A few days ago, I was interrogated for 90 minutes by Shirlene McGovern, an officer of the government of Alberta. I have been accused of hurting people's feelings because, two years ago, I published the Danish cartoons of Mohammed in the Western Standard magazine.
Ms. McGovern's business card said she was a "Human Rights Officer." What a perfectly Orwellian title.
Early in her interrogation, she said "I always ask people... what was your intent and purpose of your article?"
It wasn't even a question about what we had published in the magazine. It was a question about my private thoughts. I asked her why my private feelings were of interest to the government. She said, very calmly, that they would be a factor taken into account by the government in determining whether or not I was guilty.
While much of the progressive Canadian blogosphere chants, "It's not a criminal proceeding... it's just an investigation... it's not a criminal proceeding... it's just an investigation...." I will also repeat myself. I don't care. This shouldn't have been investigated.
If a person files a so-called human-rights complaint about something published or spoken which she or he finds offensive, there should be no investigation. They should be told, sorry, your human rights could not have been violated by something that appeared in a magazine. Because, in my opinion, there should be no law restraining anyone from speaking or publishing whatever they choose. The government should have no business investigating what any Canadian is thinking, saying or writing.
I doubt I agree with Ezra Levant on any other issue. But on this one, I do.
And you know what? I'm sick of being told I'm uninformed or not really Canadian or that I've been brainwashed or suckered in or that I'm importing dangerous beliefs from the US. There is no one "Canadian" way of thinking, nor should there be.
I stand up for Mr. Levant's right to publish whatever he chooses, without government interference, because I want that right, and I want every human to have that right.
That anyone could consider themselves a progressive and not stand for free speech and freedom of expression is, to me, very sad. And dangerous. Laws repressing free speech are used against dissenters, pacifists, freedom fighters and revolutionaries the world over.
Thanks to Lone Primate for sending the link.