Tag Archives: free dominion

Betrayed: Stephen Harper’s war on principled conservatism – A Review

51i7c9ikkIL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Various people have asked me why I will not vote for Stephen Harper and the Conservatives in this election. While the Cons’ failure to seriously tackle the deficit, reduce the size of government and begin to dismantle the Liberal state are all good reasons, I probably would hold my nose one more time if it were not for one, fundamental fact: C-51. And I might have even given Harper a pass on C-51 if I didn’t know the Conservative record on free speech, the perversion of the Human Rights Commission and the legal thuggery which attended it.

Connie Fournier and her husband Mark are not going to be voting for the Harper Conservatives either: Connie has detailed her reasons in Betrayed: Stephen Harper’s war on principled conservatism.

Full disclosure: I’ve met Connie and Mark once and I provided an affidavit in their defence when Dr. Dawg sued them for libel (a case which they won at great personal expense). Connie and I chat on Google and, in so far as it is possible to have friends you only chat with on the internet, I’d like to think Connie is one of mine.

The Fourniers are ordinary, middle class Canadians – Mark drives long haul trucks, Connie was a homeschooling stay-at-home mum – who were politically involved as far back as the Canadian Alliance. They started a website called Free Dominion in 2001 where conservatives of various sorts could post topics and comments and have a good time arguing among themselves. Continue reading

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Law Marches On

Madame Justice Heidi Polowin has rendered her decision in Baglow v. Smith et al (Free Dominion) .

It is a long, closely argued, decision – 62 pages – ending in a win for Free Dominion on fair comment grounds. I suspect it will join Grant as one of the critical decisions advancing Canadian defamation law into the post Charter, internet age.

I want to read it at leisure but two things are striking: first, the judge has decided that each side shall bear its own costs – which mean Connie and Mark still need your donations. Second, and I have not seen this in a decision that I can recall, Polowin, J. ends her judgement with these words:

“Finally, I thank all involved for their assistance and thoughtful submissions.”

Connie, Mark, Roger Smith and Dr. Dawg should never have let this matter get to Court. But it did and as a result, and at great cost to all of the parties, we now have a roadmap for online conduct. The defence of fair comment has been slightly extended and the question of “context” driving the meaning of particular words considered.

I am delighted that Free Dominion won and the win was well deserved. But it was a damned close run thing.

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S. 13 Dead and Now Buried

A long battle but section 13 is dead

As I write this I am still only being updated by text message on the proceedings in the Senate chamber but I am told Bill C-304 has passed third reading and will receive Royal Assent tonight making it law.

What does this bill do?

There are a number of amendments to the act that help limit abuse but the main one is this:

2. Section 13 of the Act is repealed. blazing catfur

Repealing s. 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act is the right thing to do. It was unfixable and, despite what the SCC maintained, was an unacceptable curb on free speech.

Worse, so long as S.13 existed, the grievance mongers and self-appointed censors were able to use the CHRC and the Tribunal to silence speech they disagreed with.

And, even worse than that, because of the fact the Human Rights biz is driven by a hierarchy of victims, real hate could be uttered by assorted protected – but none the less dangerous – classes with impunity while loons in their basements who represented no threat to anyone could be driven to bankruptcy by the Commission and its minions.

Canada has become a bit more free with the repeal of s. 13.

This repeal was driven by many, many people: front and center were Blazing Catfur, Five Feet, Small Dead Animals, Free Dominion, Ezra Levant, Marc Lemire and Mark Steyn and a host of others. Realistically, the effort has cost those people hundreds of thousands of dollars. It has spawned an assortment of legal actions which the Repeal will do little, directly, to mitigate.

So send the bloggers who made this happen some money!

(And, for those bloggers who are being sued – the fact that your actions and reporting have resulted in the Repeal of an odious law suggests, strongly, that your reporting in particular, was in the public interest.)

A good day.

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