Canadian Cabinet Member Slams Human Rights Commission Manipulations as “Dangerous”

Mon May 5, 2008 - 12:15 pm EST

By John-Henry Westen

CALGARY, May 5, 2008 ( - Jason Kenney, the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity gave an address in Calgary Friday where he sounded off on the scandal of Human Rights Commissions (HRC) suppressing freedom in Canada.  The speech marks the first time a high-ranking government official has offered open criticism of the HRC apparatus.

Addressing the Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) Friday, Kenney, labeled "dangerous" the "illiberal tactics" employed by some activists in the name of tolerance, reported Kevin Libin in the National Post.

"I think it’s very important for those of us engaged in anti-racism efforts to ensure the tactics we use, the approaches that we take, are consistent with respect for the liberal values of the Charter of Rights, of the Canadian constitutional framework, of our democratic parliamentary institutions," said Kenney.

"There is a large and growing debate about freedom of expression and the role of the human rights commission, and organizations that seek to use these commissions to deal with what they believe constitutes thoughts or opinions reflective of hatred or xenophobia.  I would also hope that we think long and hard about the central role, the foundational role, of such values as freedom of expression in our constitutional framework, and that we do not lightly undermine those constitutional values in our efforts to combat racism or hatred," he added.

Human Rights Commissions in Canada have been used to repress freedom for many years.  Christian mayors have been fined for refusing to proclaim ‘gay pride days’, teachers suspended for writing against homosexuality outside the classroom, a Christian printer was fined for refusing to print materials for a homosexual activist group, and a bed and breakfast was shut down for refusing to admit a homosexual couple, amongst countless other similar instances.  However, the actions of the HRCs only came under intense public scrutiny after complaints were filed against prominent Canadians Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn, both for reportedly offending Muslim sensibilities. 

The latest known attack of the HRCs came in the ruling against a Christian ministry to the disabled in Toronto called Christian Horizons.  The organization was fined $23,000 after a woman who signed onto a Christian lifestyle agreement as a condition of her employment reneged and entered a lesbian relationship and quit the organization, claiming a "poisoned" work environment.  The ruling forbade Christian Horizons from using its Christian Morality statement as a condition of employment, and ordered all its 2,500 employees to be given pro-homosexuality human rights training. 

See the National Post coverage of Kenney’s speech:

See related coverage:

Huge Christian Ministry to Disabled Fined $23,000 For Rejecting Homosexual Employee

Ontario Human Rights Tribunal Ruling Denies Christian Ministry’s Right to be Christian

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