ARPA Note: Read Ron Gray’s comments on this at No Apologies by clicking here.
OTTAWA, Jan. 27, 2009 – The Christian Heritage Party of Canada and the CHP’s former leader have been notified by the Canadian Human Rights Commission that allegations of ‘hate’ by an Edmonton man against the Party, one of its Electoral District Associations and former leader Ron Gray have been dismissed.
The CHRC dismissed the three complaints because “the content and context of the material which forms the basis of the complaint is not likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt based on sexual orientation,” says the letter from Lucie Veillette, secretary of the Commission, to Ron Gray. “Accordingly, the file on this matter is now closed.”
Gray was critical of the CHRC’s procedures, and the effect its proceedings can have of “chilling” public discussion of important policy issues.
“I wrote to the CHRC about these complaints Feb. 19, 2007–almost two years ago–and have not yet had a reply to that letter,” Gray said. “The proceedings have cost about $50,000. Fortunately, there were people across Canada who believed in free speech enough to cover those costs with voluntary donations.
“I want to thank the hundreds of people who helped to defend free speech rights in Canada by contributing to our legal defense fund.
“But the CHRC’s method of operation is both slipshod and unjust. The complainant bore no costs at all for filing a frivolous and groundless complaint; as Ezra Levant has said, ‘The process is the punishment’–whether the respondent is innocent or guilty.
“The idea of protecting people and groups from ‘hate speech’ that incites to violence is still sound,” Gray said. “But such incitement is already a criminal offence, and the defense against it belongs in criminal court, where the normal rules of evidence and the presumption of innocence apply. In a real court, these ridiculous charges would never have been admitted.”
The new CHP Leader Jim Hnatiuk maintains that the CHP is the only federal political party in Canada that has and will continue to defend “traditional marriage” between one man and one woman.
The new CHP Leader, Jim Hnatiuk, re-affirms the commitment of the CHP to fight for the repeal of Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. “We are the only political party which is taking seriously the threat to our freedom of speech posed by this repressive piece of legislation.”
This follows on the heals of last summer’s fight for freedom of the press, in which Human Rights Commissions were forced to back down from their investigations of Ezra Levant, Macleans Magazine and Mark Steyn.
These cases against the CHP and Ron Gray were a test of the political metal of our Party. Would we kowtow to having our freedom of political opinion taken away? “We did not,” Hnatiuk states, “and we will not!”
Hnatiuk also affirms his Party’s will to fight against the repression of freedom of speech such as suffered by Rev. Stephen Boissoin and Dr. Chris Kempling.
“We’re in this for the long haul; for the sake of all Canadians,” Hnatiuk confirms.
CHP Leader Jim Hnatiuk, 1-888-868-3247 or [email protected]