The Right Coast

April 15, 2004
Those darn Canadians
By Tom Smith

What are they up to in the great white North? This piece in US News claims a bill which would outlaw traditional criticisms of homosexual behavior (e.g. "It's wrong!") is on the verge of passing in our giant but mostly uninhabited northern neighbour. Brian Leiter says the report is error-ridden, and I can only say, I certainly hope so. Indeed, I hope it is completely false. If hate speech is outlawed, what next? Dislike speech? Not-very-enthusiastic speech? If lack of enthusiasm is outlawed, how many Canadians will manage to stay out of jail?

If you said "I believe in every moral proposition in the Bible", could you go to jail? Are you going to have to say "I believe in every moral proposition in the Bible, except those inconsistent with the Canadian Anti-Hate Speech and Fish Preservation Act of 2004" (or whatever they call it)?

What about criticism of the Act itself? Is anti- anti-Hate Speech Act speech itself hate speech? Why would you criticize the act that prohibited hate speech against gays unless you hated gays. Hmmmm? Well? Do you? Looks like it's the reeducation camp for you, eh? Hope you like fish head stew.

What I want to know is, how can you have a respectable secret police if they wear those ranger hats and jhodpurs? Maybe some of the al-Quaeda types on their way to the US could be induced to stay and try their hand at thought policing? Problem though--they're not too fond of the whole boy meets boy thing either. Well, maybe they could be brainwashed or something. You can do wonderful things with technology these days.

I think we need the British at a moment like this. Can't they send over Lord Puffy or somebody, and he can meet with the top Canadians and say "Look, old bean, rights, what what?, rum sort of thing, cheerio, can't throw a chap in jail for his views, what?, not on, don'tchaknow?, there's a good chap!" Then the Canadians can run around in circles, have a crisis of confidence and go back to the Anglo-American tradition of freedom or something like it.