For some decades, the commission has attempted–unsuccessfully, in our view–to balance the traditional free-speech rights most Canadians want and incorrectly believe they possess, with more recent theories of controlled public discourse in which the giving of offence is a matter for the state’s intervention
People accused of simply sticking up for their passionately held beliefs may be convicted and fined without even the usual defences afforded by the law, in tribunals where hearsay and conjecture may be admitted as damaging evidence.
How much more diseased can it get, than this self-same government agency actively trying to entrap people whose views offend them?
Canadians who exercise the right of free speech that is this country’s heritage, may have to face the scorn of their neighbours if their ideas are strange, marginal, rude or iconoclastic.
They should not, however, have to fear the wrath of a government agency.
It is Ottawa’s moment to restore an old liberty: The system, rotten for years, has conceded its own decay.