Friday, May 1, 2009

Alan Borovoy retires

After over four decades of civil rights activism Alan Borovoy is stepping down as General Counsel of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. Among a host of other accomplishments, he played a significant role in events that led to the establishment of "Human Rights" Commissions and Tribunals which have since mutated into abusive kangaroo courts. He has recently acknowledged concerns about their threat to freedom of expression:

... Freedom of expression in Canada still needs protection. When human-rights laws and commissions first were established, the idea, Borovoy said, was to combat rampant discrimination in the workforce and housing market.

No one dreamed the legislation and commissions would be used against legitimate free speech, yet in the case of Maclean's magazine, for example, they were. In 2008, the British Columbia Human Rights Commission, in response to a complaint by the Canadian Islamic Congress, ruled that a 2006 Maclean's article did not violate the province's hate-speech law.

Borovoy, an opponent of Canada's hate-speech laws, said he does not believe that we have to choose between accepting vile statements, between doing nothing, and enforcing a law like the hate law. There are other responses that we're capable of."

There is, as Alan Borovoy says, work still to do. The biggest threat to that work, to the cause of civil liberties in Canada, said Borovoy, is public apathy.

If Mr. Borovoy has been keeping up with all the activities of "Human Rights" Commmissions (e.g. if he’s read Ezra Levant’s book, "Shakedown") he will be aware that they’re abusing more than our freedom of speech. In retirement he should take up advocacy for reforming what he helped create while on the job.

[H/t: Blazing Cat Fur]