“The mistake was made 30-plus years ago when Trudeaupia’s apprentice sorcerers thought they could come up with a net that would catch only white supremacists, Holocaust deniers or, at worst, marginal, cranky journalists such as Collins. Hamlet had news for them. Perhaps sorcerers should have been reading more Shakespeare and less Fanon.
“Now there’s a lot of backpedaling. A. Alan Borovoy, General Counsel to the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, has been writing lately that he never thought the legislation he was campaigning for would one day be used to muzzle the press. In a recent piece he adds that ‘the wisest response would be to repeal — or at least to narrow — all such potential restrictions on freedom of speech.’
“Mark J. Freiman, a former honorary counsel of the Canadian Jewish Congress, stops short of Mr. Borovoy. On Wednesday, he offered a spirited defense of Section 13(1), conceding only that ‘[the section] does require restrained and cautious application’ and that ‘the agencies administering and applying Section 13(1) must be staffed by people well suited by training and ability to carry out their sensitive work.’
“Ay, there’s the rub, to keep quoting the Bard. The agencies aren’t staffed by people sensitive to Mr. Freiman’s concerns. They’re staffed by people who believe that ‘freedom of speech is an American concept’ (as one of them put it)…”