As you read this, Paul Fromm, Director and co-founder of the Canadian Association for Free Expression, finds his teaching job on the line once again. On January 28, his employer, the Peel Board of Education, will be considering a recommendation that he be fired. The latest furor erupted in December when the League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith, which, incredibly has tax exempt status as a “charity” (#0374009-49), issued a press statement listing some of Fromm’s politically incorrect ideas and calling on his employer to fire him.
Fromm has 23 years of service with the Peel Board and has been called by former Director of Education Robert Lee “an exemplary teacher.” B’nai Brith called on the board “‘to take the necessary actions to remove this individual from the Peel Board of Education. If he must continue his racist ‘free speech’ campaign, let him not do it as a teacher,’ stated Karen Mock. ” Readers will note tha, t for Mock, to defend free speech is to be a racist. By this chop-logic, if a lawyer defends a murderer, he’s a murderer!
The B’nai Brith complaint is a mishmash of half truths, lies and shameless guilt-by-association. Among Fromm’s thought crimes: “March 12, 1996, Fromm organized a ‘hate conference’ at the Surrey Inn. … The Surrey Inn cancelled the booking. The event was then held in an undisclosed location in Vancouver.” The date’s wrong. It was March 23. Readers may be scratching their heads wondering what this event was. The so-called “hate conference” was our Second Canadian Free Speech Conference, which came under attack from Alan Dutton and David Lethbridge who tried to shut it down. It was keynoted by the dean of talk radio in Vancouver, the late Pat Burns.
Another of Fromm’s sins, according to B’nai Brith, is that in “September, 1996 Fromm faxed a letter to Werner Sim, [sic — it’s Simm] manager of the Coast Terrace Inn protesting the hotel’s cancellation of a conference deemed ‘racist’ by the Alberta Human Rights Committee.” [Actually, it’s a commission, but, when you’re on a smear campaign, accurate facts just get in the way.] “The conference was organized by Ron Gostick’s League of Rights and Third Option Committee –organizations long-known to support racist and anti-Semitic positions. The speakers at the conference were to include: former school teacher … Jim Keegstra, and Doug Christie.” This is an outright lie. Keegstra was never listed as a speaker, nor was Christie.
Fromm is also hammered for having attended a memorial in Illinois in November, 1994 for the late Professor Revilo Pendelton Oliver, a prolific author, classicist and Sanskrit scholar. One of those at the memorial symposium was Louisiana State Senator David Duke. B’nai Brith trots forth these charges to try to prove that Fromm has ignored a June, 1993 directive from the Peel Board to “discontinue his hate activities and associations with known hate-mongers.” That, unfortunately, wasn’t the directive. As a “hate-monger” can only be a person convicted under Section 319 of the Criminal Code, Fromm has no association with such people. Fromm has never engaged in “hate activities” Of course, to B’nai Brith any political dissent in favour of free speech is considered “hate”. One of the problems Fromm faced was that the actual directions given to him by the Board were very unclear and all efforts to clarify them proved futile.
On January 15, B’nai Brith jumped the gun, responding to information about the pending Board action posted on a political Website. They fired off a press release crowing: “Fromm Fired From Peel Board.” B’nai Brith exposed themselves for the manipulative censors they were and walked away with egg on their faces. The Board had no comment. Fromm could confirm that he was still employed, but under investigation and B’nai Brith looked foolish.
The press release gloated: “B’nai Brith has learned that Paul Fromm … will have his contract terminated for having continued to participate in the activities of organizations that maintain ideologies that are white-supremacist and anti-Semitic. … The League provided the Board with concrete evidence, including a video and printed material, that Fromm had not ceased his activities in this regard. … The Supreme Court decision on Malcolm Ross has sent the message loud and clear that the multi-ethnic and multi-racial populations of students and teachers in our schools need not tolerate the poisoned environment created by a teacher, like Ross or Fromm.” On the contrary, there has never been any finding that Fromm’s school suffers from a “poisoned environment.” Just the opposite, he is well-liked and popular among the very diverse student body of the adult centre at which he teaches.
There is a strange convergence of characters in the latest attack on an independent-minded teacher. The chief piece of evidence for the Board meeting where Fromm’s fate my be decided is an affadavit from Alan Dutton of the Canadian Anti-Racism Education and Research Centre in Vancouver. We’ve reported on his anti-free speech activities and grant-chasing abilities ($725,000 over five years). Both Dutton and B’nai Brith’s Karen Mock were active participants in the June, 1996 conference sponsored by the anarchist and violence-prone ARA (Anti-Racist Action) group in Toronto. The Canadian Association for Free Expression strongly opposed a grant by Metro Council to the ARA. Both Mock and Dutton lobbied for it.
The Quality of “Justice” Is Strange
It’s more dangerous to utter politically incorrect ideas these days than to drive recklessly and kill people. “A Kitchener man who indirectly threatened the driver examiner who failed him in a road test last summer was sentenced … to 90 days in jail. Defence lawyer Wayne Rabley told provincial court Judge Tim Culver that Jeffrey Portman, 27, had been ‘extremely obnoxious and rude’ towards examiner Ron Ball, who is black. But he suggested Portman’s comments, which in this case were ‘racist’, would have been equally offensive had a white examiner denied him his licence.
Culver found Portman guilty earlier of uttering threats and had remanded him for sentence. Evidence showed Ball had failed Portman in a driving test on August 15 (1995). When Portman was in the Ministry of Transportation and Communication office afterwards, he used a racist epithet when he complained to another employee and then said: ‘What do I have to do? Trash this place and slash his tires?’ … Rabley said Portman sent a written apology to Ball for his ‘inappropriate’ conduct. … Assistant Crown attorney Bill Johnston agreed Portman’s comments ‘might not have been racially motivated,’ but they were made in a public office to people who ‘are susceptible to abuse.’
The judge … noted that appeal courts — and Criminal Code amendments [Bill C-41] — have said racial slurs are an aggravating factor in sentencing.” (Kitchener-Waterloo Record, August 3, 1996) Well, we’re no fans of rude behaviour or threats, but the sentence certainly shows that the accused’s expression of politically incorrect thoughts about a privileged minority bought him additional punishment. This was just what we predicted when we opposed passage of Bill C-41 in 1995.
From the mouthings off of a hothead, we go to a really serious incident that caused death. “An American motorist who crashed into a group of passengers at a streetcar shelter has been fined $300 for running a red light. Thuy Thanh Ly, 26, of Westminster, California, pleaded guilty through an agent yesterday to a charge of disobeying a red light at St. Clair Ave., W. and Dufferin St., on July 30. One of the 10 people injured — 89-year-old Chris Petrou — suffered a heart attack and a broken pelvis. He died the next day. .. MPP Mike Colle, Liberal transportation critic, and former TTC chair(man), said in a news release the fine was ‘an insult and an outrage.'” (Toronto Star, August 9, 1996) Despite the injuries and death he had caused, Thuy Thanh Ly was smart enough not to utter any politically incorrect comments — at least in English — and can bask in sunny California, just $300 poorer for his actions.
The Kitchener loudmouth, who hurt no one, but spoke offensively does 90 days in prison. Does this make sense or justice? Perhaps it does to fans of the New World Order.
Zundel Website to be Probed by Canadian Human Rights Tribunal
“In an unprecedented move, the Canadian Human Rights Commission has ordered hearings into complaints that” Toronto publisher “Ernst Zundel is promoting hatred on the Internet. Commission chief Maxwell Yalden said [November 22] he believes that the commission has jurisdiction to shut down Mr. Zundel’s Web site, even though it’s based at a computer in California. ‘The signal’s being picked up here, and where it’s originating doesn’t make any difference,’ Mr. Yalden said. …’In the United States what I do is legal and I believe what I do in Canada is legal,’ Mr. Zundel said in an interview from Toronto.
He said Mr. Yalden wants to treat his computer site as if it were a taped telephone message. But Mr. Zundel said his Internet site is interactive and contains links to two Jewish sites and the Simon Weisenthal Centre, permitting dialogue about issues. There is no technical way for Canadian companies that provide Internat access to block Mr. Zundel’s site, said Margo Langford, vice-president of Istar Internet and board member of the Canadian Association of Internet Providers. … But Mr. Yalden said the Canadian Human Rights Act gives the commission jurisdiction over telephonic communications, and Internet messages are transmitted over telephone lines.” (Globe and Mail, November 23, 1996)
This latest attack by the thought police will lead to costly tribunal hearings and, likely, appeals to the courts. The Canadian Human Rights Commission was prompted by a complaint from the Toronto Mayor’s Committee on Race Relations. Many experts argue that the Canadian Human Rights censors really have no jurisdiction over the Internet. Freedom lovers may wish to write their MP and protest this assault on free speech and yet another waste of taxpayers’ money to prosecute dissent.
Writing in a column entitled “Free Expression”, Anthony Keller noted: “Many high-profile attempts to regulate speech on the Net are ultimately self-defeating. When German officials tried to block the Ernst Zundel Web site, which originates in the U.S., it was picked up and ‘mirrored’ in other places. Quarry outside a country’s borders can be elusive. … Neo-Nazis and other racists are a more challenging case, because the United States does not consider hate speech a crime. Maybe the Americans are on to something. Consider. In the U.S., Mr. Zundel is an anonymous crank. In Canada, he’s a celebrity. And” he’s “about to get even more free publicity.
The Canadian Human Rights Commission wants its crack at the California-based Zundel Web site. Good luck. All these attempts to prosecute Mr. Zundel only make things worse. How many readers would even have heard of the guy if Canadian governments hadn’t gone to the trouble of offering him a decade’s worth of courtroom soapboxes? New technology, same old mistakes.” (Globe and Mail, December 2, 1996)