Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Charter Cult & the Nanaimo Debacle

Ezra Levant really made short work of the jabronis on Nanaimo City Council. But though the battle is won, no one should think the war is over. It's far from it.

By now this is a fairly well-travelled story: Nanaimo city council was upset that a local Christian group had rented out the Vancouver Island Convention Centre to host a webcast of a Christian leadership conference emanating from Atlanta. The conference was sponsored by Chik-Fil-A, whose COO apparently doesn't believe in same-sex marriage.

My disagreement with Dan Cathy (Chik-Fil-A's COO) aside, anyone attempting to boycott or sanction the company is essentially a corny motherfucker. And apparently being overrun by corny motherfuckers, Nanaimo city council voted 7-1 to not only pull the rug out from under the local organizers, but to preemptively ban any organization deemed to be "divisive."

"Divisive" is a new buzzword adopted by corny motherfuckers the world over. It's perhaps the most insipid jargon-ization of a formerly-meaningful word the self-appointed police of political correctness have ever adopted. Jesus, in the '90s Nintendo vs Sega was considered "divisive."

But shining like a beacon of corniness through the corniness of it all was councillor George Anderson. Of all the councillors to vote in favour of the ban-Christians motion he perhaps stood out as the most corny of all the corny motherfuckers. He allowed himself an almost self-congratulatory smirk as he lectured the rest of council about how the Charter allowed the council to ban the conference from using their facility because "hate speech is not allowed."

So you'd almost think that Anderson is really, really into the rights protected by the Charter.

That is until you actually start reading it. You get no further than section 2(a), freedom of conscience and religion, when you start thinking this guy just isn't on the level. Then you keep reading. Section 2(b), freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication. Or section 2(c) freedom of peaceful assembly. Or section 2(d): freedom of association.

So in other words: in Canada Dan Cathy actually has the right to not believe in same-sex marriage. He has the right to express that belief. The Nanaimo organizers of the leadership conference have the right to assemble in order to hear such opinions expressed, even if such opinions were going to be expressed at the conference. (Word is they weren't.) To top it off, the Nanaimo organizers actually have the right to associate, directly or indirectly, with Dan Cathy.

So in voting for this infamous motion, George Anderson -- who smugly invoked the Charter -- managed to trample every single right contained in section two of the Charter. All of them: bar none.

Earlier this year, Canada's left complained to anyone who would listen that the current federal government chose to allow the anniversary of the Charter coming into power to pass unmarked. These are the same people who, like Anderson, have tolerated and advocated for all sorts of abuses of Charter rights, including some -- such as the activities of Canada's oppressive quasi-judicial Human Rights Tribunals -- that cannot be justified in a free or democratic society.

So it turns out that a lot of Canadians who revere the Charter actually do not revere the rights the Charter purports to protect. And perhaps that's just as well: via section 33 of the Charter -- the infamous notwithstanding clause -- any right contained in the Charter can be summarily ignored by any government in Canada willing to do. The Charter is practically self-abrogating. For rights-trampling Charter cultists like George Anderson that's really convenient.

It's also ass-backwards. The Charter is really no stronger than the will of a tyrannical government -- such as, say, that of Pauline Marois, who declared she would invoke section 33 to protect her government's oppressive Quebec Values Charter from Charter scrutiny. (Thank God that was never passed.) So perhaps its just as well that people for whom, for the purpose of their political agenda, those freedoms are terribly inconvenient.

It's time for a new narrative on human rights in Canada. So long as, in the name of the Charter, the rights allegedly guaranteed by the Charter -- which are actually the basis of natural law -- can be summarily stripped away, then the Charter is not a good enough piece of human rights-protecting legislation.

In short: the Charter is not good enough for Canada, and it's the excesses of the Charter cultists that have shown us that. So thank you, George Anderson. You may be a corny motherfucker, and if the citizens of Nanaimo have any sense whatsoever they'll toss you out of their city council at their earliest opportunity. But you've managed to remind us just how hollow a document the Charter really is. You've reminded us that it's time to chop the Charter and rebuild it from the ground up, properly.

But I do wonder what you'll smirk about in future.

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