The unconstitutional substance and arbitrary procedures of these commissions make them improper to begin with — which is one reason why the federal (and Alberta) commissions have a 100% conviction rate for thought crimes cases. But the personal corruption of the commissions makes them a disgrace, even on their own terms. As Woody Allen joked in Bananas, “this trial is a travesty. A travesty of a mockery of a sham!”
In real court systems, travesties of mockeries of shams can be taken to the Judicial Council, where rogue judges can be held to account. But human rights commissions aren’t run by judges, and there is no ethical oversight, other than from legislatures. That’s my earlier argument: the insanity of these commissions has to be brought to the attention of the commissions’ only masters — politically accountable legislators.
Ten years ago, I worked in the Canadian Parliament as the question period co-ordinator for the Official Opposition. (For American readers, question period is a daily, 45-minute question and answer session where government cabinet ministers are peppered with questions by opposition legislators. It’s like a press conference, but with other politicians asking the questions, not reporters.) It’s probably the quickest and easiest venue for accountability on a specific problem like this.
If I were writing QP questions for the opposition Liberal Party today, I’d hang the antics of the human rights commission around the neck of the man who is ultimately responsible for it — and in the case of the federal HRC, that would be Rob Nicholson.
I’d probably start off like this:
Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Justice Minister. One of his staff, Dean Steacy of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, has admitted under oath that, as part of his job, he joined a neo-Nazi website called the “Stormfront”, and posted racist remarks there. Can the Minister please explain why taxpayers’ dollars are paying someone in his department to join neo-Nazi groups to spread bigotry?
Mr. Speaker, can the Minister tell us: was this a rogue act by a single hate-monger who infiltrated the human rights commission? Or did others at the commission approve of this race-baiting strategy, too? Did the minister himself know? Or did he turn a blind eye to state-sponsored bigotry in his own department? Mr. Speaker, it’s not just Dean Steacy who spreads hate in the name of human rights, using taxpayers’ money. Richard Warman does it, too. He used to work for the CHRC, but then he left to work with them, filing dozens of complaints at the CHRC about hateful words. But now it turns out that Warman himself writes many of those hateful words, including calling Senator Anne Cools a “n*gger” and a “c*nt”, and then complaining about it. Will the Minister immediately intervene to stay all of Richard Warman’s complaints, and launch an internal investigation to see whether the evidence he planted was done with the collusion of his old friends at the CHRC?
Mr. Speaker, given the confession of the Minister’s employee, Dean Steacy, that the CHRC plants racist evidence that the CHRC then uses to investigate and convict others, and given the proof that the CHRC’s most prolific complainant has planted racist, sexist remarks, will the Minister launch an independent review of all so-called “hate message” cases that the CHRC has ever conducted to see if they were all corrupted by planted evidence?
Criticism of the human rights commissions has generally come from conservatives. But isn’t a government-funded campaign to spread racist remarks precisely the sort of thing that should outrage lefties, too?
It might also be the sort of question that someone should put to the far-left Canadian Jewish Congress, which awarded Warman a human rights award last year. Did they know that Warman called Canada’s first Black, female Senator a c*nt and a n*gger? Now that they do know it, will they rescind their award? Or — and this is my unhappy guess — are they part of this whole scam?
UPDATE: Of course, those are the questions I would write for the Liberal Party — but I am sympathetic to the Conservative government. The real Liberal Party or NDP would probably not give the government the benefit of the doubt. Their questions would sound like:
Mr. Speaker, even though it has been public knowledge for weeks that the CHRC employs racist provocateurs like Dean Steacy, who spread bigotry on the Internet, the Justice Minister still hasn’t done anything about it. Is that because he has no idea what’s going on in his own department? Or is it because he agrees with this bigotry? Is the Minister a bigot, or is he clueless?
I know Nicholson enough to know he’s neither bigoted nor clueless — he’s likely facing resistance from bureaucrats and civil service lawyers giving him a dozen “yes minister” reasons why the CHRC can’t be reformed or abolished. But they’re not the ones who are ultimately politically accountable — he is.
On Monday, I’ll be on TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin at 8 p.m. Eastern Time. Details here.
On Tuesday, I’ll join Mark Steyn on The O’Reilly Factor.
Let me know what you think of them.