By Mark Steyn - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - 0 Comments
As I have said, section 13 is not a right-left thing
“Coloured people don’t like Little Black Sambo. Burn it. White people don’t feel good about Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Burn it.”
Thus, Ray Bradbury in his prescient 1953 novel Fahrenheit 451. On June 6, the day after Bradbury’s death at the age of 91, the House of Commons passed Brian Storseth’s private member’s bill repealing Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. Fahrenheit 451 draws its name from the temperature at which books burn; Canada’s Fahrenheit 13 is its frosty northern inverse—the temperature at which the state chills freedom of expression. Free speech is the lifeblood of free societies, and, as this magazine has learned over the last half-decade, our decayed Dominion was getting a bad case of hypothermia.
We’re not alone in this. In Britain, Australia, France, Denmark, the Netherlands and many other places, democratic societies have become far too comfortable in policing the opinions of the citizenry. But even by comparison with our Commonwealth cousins and Western Europe, Section 13 and its provincial equivalents are repugnant—practically, philosophically, and operationally.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, June 10, 2010 at 9:01 AM - 29 Comments
So Warren says that Alf told him that someone said something to Ed and Roy. And John says that Alf told him that Jean talked to Ed and Roy and Joe. But Alf says he’s only talked to Warren and John and that he only heard about Jean and Ed because Warren told him. Anyway. Hopefully the guys at the West Beverly Blaze will figure it all out soon.
By Colby Cosh - Thursday, June 10, 2010 at 3:36 AM - 39 Comments
Pardon me for interrupting all the clamour about Liberal-NDP cooperation negotiations, but can I just point out that Warren Kinsella chose consciously to introduce testimony in the form of a sworn legal document here? We should probably take the hint and subject this document to unusually careful reading before we characterize it and riff on it as commentators.
Colleague Geddes refers to it as “an affidavit in which Kinsella says Alfred Apps, the Liberal party president, told him last month about ‘many conversations at a high level’ between Liberals and New Democrats on the possibility of their parties merging.” I beg Geddes’ pardon, but whatever Mr. Kinsella may say elsewhere, his affidavit does not mention any Liberal-New Democrat discussions per se. Apps is quoted as saying “There is a lot of interest in merger in the NDP” and that “There have been many discussions at a high level…involving the NDP saints [whom he described as Broadbent, Romanow].” Apps then goes on to describe the difficult conditions the NDP would have to meet in order for a hypothetical merger to happen: these include renouncing socialism (as opposed to the recent policy of keeping it chained up in the attic like Mrs. Rochester) and stripping the unions of their constitutional power over the New Democrats.
Here are some other things the Kinsella affidavit does not claim: that Apps was the one who brought up the whole merger/cooperation idea to Kinsella in the first place; that Apps was even the one who placed the call to Kinsella; that Apps ordered him to take notes on the conversation (though he reports that he took them); or that Apps thought merger or cooperation were good ideas overall (in Kinsella’s account Apps describes merger as a “profoundly democratic act”, but not necessarily a realistic or desirable one). Nothing factual in the affidavit actually appears to contradict Apps’s statement that he thinks “an ‘opposition coalition’ [is] a crazy idea”.
Apps has also said that “Everything in the affidavit that [Kinsella] describes as cornerstones of a [merger] ‘plan’ were, in fact, reasons my view as to reasons why a merger would and could never occur.” Based on the language of the affidavit as such, that could easily be the case. Especially since those “cornerstones” are, in fact, pretty good reasons such a merger could probably never occur!
Is it possible the whole thing is just the result of a simple disagreement over interpretations of a phone chat? I am not seeing any necessary basis at all for declaring either man a prevaricator. Surely a neutral observer ought to search for the most generous possible explanation for their dispute?
By John Geddes - Wednesday, June 9, 2010 at 5:33 PM - 57 Comments
CBC’s Evan Solomon has just reported about Warren Kinsella having sworn an affidavit in which Kinsella says Alfred Apps, the Liberal party president, told him last month about “many conversations at a high level” between Liberals and New Democrats on the possibility of their parties merging.
As it happens, I interviewed Apps on this general subject last week and last night exchanged emails with him after CBC reported that secret merger talks have taken place between the parties. My story on Apps’s views will be published in the issue of Maclean’s that comes out on Thursday.
But I thought the main thrust of what he told me about the nature of any conversations about a merger might be useful now to those following this story. “There has often been idle banter between Libs and NDP,” Apps said in an email, ” and between Libs and Progressive Conservatives, but I have no knowledge of any serious or genuine discussions.”
He added that he has never talked about the merger concept with Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff or his staff. Of course, Apps does not say he’s never heard the unite-the-left idea kicked around. “When approached on this question informally,” he said, “I have always rejected the idea.”
By Mitchel Raphael - Tuesday, June 1, 2010 at 9:00 AM - 24 Comments
Past and current MPs came out for the hanging of Jean Chrétien’s official portrait…
Past and current MPs came out for the hanging of Jean Chrétien’s official portrait painted by artist Christan Nicholson. Below, Chrétien with the portrait.
Former Liberal MP Martin Cauchon (left) with Liberal MP Denis Coderre.
Aline Chrétien (left) and Laureen Harper.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 4:09 PM - 45 Comments
Liberals employ an antiquated form of transportation to make a point about something.
The Bureau Blog had to ask: “You’re standing in front of a horse and buggy with a big banner, and you’re saying you’re taking the high road?”
“Uh… yes we are,” Mr. Easter replied. “We’ve always taken the high road. We’re outlining the facts in terms of Stephen Harper and his word.”
By kadyomalley - Thursday, July 30, 2009 at 10:30 AM - 183 Comments
BREAKING! MUST CREDIT ITQ: KINSELLA DENIES INVOLVEMENT IN SO-FAR-UNSUPPORTED-BY-INDEPENDENT-EVIDENCE CLAIM OF DASTARDLY LIBERAL-WITH-A-CAPITAL-L INVOLVEMENT IN COMMUNION HOST STORY!
ITQ: Did you, in any way, suggest to the paper — via its editors, or publisher — that they look into the question of what happened to the communion wafer?
WK: I did not, in any way, suggest that story to the Telegraph Journal or any other media person. I in fact do not know anyone at the T-J, at all, and I do not know the former publisher or editor in particular.
Okay, enough with the capslock: We have an official, on the record denial from Warren Kinsella, who, in a post that appeared late last night on LifeSite News, was just-this-side-of-explicitly-accused – by name – of being the perpetrator of the Great Wafer Caper of Aught Nine. Yes, I promise: I’m still taking this Very, Very Seriously — and will continue to pursue it like a mongoose after a cobra. But occasionally, one is struck by the epiphanette that, if aliens were to land outside your front door, knock politely, and ask you to sum up the deeper purpose behind human existence based on whatever you happened to be doing at that exact moment, it would result in a lot of confusedly furled antennae.
Anyway, just so you can all see exactly what was asked, and answered, here’s the rest of our exchange, which was conducted via email earlier this morning, because ITQ — like journalism and also evil — never sleeps:
By Mark Steyn - Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 10:20 AM - 981 Comments
That’s because professional ethnic grievance mongers cry ‘Racist!’ at the drop of a turban
The other day, one of the least soft-headed of Canadian columnists, Lorrie Goldstein, wrote a piece in the Toronto Sun called “Protest backlash unearths racism”:
“Let’s not pretend that much of the condemnation of Tamils in Canada for protesting the plight of Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka isn’t racist.
“Any journalist who’s been around knows what’s going on and we have an obligation to speak up.”
I’ve been around. Well, okay, I’ve been nearby, as Mary Tyler Moore liked to say. And, insofar as I feel an obligation to speak up, it’s only to wonder at how far even the remarkably tensile concept of “racism” can be stretched.
By Martin Patriquin - Friday, April 10, 2009 at 12:08 PM - 0 Comments
And where there is Warren Kinsella, there is drama…
Warren Kinsella fancies himself a bon vivant, a punk rocker and the so-called “Prince of Darkness” of Canadian politics. His political books are thick with tales of dirty tricks and nasty business in Ottawa’s corridors of power, and he is an admitted and most gleeful practitioner of both. His reputation and methods have brought him to the helm of Michael Ignatieff’s “war room,” where he will presumably ply his trade in the Liberal leader’s next election campaign.
Kinsella’s return to the Liberal fold–he went into quasi-exile from the Liberal Party during Prime Minister Paul Martin’s regime, and has an ongoing defamation lawsuit against Martin–has riled the Conservative government enough that party MPs have invoked Kinsella’s name 36 times in the House of Commons in an apparent attempt to discredit Ignatieff. “Kinsella’s thuggish antics have been approved and condoned by the Liberal Party,” said Conservative MP Lois Brown in one typical screed. The attention has at once delighted and inflamed Kinsella, who catalogued the outbursts on his blog. “[T]hey do all that they know how to do: attack, vilify, smear,” he wrote earlier this month. Coming from Kinsella, who once wrote that “negative politics work,” this might well be a compliment. “The political folks I work with know who I am and what I do,” Kinsella wrote in an email to Maclean’s. Apparently so; publicly, Liberals responded with a collective shrug–for the party, Kinsella’s campaign muscle is seemingly worth the dust he kicks up. “Warren’s a great guy, I love him,” said senior Ignatieff advisor Alfred Apps. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, April 9, 2009 at 12:47 PM - 34 Comments
When a Liberal senator tried to move a bill last month that would’ve ended the seal hunt, seven different Conservative MPs were sent up to express their genuine outrage with the senator, Michael Ignatieff and the Liberal party. Elizabeth May and Warren Kinsella were singled out for scorn too.
“This is appalling,” gasped Gail Shea, the Fisheries Minister.
“When will the Liberal leader quit his assault on rural Canadians?” begged Chris Warkentin.
For good measure, Shea’s department sent out three press releases attacking the Liberal side (an improper use of government resources that would eventually necessitate an apology).
One trusts that the Prime Minister’s finely tuned moral compass will demand an equally forceful response to news that Barack Obama’s not much of a fan of the seal hunt either. The letter in question surfaced two weeks ago and received coverage in Newfoundland the next day.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 11:57 AM - 53 Comments
From January 30 through yesterday—a total of 23 sitting days for the House of Commons—eight different Conservative MPs have combined, for reasons one hesitates to consider in public, to reference well-known and periodically infamous Liberal strategist Warren Kinsella, by name, a total of 36 times in the House. Only one, Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl, seemed to do so spontaneously, the other 35 mentions coming in apparently scripted moments.
Michael Ignatieff has taken to laughing, rolling his eyes, sighing or frowning—or some times all four at once—in response. Once he appeared to respond with a version of the international gesture for brushing dirt off one’s shoulder.
Yesterday, as another Conservative stood to offer comment, a Liberal yelped, “People are losing their jobs!”
By Mitchel Raphael - Tuesday, December 23, 2008 at 11:00 PM - 65 Comments
Interim Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff held his holiday party at Toronto’s hip C Lounge….
Interim Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff held his holiday party at Toronto’s hip C Lounge.
Toronto MP Ken Dryden and his wife Lynda.