“B’nai Brith Canada wants to make denying the Holocaust a criminal offence in Canada. Last year, delegates to the national Jewish organization’s annual meeting in Ottawa unanimously passed a resolution calling for the government to make it illegal for individuals to ‘propagate denial that the Holocaust ever took place.’ According to B’nai Brith, the resolution deals only with the Jewish Holocaust of the Second World War, and doesn’t apply to other instances of mass extermination, such as the so-called ethnic cleansing of the Baltic states….
B’nai Brith president Lyle Smordin said he met with federal Justice Minister Anne McLellan last year to discuss incorporating the resolution into the Criminal Code. ‘She’s extremely receptive,’ he said. ‘I think her intentions are very positive. The only problem is a question of priorities.’ … The resolution calls for ‘fines and/or jail sentences’ for those found guilty.” (Ottawa Citizen, June 16, 1998) It’s good to know, if these thought control wannabees succeed in bending the minister to their whim, that thinking Canadians will still be allowed to question the numbers or causes of the Irish famine or the Soviet ethnic cleansing of Eastern Europe and that only one people’s sufferings will be elevated to the sanctity of a state religion.
Some editorial writers are awakening to the danger of trying to outlaw discussion of history. The Ottawa Citizen (June 18, 1998) commented: “So B’nai Brith is very wrong to outlaw Holocaust denial. There is no danger Canadians will believe it, but there is a danger they will acquire the habit of banning troubling speech.”
B’nai Brith Rep. Lobbies Against Free Speech Meetings in Ottawa Library
It’s a running battle across the country. Whether it’s Lethbridge, Dutton or B’nai Brith in Vancouver and Victoria or other self-styled minority censors elsewhere, holding a populist meeting can often be an adventure. The Dark Forces of thought control are vigilant. On May 28, Paul Fromm sought to hold an Alternative Forum meeting on recent attacks on freedom of speech at the main branch of the Ottawa Public Library. He’d been holding meetings there for a number of years without incident.
In late May, a planned meeting was cancelled at the last minute — of course, the day of the meeting. Jean Martel, the director of the library, indicated that there had been several calls complaining about “negative propaganda.” He couldn’t or wouldn’t be more specific. He refused to identify the callers. Fromm and several Ottawa stalwarts marched over to confront Martel the very next day.
Admitting that he may have overreacted and saying he was just concerned about the safety of patrons of the library [Had there been threats of violence? If so, are there no police in Ottawa to handle thugs and rowdies?], Martel said he’d seek direction from the library board. Paul Fromm and several concerned taxpayers in Ottawa who’d been denied their right to hear Mr. Fromm attended the June 16 meeting of the Ottawa Public Library Board. Clearly, the jungle telegraph had alerted the forces of censorship for also making a presentation was one Rubin Friedman. He puffed in sweating and out of breath in a track suit — for a business meeting! Said Friedman: “I am a director of government relations for B’nai Brith Canada.
I’ve been aware of Mr. Fromm’s meeting in the community over the years. I hadn’t taken any action because there was not a lot of interest in his meetings, but when I became aware of his use of library facilities,” I had to intervene. Friedman then spoke at great length about outlawing holocaust denial — rehashing World War II hadn’t been on the agenda of the Alternative Forum meeting. He concluded with a theme common among the thought control lobby: Listen, you Canadian tax serfs, don’t imagine you have the same freedoms as your American cousins. Said Friedman: “Sometimes we are overexposed to the American tradition and believe we have the freedoms they do.” The decision is pending.
Of course, it’s B’nai Brith’s right to lobby for any repressive measures they like. This still is a democracy, although the rights of free thinkers and, indeed, anyone who questions the radical multiculturalisation of this country, face increasing restrictions. Here’s the problem: B’nai Brith enjoys tax exempt status as a “charity”. That means they have the lucrative privilege of issuing tax creditable receipts to donors. However, to qualify under Canadian law as a charity, the activities and objectives of the organization must be exclusively “charitable”; that is, for the relief of poverty or the promotion of knowledge.
The previous two stories illustrate examples of B’nai Brith doing what a charity is not supposed to do — political lobbying; worse still, lobbying to restrict and remove Charter guaranteed rights of other Canadians! A recent court decision upholding the removal of the charitable status of Human Life International is most relevant. This March 18, 1998 decision indexed as Human Life International in Canada v. Canada (Minister of Revenue) contains the judges’ reference to a decision by the English Chancery Division in McGovern v. Attorney-General, “where it is said that trusts [our charities] for political purposes include, inter alia, trusts of which a direct and principal purpose is … to procure changes in the laws of this country … or to procure a reversal of government policy or of particular decisions of governmental authorities in this country.”
The law seems clear. B’nai Brith functions as a political lobbying, actively seeking to influence government policy at several levels of government. This violates the regulations. They should lose their charitable status. If you wish to bring this to the attention of the relevant authorities, send a letter to Rheal Dorval, Auditor’s Division, Revenue Canada Charities, 320 Queen Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0L5. If you wish to follow up with a phone call, the number is (613)-954-0939.
Victoria Library Hangs Tough in the Face of Pressure to Cancel Free Speech Conference
What do the forces of thought control wish to stop? A free speech conference, of course. Freedom of speech won and the strident enemies of freedom failed in their attempt to close down a free speech meeting at the Colwood Branch of the Victoria Public Library Friday, June 19, 1998, in what Paul Fromm, Director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression hails as “an important milestone in securing free speech, at least in British Columbia.”
Like Horatio holding the bridge in Roman history, Doug Christie, the general counsel for the Canadian Free Speech League, stood guard at the library door, letting in the participants and occasionally having to deny admission to a screaming protester. Twenty-nine free speech supporters, many of them middle aged or elderly, had to walk through a protest mob estimated at 200, and endure slurs and abuse and the chant: “Immigrants in; Nazis out!” Two free speech supporters paraded in waving the Red Ensign, which they said was Canada’s real flag, before the massive erosion of rights that have occurred over the past two decades.
The highly charged atmosphere, heated up by days of press coverage and intense pressure on the Library Board to cancel the booking, grew more feverish the day before as NDP MLA Mohinder “Moe” Sihota (Esquimalt-Metchosin) joined the opponents of free speech and made a series of slanderous charges, stating that the CFSL would “be propagating their hate.” He added: “These people are coming into the library with blood on their hands,” suggesting that the CFSL had a hand in the murder of Nirmal Singh Gill, a Sikh caretaker in Surrey in early January.
“Sihota lies,” countered Paul Fromm. “Neither the Canadian Free Speech League nor any of the speakers had anything to do with the unfortunate events in Surrey. As for the widely circulated slander of ‘hate’, no one at this meeting has ever been charged or convicted under Section 319 of the Criminal Code — the hate law.” Sihota, said Fromm, “is trying to vilify and trash free speech supporters. It seems he’s decided to wiggle his ears and run his mouth to try to attract the attention of Premier Clark and maybe get back into the cabinet by putting himself at the head of a trendy anti-racist parade.”
The protest against the free speech meeting was organized by Jewish Federation of Victoria and Vancouver Island and by the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union. A poster produced by Local 301 of the BCGEU called the coalition “Communities Against Hate” and urged people to “Rally Against the Racists!” The defamatory flyer proclaimed: “The Library Board needs to know that the platform they are giving to hatemongers is an assault on the safety and dignity of our community.” The flyer insisted: “The Canadian Free Speech League is a front for well known white supremacists, Holocaust deniers and Nazis. They are not about free speech! They are about hate speech.”
The librarians had come under withering pressure from the thought control lobby. Writing in the Victoria Times-Colonist (June 16, 1998), Paul Whitney, president of the Canadian Library Association, and Dr. Alvin M. Schrader, director of the University of Alberta school of library and information studies, emphasized the Canadian Library Association’s Statement on Intellectual Freedom: “‘It is the responsibility of libraries to guarantee and facilitate access to all expressions of knowledge and intellectual activity including those which some elements in society consider to be unconventional, unpopular or unacceptable.’ …
Public librarians do not believe they are the proper authority for making decisions about which groups should be declared legal and illegal in Canada. … We reject the view that the use of a meeting room in a public library translates into public ‘support’ or ‘legitimacy.’ Libraries make it clear that use of their facilities does not constitute endorsement of a group using the library any more than having a specific book in the library collection constitutes approval of its contents.”
Parliament Bans Zundel to Scotch Press Conference
Toronto publisher Ernst Zundel was banned from the precincts of Parliament in early June. Guess why? So Parliament could show tolerance and support democracy! Zundel had called a press conference for the Parliamentary Press Gallery in Ottawa, June 5. He had been puzzled at the almost total lack of press coverage of the unending Canadian Human Rights Tribunal which is using the Zundelsite which is located in the U.S. and run by an American citizen as a test case to get its censorious claws on the Internet. This would seem to merit news coverage.
Even more so, the recent totalitarian-minded decision by the tribunal that truth is no defence. The Parliamentary Press Gallery is open to any person or group wishing to make a statement on a matter of national interest to the 162 reporters who cover Parliament. The person in question gets a half hour in the Charles Lynch room which is located in the Parliament buildings. It was Zundel’s bad luck that Moshe Ronen, newly elected president of the Canadian Jewish Congress, was working his way around Ottawa’s corridors of power that day.
The planned Zundel press conference was brought to his attention. A C.J.C. press release dated June 4, explains: “The cancellation followed … meetings of a Canadian Jewish Congress delegation, headed by … Moshe Ronen, with Federal Secretary of State for Multiculturalism Hedy Fry, and other ministers and MPs. The announcement of the cancellation was made by Government House Leader Don Boudria after MPs hastily passed a motion banning Zundel from the Parliament Buildings.
All five party leaders lauded the decision. … Ronen stated: ‘Canada today has spoken with one voice. We found it abhorrent that Ernst Zundel should ever have been given permission to use a Parliamentary facility for his hateful activities.'” On June 4, party spokesmen were hopping up and down like puppets huffing and puffing their outrage that Zundel should be allowed to hold a press conference.
The usually fractious MPs gave up hurling insults at one another and positively nauseated the place with self-congratulatory proclamations of the need for censorship in the chamber called Parliament — ironically from the French word parlement, meaning the “speaking place”.
Said Peter MacKay (PC — Pictou-Antigonish-Guysborough) :”It really borders on lunacy that this [press conference] would be permitted to take place in this building which is supposed to be the bastion of tolerance and moderate thinking.” Not to be outdone in Orwellian abuse of language, Liberal House Leader Don Boudria complained that the Parliamentary Press Gallery had refused to bar Zundel. What to do?
Well, the room to be used for the press conference was in the parliamentary building. Boudria snorted his dudgeon at “the fact that this building, the house of democracy in our country, was going to be utilized in any way, shape or form for the benefit of one Ernst Zundel.”
So, he moved and the clapping seals unanimously agreed: “That this House order that Ernst Zundel be denied admittance to the precincts of the House of Commons during and for the remainder of the present session.” (Hansard, #115, June 4, 1998) There that showed Zundel and the world what democracy means. The Liberals’ pals Castro and Jiang would be proud!
Is This “Hate”?
“The American media regularly lambast and ridicule Wasps (white, Anglo-Saxon Protestants), Catholics, Arabs, Germans in particular and Europeans in general. For example, when Mercedes and Chrysler merged a couple of weeks ago, the Mercedes chairman was portrayed in cartoons as a thinly veiled Nazi under the factory entrance slogan ‘Arbeit Macht Frei.’ It gets better.
Worse, rather. Imagine how ballistic the Draft Dodger would get if anyone slurred a White House aide’s religion. Yet, he was all smiles when Sidney Blumenthal, probably Clinton’s most disgusting defender, attacked the special prosecutor’s top deputy, Hickman Ewing, for being a fanatical Christian.” (London Times, May 17, 1998)
Human Rights Business in Trouble
Despite all we hear about hate, hate, hate, and more hate, complaints to the Ontario Human Rights Commission are actually plunging. “Last fiscal year, the commission dealt with 1,368 complaints, compared to 2,000 the year before.”
(Toronto Star, June 26, 1998) That’s a marked improvement over 1996, when “Ontario’s Human Rights Commission [was] embroiled in a $5.5-million lawsuit over allegations of racism and conspiracy within its ranks. … [an independent investigator found the OHRC] plagued by ‘a number of organizational, professional and interpersonal problems including racial conflict among the staff’. … [the report concluded] ‘a poisoned environment based on race’ pervaded the office.” (Toronto Sun, August 25, 1996)