08.10.2017 08:52 AM

Right here: live-reporting the Your Ward News-Canada Post hearing

As you know, a panel is reviewing Minister Judy Foote’s (appropriate, proper) decision to order Canada Post to stop delivering the neo-Nazi rag, Your Ward News. 

Yesterday was day two of the review. I didn’t see any reporters there, so I’ve decided to provide some ongoing updates. I’ll be posting them here, linkless and bulleted, for your enlightenment. 

A summary of yesterday:

  •  The lead panellist started by apologizing for – yet again – sharing the private information of various victims with the neo-Nazis. This has happened more than once, and it has given everyone the impression the panel doesn’t know what it’s doing – or is wholly disorganized. 
  • The day was mostly made up with submissions by the racists (Paul Fromm), or the lawyers who are supporting/working for the racists. They include high-priced criminal lawyer Frank Addario’s firm; Professor Cameron from Osgoode Hall Law school; and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. 
  • None were particularly effective. Most of their argument went like this: “The Nazis we support haven’t been charged criminally yet, so what’s the problem?” Inviting someone to charge your client criminally doesn’t seem like a very smart strategy, to me. Someone just might, you know, do it. 
  • The Nazis’ lawyers also argued, simultaneously, that the panel had great adjudicative powers, or none at all. Make sense to you? Me neither. 
  • The AG’s lawyer didn’t have a narrative. He argued piecemeal. He got lost in the weeds. Not helpful. 
  • The panel, meanwhile, was clearly (and understandably) vexed that the AG plans to shortly withdraw, and leave the victims to the tender mercies of Addario s cross-examination. Personally, I think they’re right. The authorities let Zundel put the Holocaust on trial; 30 years later, the authorities are about to let the Hitler freaks and white supremacists who run Your Ward News do likewise.
  • I am naturally biased, but my friends who represent CIJA, B’nai Brith and the Wiesenthal Centre clearly have a better understanding of the law and the issues, here. They will be continuing today. 

Today’s report:

  • No media here. Plenty of far-Right kooks, however. 
  • B’nai Brith lawyer smartly argues that Canada Post had a contract, and the contract permitted them to terminate delivery without notice. They terminated, and were right to do so. And they gave reasons. 
  • Mark Freiman, the legal giant who represents CIJA, is up. In the first 30 seconds, he has already pointed out why it is a mistake to permit the Nazis’ lawyers to rebut and rebut and rebut. Brilliant. 
  • Mark points out that the panel can’t “bootstrap” itself into more powers. It can only investigate, report and recommend. That’s it. They are not a court of superior jurisdiction. The Minister still decides. 
  • Mark reminds everyone there are two sections of the Charter at play – yes, the section 2 rights of even Nazis. Yes. But also the (forgotten) rights of minority communities to be protected from government-facilitated discrimation and hatred under section 15. Brilliantly done. 
  • Mark swiftly slices and dices white supremacist leader Paul Fromm. In 30 seconds. Goes on to say he and his ilk seek to foster fear and discrimination. “What is objectionable is hatred and criminally defaming.”
  • Freiman concludes by saying that the Nazis are arguing against “prior restraint” in their case – but they want to restrain Jews, gays, women and other victims from testifying. Rich, that. 
  • The Nazis’ lawyer is going down in flames as the hearing concludes. She/they desperately want to keep victims of these haters from testifying. And we all know why. 

1 Comment

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    Jean says:

    Thank you WK for your clear summary of arguments in this case.

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