Former New Brunswick school teacher and author, Malcolm Ross completed a whirlwind four-day tour of Ontario, June 28. His tour was organized by the Canadian Association for Free Expression to offer Mr. Ross an opportunity to talk to free speech advocates and to raise money for an upcoming appeal instigated by Josh Beutel, who, earlier this spring, was found guilty of defamation for a series of scurrilous cartoons which, among other things, smeared the intensely religious Ross as a Nazi.
Josh Beutel displaying his libellous cartoons and a sample of a Beutel cartoon depicting Ross A robust and vigorous Malcolm Ross said, that although the he had been dismissed with no severance pay after a 25 year career in education, “I am happy and I’m enjoying life and it’s driving them crazy.”
Ross referred to comments made by communist party member David Lethbridge in the Eileen Pressler case, about the importance of destroying the family breadwinner. Malcolm Ross and CAFE director Paul Fromm Malcolm Ross’s tour involved private meetings and formal organized gatherings in Toronto, Kitchener, and Ottawa. “The tour is part of the Canadian Association of Journalists and Smart Canadian Pharmacy for Free Expression’s brief to help Canada’s victims of thought crimes legislation,” said Paul Fromm, the association’s director. At the end of the tour, Steve Dumas, an Ottawa activist, presented Malcolm Ross with a cheque for the proceeds of the tour. “You seem more relaxed and confident than on your previous visit to Ottawa. You’re positive. On behalf of all of us, I’d like to present this cheque for your war chest.”
Malcolm Ross and Steve Dumas “After I wrote Spectre of Power in 1978, the succeeding years were ones of uninterrupted police investigations.” The book, which made religious criticisms of some aspects of Judaic belief had immediately occasioned calls by organized minority censor groups for Ross to be fired or charged under Canada’s notorious “hate law.”
However, said Ross, the authorities “were afraid a jury would acquit me and they’d be worse off than before.” “So, I was hauled before a human rights tribunal, a body I have come to despise.” The one-man tribunal consisted of Brian Bruce, a labour arbitrator “who got his contracts from the provincial government.” Then Premier McKenna had said, regarding Ross: “I want that man out of the classroom.” The tribunal ordered his school board to remove Malcolm Ross from the classroom.
A series of appeal followed and led all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. “We should have the right to proclaim Christianity as the religion of Canada,” Ross told his Ottawa audience. The Supreme Court was a dreary experience. Ross’s lawyer Doug Christie of Victoria was ranged against 16 lawyers representing a host of intervenors, all opposed to Malcolm Ross’s right to speak and to teach. At the hearing, one of the Supreme Court judges interrupted Doug Christie and said: “Freedom of religion does not extend to expression that create appearance of harm.” “Thus,” said Ross, “we have a court saying that we cannot proclaim the Kingship of Christ in Canada. Our Canada is going to be one that has no place for Christian values.”
Ross explained that at the original human rights tribunal, there had been absolutely no evidence of a “poisoned atmosphere. Quoting the Supreme Court judgment authored by Mr. Justice La Forest, Ross highlighted the preposterous conclusion: “While the evidence did not establish a direct link between the poisoned educational environment and R[oss’s] anti- semitic views, it is sufficient that the Board [tribunal] found is ‘reasonable to anticipate’ that there was a causal relationship.”
The Supreme Court, said Ross cheerfully and knowingly trampled over his freedom of speech and freedom of religious belief. The Court judgment stated: “After Auschwitz, it is simply not feasible to consider the constitutional values of freedom of expression and freedom of religion where they are proclaimed to shield anti-Semitic conduct. … In interpreting …. the Charter, I believe that the court must be cautious to ensure that it does not simply become an instrument … to roll back legislation which has as its object the improvement of the condition of less advantaged persons.” Mr. Justice La Forest had gone on to state that Jews were “an historically disadvantaged group that had endured persecution on the largest scale.” “There is something of sick humour in this passage,” Ross told his audience. “One look at the court room showed the vast power and influence of Jewish pressure groups; such as, the Canadian Jewish Congress and B’nai Brith, together with the fact that Jewish lawyers represented most of the other appellants such as the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Human Rights Commission.”
Ross explained that the Supreme Court decision flew in the face of Canada’s Christian heritage and common sense. “So now the Supreme Court of justice who, only paragraphs before, was preaching about equality, ‘valuing all divergent views equally’, has now decided that my views, echoing historic Christian convictions on Judaism are only ‘tenuously connected to freedom of expression values’!
Are there still those left who believe that the powerful Zionist lobby cannot make or break politicians? And I am accused of stifling the democratic process!”
Cartoons by Beutel depicting Malcolm Ross