On December 13th, 2007, LifeSiteNews.com reported that the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission's 2006 decision to impose a "lifetime" ban on a local Catholic's freedom to publicly criticise homosexuality was upheld this week in its entirety by Saskatchewan Court of Queens Bench.
Bill Whatcott (pictured above left), a licensed practical nurse who lives in Saskatchewan, has been campaigning against the homosexual political movement that is sweeping the Canadian legal system. In 2006, the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission (SHRC) ordered Whatcott to pay $17,500 Canadian to four complainants who complained that heir "feelings" and "self-respect" were "injured" by Whatcott's pamphlets denouncing the "gay lifestyle" as immoral and dangerous.
Whatcott responded to the decision, "This fine is for telling the truth [that] homosexual sodomites can change their behaviour and be set free from their sin and depravity through the forgiveness of sins and shed blood of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Shame on the Saskatchewan Court of Queens Bench for pandering to homosexual activism and ignoring the truth."
In its 2005-2006 Annual Report, the Commission noted that Whatcott was "ordered to discontinue distributing any materials that promote hatred against people because of their sexual orientation."
The tribunal held that "preventing the distribution of such materials was a reasonable limit on Whatcott's right to freedom of religion and expression as guaranteed by section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms".
Whatcott appealed the decision to the Court of Queen's Bench and received the news on Tuesday that the court would not overturn the HRC's ruling. Whatcott himself says he was fined for his pamphlets that used "verbatim" a text from a classified personal advertisement in a local homosexual publication that ran, "Man seeking boys.... age not so relevant".
Whatcott also generated additional controversy during an unsuccessful campaign to become mayor of Edmonton, Alberta earlier this year. He attracted some savage editorial criticism from Scott McKeen, a columnist with the Edmonton Journal. On Election Day, October 15th, Whatcott proved to be an also-ran, finishing with only 1.1% of the vote.
Canadians concerned about what they see as the erosion of basic democratic freedoms are calling for a stop to the extra-judicial powers of the Human Rights Commissions in which the usual rules for due process of law do not apply.
In connection to a similar Human Rights Commission case currently levelled by the Canadian Islamic Congress against the popular conservative political author Mark Steyn, Ottawa Citizen columnist David Warren wrote this week that freedom of speech is "the most fundamental right," and that the Human Rights Tribunals represent a significant threat to democratic freedoms.
Warren voiced the concerns of many in Canada who believe the Human Rights Commissions' powers and zeal for the far left ideological position makes them an ideal vehicle for the suppression of basic democratic freedoms.
Warren blasted the Human Rights Tribunals, calling them "kangaroo courts" and "star chambers" with "quasi-legal powers that should be offensive to the citizens of any free country... in which the defendant's right to due process is withdrawn."
"They reach judgements on the basis of no fixed law. Moreover, 'the process is the punishment' in these star chambers -- for simply by agreeing to hear a case, they tie up the defendant in bureaucracy and paperwork, and bleed him for the cost of lawyers, while the person who brings the complaint, however frivolous, stands to lose nothing." And one complainant, Richard Warman, has been responsible for nearly half the complaints.
Longtime Canadian free speech activist Paul Fromm is the most notable of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal's victims and provides some statistical insight. He has tracked the cases heard by the CHRT, and provides a statistical sketch of their results on the Freedom-Site, operated by the Canadian Freedom Resource Center:
The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal
Active and Past cases: 46
Cases the tribunal ruled on: 37
Total complaints received by CHRC: 100
- 0% of respondents have ever won a section 13 case before the tribunal.
- 100% of cases have Whites as respondents
- 98% of cases have poor or working class respondents
- 90.7% of respondents are not represented by lawyers
- So far, $93,000 has been awarded in fines and special compensation since 2003.
- 35 respondents have lifetime speech bans (Cease and Desist) orders and if not followed the victims could face up to 5 years in prison.
- 72.4% of complaints specifically identify "jews" as victims.
- 48.8% of all cases are by Richard Warman
Conservatives in Canada are supporting a petition, addressed to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, to abolish or at least curtail the powers of the Human Rights Commissions.
Sign the petition to stop the Human Right Commissions.
Read related LifeSiteNews.com coverage: Saskatchewan Judge Dismisses Appeal of Pro-Life Demonstrator