Monday, May 18, 2015

George Jonas on Alan Borovoy

George Jonas: When my old leftist friend, Alan Borovoy, saw the light
A few days ago I reminisced about an old friend in this space, the founder and General Counsel of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, A. Alan Borovoy, who passed away last weekend.

... I noted that he and I agreed on almost nothing, except the importance of liberty.

... Central to our debates were Canada’s human rights commissions: The laws and institutions Borovoy and like-minded civil libertarians, mostly leftwing activists, created, or at least played a major role in creating, ... Alan and his friends couldn’t imagine how civil liberties had anything to fear from laws and organizations they themselves, champions of civil liberties, were bringing to life.

... In the 1980s, with civil liberties already halfway down the throat of the voracious state, Alan was still dismissing the slippery slope as a shopworn myth. It took him another decade and a half to change his mind.

... By 1998 he did. “Ever since the government embarked on a course of trying to outlaw expressions of hatred, it’s shown that there is a slippery slope. One thing has led to another,” he said in relation to a proposed “hate speech” legislation in British Columbia. ..

... once he saw the light, Alan didn’t pull his punches. He was as outspoken in defending freedom against his own creation, the human rights bureaucracy, as he had been defending it against its traditional enemies. 

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