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Thursday, June 06, 2013

Lemire Cries Uncle

We figure we'll go right to the source in this one:

Marc Lemire throws in the towel

It was only a matter of time after the Supreme Court unanimously upheld civil law controls on hate speech as constitutional in the Whatcott case, but Marc Lemire has finally admitted that his parallel attack on the Canadian Human Rights Act prohibition on Internet hate-speech (s. 13) has been gutted (‘please ignore my legal arguments found at paragraphs 84-115 of my previous Federal Court of Appeal factum’).

The background to this is that even before the SCC’s decision in Whatcott, Justice Mosley of the Federal Court reached the same conclusion in October 2012 and upheld both the finding that Marc Lemire had violated the Human Rights Act by posting online hate and that section 13 was constitutional as per the Supreme Court’s previous findings in their 1990 Taylor decision. Lemire’s appeal of that decision is ongoing and both Lemire and the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) filed supplementary legal briefs following the Whatcott decision.

Mr. Lemire caves on the now legally (even more) entrenched facts that civil controls on hate speech are reasonable limits on freedom of expression, are justifiable in a free and democratic society, and are a pressing and substantial objective to avoid the serious damage caused as history has shown. Reading bumps on people’s heads to know what their intent was is still out. Hatred and contempt as narrowly defined by the Supreme Court in Taylor have been properly interpreted by human rights tribunals.

What’s left? Not much. Weak arguments that the Tribunal was right and the Federal Court wrong that severance of the financial penalty provisions was the appropriate remedy to any concerns about them. This, despite the fact that the SCC in Whatcott specifically engages in severance of an obsolete and unused descriptive portion of the hate law to bring the Saskatchewan legislation into constitutional compliance (and modern parlance). Scrambling for a twig to latch onto after that but it’s clear the jig is up. 

Lemire’s factum is here. The Canadian Human Rights Commission’s factum in response is here

Lemire’s appeal was always frivolous and now following the unanimous Supreme Court decision in Whatcott, I believe it’s just vexatious. The shame is that by not seeking their costs against Lemire for continuing his appeal after the SCC has put the issue to bed, the CHRC is de facto enabling this waste of taxpayer money. All this, because Mr. Lemire wouldn’t mediate a settlement if a cease and desist order was on the table.

In the end, I think it’s safe to say that despite sharing an interest in disseminating homophobic hate propaganda, Bill Whatcott is waaay off Marc Lemire’s Christmas card list. This one, for instance though, would be quite funny.

Thanks Bill Whatcott for making this all happen. You sir are a superstar!

Mr. Warman seems more whimsical than we are in his choice of "funky music."

We're more inclined to gloat:

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