bandwagon he liked so much when he was Chretien's boy. Your interests are secondary.

I nearly forgot. His ads state that he "neither condones nor advocates the views taken by some of this newspaper's columnists."

Who the hell asked him to? If he ever condoned anything I said it would be time to throw myself into the drink\.

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Battling the tyrants of the mind

by Noel Wright [North Shore News, May 12, 1997]

[See: ** for reference to Doug Collins's epic struggle against the forces of censorious mind-control]

The fight is on this month against the bully-boys (and girls!) who are convinced they know best what is good for us — and how to make us swallow it, whether we like it or not.

The homosexual agenda, which the NDP thought police have decided to have actively promoted throughout B.C.'s public school system, is currently front and centre in three might-versus-right scenarios — might being represented this time by Education Minister Paul ("Jackboots") Ramsay and, in one case, by his lickspittle B.C. College of Teachers.

Last week Ramsay threatened, in all but so many words, to fire the democratically elected Surrey school board which recently voted to ban from its schools three children's books featuring kids with same-sex "parents." Citing the harassing of gay students in B.C. schools, the minister warned trustees he would not allow further "intolerance" by them.

What juvenile thuggery has to do with banning three books which an apparent majority of Surrey parents regard as usurping their right to teach their offspring the facts of life in their own homes is hard to figure out. Surely, stamping out intolerance of any kind — whether sexual, racial or religious, and especially if expressed by violence — is the very first duty of any self-respecting school. Teachers should have full powers restored to them to treat such behavior with zero tolerance. Pretty fairytale books about Jane's two dads isn't going to straighten out the handful of young hoods involved.

But all Ramsay wants is to advance the gay agenda via the classrooms — never mind if the little darlings still beat each other up in the playground. The gay vote is not to be sneezed at.

Two spinoffs from Big Brother Ramsay's Orwellian nurturing of that vote. Some 30 Baptist, Pentecostal and Lutheran churches in his own Prince George riding — citing him as "pro-gay ... anti-family" — have launched a petition for his recall. Under the emasculated recall legislation reluctantly passed by the NDP in its first term they need 7,200 signatures (40% of all voters) to fire him. So don't hold your breath — though in the fundamentalist north they don't easily take "no" for an answer.

Then there's feisty Trinity Western University (TWU), Langley's privately funded Christian liberal arts university with superb academic standards. But last year its application to offer students the final year of teacher education was rejected by the B.C. College of Teachers.

Why? Because TWU, true to its Christian beliefs, requires its students to refrain from "premarital sex, adultery or homosexual behavior." And for the NDP-dominated B.C. College of Teachers, of course, that makes TWU "discriminating ... intolerant" and unfit to train Canada's teachers. The university has now petitioned the B.C. Supreme Court for a judicial review of the case, with even the agnostic B.C. Civil Liberties Union supporting it.

[**]Meanwhile, tomorrow, May 12, at 9:30 a.m. in the Century Plaza Hotel, 1015 Burrard St., Vancouver, the long delayed "trial" of fellow columnist Doug Collins and the North Shore News before the Human Rights Tribunal of NDP-appointed hacks opens. His sin: a 1994 column that outraged the Canadian Jewish Congress by criticizing the Holocaust movie Schindler's List (one of the most boring I've ever sat through). News readers have already brought in their own verdict by contributing some $60,000 in just over four weeks to the paper's defence fund.[**]

Will May 1997 be recorded by future historians as the month when freedom-loving B.C. citizens finally began to win their battle against Victoria's McCarthy-like tyrants of the mind?

Additional information about this document
Property Value
Author(s): Douglas Collins
Title: Who says that "Free speech must be limited"?, Doug Collins & Free Speech vs. British Columbia and the Canadian Jewish Congress
Sources: North Shore News, 12.5.1997
  • Timothy Renshaw: article , Noel Wright
Published: 1997-07-12
First posted on CODOH: July 10, 1997, 7 p.m.
Last revision:
Comments: Various articles on Canadian Human Rights attempts to censor/silence Doug Collins
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