After seven years, Alberta’s “Human Rights” tribunal decides that free speech thing might not be so bad after all
Seven years of bad luck are over. “Complaints against Alberta newspapers dismissed by human-rights commission,” by Karen Kleiss for the Edmonton Journal, September 23 (thanks to Sounder):
EDMONTON – Alberta’s Human Rights and Citizenship Commission has dismissed nine complaints filed against the Edmonton Journal and the Calgary Herald in connection with a controversial editorial published seven years ago.
The complaints were lodged by Muslim and Palestinian organizations and their supporters, who argued the editorial was likely to incite hatred or contempt toward Palestinian Arabs and Muslims, contrary to Alberta’s Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Act.
In a seven-page decision dated Sept. 21, commission director Marie Riddle dismissed all the complaints.
“Although in my opinion statements made in the editorial . . . were offensive, based on the recent case law, I can find no basis to forward the complaint for a human-rights panel, and I hereby dismiss the complaint,” Riddle wrote.
Journal lawyer Fred Kozak said the editorial expressed the opinion that delegates attending a meeting in Malaysia should condemn the use of suicide bombers as an inappropriate way of bringing about political change.
“Free expression must always include the right to criticize people, organizations and governments,” Kozak said. “It should also include the right to publish a wide variety of views and opinions and perspectives, especially concerning political events in the international community.
“(This decision) recognizes that language is, and will always be, an imperfect way of communicating, and that the expression of opinion will always provoke other expressions of opinion — but that is highly valued in a democracy.”…
At least for now.