“Minor bureaucrats indulging strange James Bond fantasies”: The testimony of Mark Steyn to the Justice Committee
Thank you very much, Monsieur le Président, and also to the honourable members of the committee. I am honoured to be here.
I would like to say a quick word—as much as I always enjoy seeing Ms. Raitt—about the defenestration of Mr. Cooper from this committee which I understand is the business of the members of the committee.
I am concerned. I was driving into Ottawa listening to my old friend, Evan Solomon, on the radio who was arguing that in fact, it was perhaps time for Mr. Cooper to be booted from caucus.
That is actually the age we live in, where people can have one infraction and their life implodes, their career implodes, they’re vapourized for it. That is actually one of the most disturbing trends on the free speech issue. The surviving vice-chair of this committee said recently that Jordan Peterson should not be permitted to testify to this committee. Bernie Farber, I believe just last night, said Lindsay Shepherd should be booted from appearing before this committee.
Ms. Shepherd and Mr. Peterson are law-abiding Canadian citizens, and this practice of labelling people and demanding that they be instantly de-platformed, booted from polite society is, in fact, more serious than some of the other matters before this committee.
I was here last time around, 10 years ago, when we got rid of section 13 because it was corrupt in absolutely every aspect of its operation from minor bureaucrats indulging strange James Bond fantasies and playing undercover dress-up Nazis on the Internet to pathetic rubber stamp jurists who gave section 13 a 100% conviction rate that even respectable chaps like Kim Jong-Un and Saddam Hussein would have thought was perfectly ridiculous.
The worst aspect of it was secret trials, secret trials in Ottawa, not in Tehran or Pyongyang, but in Ottawa. I discovered it one evening before dinner and I emailed my friends at Maclean’s and the eminent barrister Julian Porter whom I see the Prime Minister recently retained as his Q.C., that’s how respectable he is. Julian, in a couple of hours, wrote a motion referencing Viscount Haldaneand Ambard versus Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago, real law, not the pseudo law of section 13, and did what John did. Julian’s motion opened up that dank, fetid dungeon of pseudo justice to the public to the people of Canada and after 20 minutes in the cleansing sunlight that John talked about, the unimpressive jurist in that case, Athanasios Hadjis, decided that section 13 was unconstitutional and he wasn’t going to have anything more to do with it. Sunshine works.
The most important aspect, while we’re quoting judges, John Moulton wrote a famous essay a century ago on the realm of manners. He said the measure of a society is not what one is forbidden to do, which is to murder and steal and rape, and not what one is compelled to do, such as pay the taxes or join the army or whatever, but you measure a society by the space in between, the realm of manners, where free people regulate themselves. Canadians do not bash gays, or lynch minorities because they are enjoined by the state not to do so. They do so because they are operating in Lord Moulton’s realm of manners where free people, civilized people regulate themselves. That is where the internal contradictions of a fractious multicultural society should be played out.
The idea of bureaucrats once again getting into this business is deeply disturbing. They didn’t have enough work last time. They had to actually. Shortly before the Maclean’s case which was the one I was involved in, the senior counsel of the Canadian Human Rights Commission actually went to Toronto to speak to various groups to say they weren’t getting enough cases and that’s why people should file more complaints.
Ultimately, free speech is hate speech, and hate speech is free speech. It’s for the speech you hate, the speech you revile. The alternative to free speech is approved speech, and that necessarily means approved by whom? Approved by yourself as a citizen, if you don’t want to have Lindsay Shepherd over to dinner, as Bernie Farber doesn’t, that’s fair enough, but once it becomes speech approved by the state, and speech approved by formal bodies, it effectively means the speech approved by the powerful.
The biggest threat to free speech at the moment is a malign alliance between governments and big tech doing the kinds of things Lindsay spoke of. The photograph that sums it up is the one of Mr. Trudeau with Ms. May, Ms. Ardern and President Macron sitting across the table from the heads of Facebook, Twitter, Google and Apple. Six woke billionaires who presume to regulate the opinions of all seven billion people on this planet. That is far more of a threat than some pimply 17-year-old neo-Nazi tweeting in his mother’s basement somewhere out on the Prairies. That issue is the real threat to genuine liberty in our society.
I cannot believe that a mere 10 years on we are talking about restoring this law. It was appalling and unfortunately, this committee and the House never actually confronted it in reality. I will finally say this on a personal note. I was born in Canada; I love Canada; I would die for Canada; I am old-fashioned enough to take the allegiance of citizenship seriously, but no monarch, no Parliament, no government, and certainly no bureaucratic agency operating the pseudo-law of section 13 can claim jurisdiction over my right to think freely, to read freely, to speak freely and to argue freely. Thank you very much, sir.
Monday’s march for the 2nd Amendment in Richmond, Virginia went off without a hitch. Contrary to early reports that “swarms” of “white nationalists” would be descending upon the Virginia state capitol to protest gun control laws enacted by the commonwealth’s General Assembly, most—if not all—of the gun rights activists remained orderly and self-composed.
Gun rights marchers expelled speakers who called for violence. In one instance, an antifa member “Goad Gatsby” called out a neo-Nazi named Jovi Val, who allegedly wore a swastika to the event.
Despite the peaceful protest, NBC reporters portrayed the event in negative terms, and even lied about it. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes claimed in a broadcast that the rally sent an “explicit and implicit message” of “don’t you dare enact our policies, if you do, we will use these guns against you.” If anything, the Framers would be proud of seeing Americans generations ahead of them stand up for their God-given rights to defend themselves against the tyranny of an overbearing government.
The media’s message is that standing up for your rights is a violent action in and of itself—it’s a narrative that continues to be propped up. Writing for the men’s publication, disgraced New Yorker fact-checker Talia Lavin says that “the threat of violence in Richmond,” and the few arrests of alleged neo-Nazis planning violence that were made prior to the event “sent other groups into hiding.”
A Canadian neo-Nazi is currently being prosecuted for his alleged intention to commit violence in Richmond. He recorded a video calling for “violent revolution” ahead of his failed attempt to participate in the gun rights rally.
According to Lavin’s spin, the thousands of protesters attending the rally (which includes activists from the Black Panthers movement, pro-gay rights libertarians, 2nd wave feminists, and many others who support the right to bear arms) only “grumblingly abided” Governor Ralph Northam’s state of emergency declaration. The description she uses to describe the marchers is biased, to say the least:
“But just outside the legions of police barricades, twice that number of people roamed the streets of Richmond bearing a bristling mass of rifles, from AR-15s to massive Barrett sniper rifles. Some wore skull masks; others waved Confederate flags. Members of hate groups like the League of the South and the American Guard, as well as the Proud Boys, mingled openly; some of the latter were wearing patches that said “RWDS”—an acronym for “Right-Wing Death Squad.” Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones gave a speech from a Terradyne battle tank.”
A Terradyne “battle tank”? Really?
Firstly, the Terradyne is a glorified SUV. And second, even APCs aren’t tanks. Those BearCats the police use? Yeah, those aren’t tanks either. Come on, journalists—you can’t keep confusing Remington 870s for AR-15s.
Digression aside, the mention of “skull masks,” “massive Barrett sniper rifles,” and “Confederate flags” paints a less-than-friendly picture of the march. But as video footage of the march itself exists, it’s a false depiction of a peaceful event that’s very easily dispelled. We can watch the footage too, you know.
One can see now why Lavin was forced to resign from her position as fact-checker at the New Yorker after falsely accusing an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent of having a Nazi tattoo. The tattoo in question was a Maltese Cross, often seen in paramedic and firefighter insignias. One wonders if she will issue a correction properly describing the event from an unbiased, fact-based perspective.
Lavin then concedes, or more accurately laments, the fact that no one was shot at the event, describing it as “a frankly extraordinary turn of events given the sheer amount of weaponry, the density of the crowd, and the weapons stuffed casually into backpacks or held loosely in the crooks of pale arms.”
“Pale arms.” The subtext is clear: white people who stand up for their right to self-determination are prone to acts of violence.
There’s an old saying made popular by gun rights activists that holds true, especially following the media’s inability to reconcile the abundance of firearms with the lack of violence: an armed society is a polite society.
Diverging, or at least pretending to diverge from the mainstream view that “man with guns = bad,” Lavin opines that both “fringe-right publications” as well as the mainstream media declared the event a “peaceful protest.” Why, it seems that reality may indeed have a conservative bias. None of this matters to Lavin, of course, who argues that violence was only “narrowly averted” because some wingnuts from a neo-Nazi organization called The Base were arrested prior to the event.
This is, of course, a poor read on the event. While neo-Nazis may have in fact been planning to enact violence at the Virginia state capitol, the fact remains that the estimated 22,000 people who walked for their right to bear arms had nothing but peaceful intentions. Also worth noting is the fact that the 22,000 figure, provided by Richmond authorities, is whittled down to a mere 6,000 by Lavin in her piece. Surely giving readers the impression that more than a few thousand people care about their 2nd Amendment rights is a fact that would fly in the face of her narrative that it’s an issue only dangerous neo-Nazi skull masks care about.
The piece is full of “what ifs” and “could haves”—what if The Base members weren’t arrested? They could’ve killed thousands of people, surely. Wouldn’t that feed ratings for an entire news cycle?
“There was, it was true, an absence of immediate bloodshed,” continues Lavin. “But what abounded, in that armed and insurrectionist sea of humanity, was the promise that bloodshed might happen at any time, should the will of the mob be thwarted.”
The promise of bloodshed isn’t a promise being made by those defending the 2nd Amendment. As the events in Waco and Ruby Ridge tell us, the only real bloodshed would be caused by a government overreaching and tyrannical in its nature. The right to bear arms is what prevents such violence from being enacted unto the citizenry. Thus always to Tyrants.
Jessica Yaniv was arrested for the assault of a Canadian journalist on over the weekend. According to Keean Bexte, the journalist who was assaulted by Yaniv on camera outside of the B.C. courts on January 14, 2020, Yaniv spent time behind bars on the charge of assault. She may face up to five years for the assault.
There was widespread speculation that Yaniv was arrested over the weekend, but The Post Millennial and other outlets were unable to verify the claims at the time. Bexte, being the alleged victim in this particular case, was able to confirm the arrest Wednesday afternoon.
When reached for comment, Bexte said, “Yaniv has been ordered to cease all contact with me, both directly and indirectly. I can’t wait for the day when Yaniv is put away for the long haul. He is dangerous and unpredictable.”
Even if Yaniv is behind bars, the civil litigations brought by Bexte and Hamm against Yaniv for assault and defamation respectively can proceed. According to Bexte, Yaniv would be court-ordered to appear for the civil litigations as planned.
Yaniv was released back into the community after the arrest and will appear in court in February. She will also appear in court in February for two prohibited weapons charges.
Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the JCCF as representing Amy Eileen Hamm in litigation. Hamm is being represented by Carey Linde and lawyer Jay Cameron. The Post Millennial regrets the error.
The Philadelphia Flyers’ beloved mascot Gritty is being investigated by police after a father claimed that the big orange furry monster punched his 13-year-old son in the back.
Chris Greenwell took his son Brandon to the Wells Fargo Center for a November meet and greet photoshoot with the beloved, google-eyed mascot.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Greenwell claims that “Brandon playfully patted the mascot on the head after the photo was taken. As Brandon walked away, Gritty got out of his chair, ‘took a running start,’ and ‘punched my son as hard as he could,’ Greenwell said Wednesday.”
“We took Mr. Greenwell’s allegations seriously and conducted a thorough investigation that found nothing to support this claim,” said a spokesperson for the Philidelphia Flyers.
A police spokesperson has described the alleged incident as a possible “physical assault” that occurred “during a photoshoot with 13-year-old white male and Flyers mascot Gritty. The investigation is active and on-going.”
The hashtag #FreeGritty is now trending on Twitter.
The Ontario teachers’ strikes are proving to be more acrimonious than anyone expected. Some Elementary teachers have now opted out of sending report cards to parents, and have already begun to engage in rotating strikes.
The Ontario government, on the other hand, have offered up to $60 per day for parents who are feeling the fiscal consequences of the strike, and rumours of back to work legislation is being floated around the corridors of Queen’s Park.
The teachers’ strikes are deeply consequential and have affected the day-to-day lives of 13 million Ontarians who live in the most populace province in Canada. Due to the vast impact this strike, and the mainstream media’s lack of balance in the coverage (often siding with the unions and tecahers), The Post Millennial has compiled a list of things you need to know about the Ontario teachers’ strikes.
1. Ontario’s teachers are among the highest paid in the country
Ontario’s teachers are among the best paid in the country. In the Greater Toronto Area, for instance, top teachers can expect to get paid up to $96,000 a year. The average salary for a teachers in Ontario is $89,300 for elementary teachers and $92,900 for high school teachers. In contrast, the average Ontarian earns $55,000 per year.
2. Ontario teachers are taking more and more sick days
A 2017 study found that teachers have been taking more and more sick days over the past five years. On average, sick days have increased by over 30 percent. In 2020, another report revealed even starker results with teachers taking 70 percent more sick days than over a decade ago.
3. Teachers get a whole lot of time off
Ontario’s teacher’s have a pretty great job. Not only do they get paid a wage that is far higher than the average Ontarian, they also get a lot of time off. Due to breaks in the school year, teachers are allowed three whole months off, on top of the aforementioned sick days.
4. Teachers’ Unions are spending big bucks to win the PR war
So far, the OSSTF has spent $336,389 on Facebook ads alone. These ads usually attack the Ford government and have been running since June. In one week alone, they spent over $40,000. They’re also waging a war of words against Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce through the mainstream press.
5. The Ontario government has already made concessions, but unions won’t meet in the middle
Premier Doug Ford has offered numerous concessions to the teachers’ unions from the government’s initial demands. Ford, for example, offered to meet the teachers half-way on classroom size. This, however, was not good enough for the teachers, and they walked away from the negotiation table. They’re also refusing to send report cards to parents and help out in after school activities, despite claiming the strikes are primarily for the students, not their pay cheques.
6. Ontario’s students are flunking math tests
If you’re going to teach mathematics to a new generation of students, you should probably have to prove that you have some basic ability to do so. This hardly unreasonable request, however, created some tension with the teachers’ unions. Despite EQAO tests showing all-time lows, the unions were upset that teachers had to score at least 70 percent in a math test.
7. Ontario’s debt is astronomically high
After a decade of Liberal government, Ontario’s debt stands at over $350,000,000,000. This figure constitutes one of the highest sub-national debts in the world. Due to this, the Ford government is trying to cut back public sector salaries, which means slowing down the rate at which teachers are paid. Teachers in Ontario also have what many experts consider to be a great pension package.