Monday, April 04, 2005

I know this can't continue; I've still a lot to prove

Mike Brock has heard that the publication ban just might get a lot uglier: It has been suggested to me by what is admittedly second-hand information, that Justice John Gomery will consider charging any Canadian blogger who not only provides a link to a site containing banned material, but any Canadian blogger who “names the site containing the banned material.” If this is true, and I hope it’s not, then this would demonstrate firsthand what I have long believed, the true ineffectual nature of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which by it’s very nature, allows for massive legislative and judicial abuse, subjugating the rights that were intended to be, and most Canadians expect, are absolutes. Damn straight. At times like these, it's key to remember what makes the Charter so impotent as a guarantor of rights, compared to the US Constitution: positive law, rather than negative law. It's very easy to say that "[Everyone has] freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression," but invoking that clause means relying on the goodwill of the executive and judiciary to uphold it. If they're not inclined to, for obvious reasons, there's nothing that can be done. On the other hand, "Congress shall make no law" explicitly acknowledges that the legislature has no general right to control free expression. Canadians have to be content with whatever rights our Liberal masters will deign to grant us, whenever they feel like it. Are you happy now, Trudeau-deifiers? On a more immediate level, the bloat of what's considered reasonable in order to keep a handle (or at least the pretense of one) on the publication ban is most worrying. If even mentioning the location of forbidden information - no direct instructions, but only mentioning in passing as a fact the person responsible for spreading the information, as Colby Cosh very carefully did - violates a publication ban, then what doesn't? Does linking to someone who's linked to the doubleplusungood information count? Will we be allowed to acknowledge that there is an American blog, easily found by Google, that has the information? Will it become illegal to acknowledge that someone, somewhere, has information that Canadian law would rather be kept away from us, because the knowledge that it's available might spur others to expend the trivial effort required to find it? One thing's for certain: I am going to savour this example of Canadian law as a hideously bad actor for a long, long time. Next time some liberal (or Liberal) tries to sell the argument that Americans live in a culture where dissent is routinely and ruthlessly crushed, the oppressive opposite of the sweet, open and polite Canadian polity, I am going to laugh and laugh.


Anonymous Rauvin Manhas said...

I know that this ban is in place to supposedly protect the rights of those testifying so that they receive a fair trial when their charges go to court.

But I really don't see what right the government has to interfere with our free speech. They can go to hell if they think we will let them dictate to us what we are allowed to talk about.

of course, you might want to remove the link to my site, as it contains links to the offending unnamed american site in question.

4/04/2005 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Awesome post, Paul.

4/04/2005 10:48:00 PM  

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