This morning Mark Steyn testified as a witness at a hearing on “online hate” held in the Canadian House of Commons by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. As you might expect, the occasion was one in which sanctimonious progressive pols hectored, badgered, bullied, and otherwise coerced witnesses to fall in line with Party doctrine on immigration, Multiculturalism, Islam, etc.
Mr. Steyn, however, refused to be bullied. He repaid his tormentors in kind, and threw in extra invective just for them.
He was superb. The next time I run into him I’ll say, “Steyn, you magnificent bastard! I heard your testimony.”
No video was allowed at the committee hearing (see Vlad Tepes’ post below for more on that), so the video below is audio-only, to which photographs have been added.
Before you watch it, a word on the cast of characters: Besides the witnesses, committee members are present in the hearing room. However, since I can’t see their faces, I can’t identify any of them. I assume the committee chair, Anthony Housefather, is one of those asking the questions.
Below is a list of committee members, taken from Wikipedia:
Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights
Anthony Housefather, Chair (Liberal)
Randy Boissonnault (Liberal)
Ali Ehsassi (Liberal)
Colin Fraser (Liberal)
Iqra Khalid (Liberal)
Ron McKinnon (Liberal)
Arif Virani, Parliamentary Secretary (Liberal)
Michael Cooper, Vice-Chair (Conservative)
Michael Barrett (Conservative)
David MacKenzie (Conservative)
Tracey Ramsey (New Democratic)
You can also find a list of members on the House of Commons website.
The “Mr. Garrison” mentioned in the transcript is Randall Garrison, an MP for the New Democratic Party, who for some unexplained reason was allowed to ask questions, even though he’s not a member of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights (he sits on the Defence Committee).
The article by Mark Steyn referenced in one of the questions is “The Future Belongs to Islam”, which was published by Maclean’s on October 20, 2006.
I transcribed and timed this four-minute excerpt, and Vlad Tepes was kind enough to subtitle it:
Below is Vlad’s take on Mr. Steyn’s appearance before the
Star Chamber parliamentary committee:
Short segment of parliamentary committee badgering Mark Steyn on ‘hate speech’
This morning an odious procedure took place in Canada’s increasingly Soviet-like parliamentary committee on ‘hate speech’, where three worthy witnesses, Lindsay Shepherd, John Robson, and Mark Steyn, defended freedom of speech, which is to say they are against the Trudeau government’s proposition that Section 13 of the Hate Speech Act be reinstituted into the criminal code of Canada.
A reporter from RAIR Foundation, at the hearings this morning, explained to me that had they committed an actual crime and been on trial for it, their lawyer, and quite probably the judge, would never have allowed the defendant to be treated the way these volunteer witnesses for freedom had been treated.
Before you watch the video, it may help you to understand the intentions and fairness of this committee to know two things.
1. The Committee voted before this started not to televise the video of it. So there is only audio of it. We can only guess as to why they chose not to broadcast video, as it was a “non-debatable motion” not to broadcast to which most agreed not to broadcast, and one abstained. 2. They passed another odd motion: not to name the New Zealand shooter and not to quote from his manifesto, even though it was irrelevant to this hearing. However it does relate to an event last week where a conservative MP used facts from the manifesto to counter a false claim, and for which he was immediately reprimanded. This second motion, as I see it, is Orwell’s last prediction. Loosely quoting: “The future is a boot on humanity’s face for pretty much all eternity”.
|0:01||Mr. Steyn, I think you essentially admitted to the fact that|
|0:05||you have said obnoxious and hurtful things in the past. Would you stipulate it?|
|0:11||—I’ve been in this business a long time, and I don’t think you’d find anyone, including|
|0:16||most of my editors, who would find me anything other than obnoxious, unpleasant, and hurtful.|
|0:22||—OK. So would you agree that the article you wrote in Maclean’s, “The Future Belongs to Islam”,|
|0:29||where you stated, “It’s the end of the world as we’ve known it.”|
|0:33||Would you agree that’s alarmist? That’s obnoxious?|
|0:36||—Well, actually, that’s a bit of a problem. This is what the — and with respect to Mr. [Randall] Garrison|
|0:41||thinking this is all academic and mumbo-jumbo — that’s what the — m’learned friends would call|
|0:46||“res judicata”: The thing has been adjudicated.|
|0:49||I was taken to three… —Would you say that that’s obnoxious and… —I was — no.|
|0:53||No, I was taken to… —I thought I asked you… would you say… would you admit that…|
|0:56||—three human rights tribunals, and I won, sir. I won. If you wanna take me to court for a fourth time…|
|1:01||—I asked you a question, a very specific question… —I won. No. That’s been adjudicated,|
|1:05||and I’m in the clear. I beat the rap. On — in British Columbia, at the federal commission, and in Ontario…|
|1:11||—I don’t think it’s been adjudicated as to whether you were obnoxious, or you were hurtful.|
|1:15||—No, as I said, it’s so stipulated, sir. —No, but, that’s not what|
|1:18||you were adjudicated… [?]… —That is… that is… —Would you agree with that?|
|1:22||The — am I obnoxious? I sat… —whether you were obnoxious or not…|
|1:25||I sat in the Robson Street [Square] courthouse in Vancouver… —Yup…|
|1:28||—and heard an expert witness flown in from Philadelphia discourse on the quality of my jokes,|
|1:34||some of which are indeed obnoxious, hurtful. I think that is better left to… —Thank you for that…|
|1:39||—an article in “The Literary Review of Canada”. —Sure. Absolutely. Now, you also objected to|
|1:43||Chris Cuomo, the CNN commentator, saying, “The real problem is white supremacists in America.|
|1:50||They’re the real monsters.” You took issue with that. Why did you take issue with that statement?|
|1:55||Well, actually, I’m not sure I have any particular…|
|2:01||Here’s the thing: I’m not… My QC in that case, Julian Porter — also the prime minister’s QC —|
|2:07||he took the position… —Would you stick to Mr. Cuomo? Why are you [?]… —I’m answering your question.|
|2:12||He took the principled position that we have nothing to defend under Canadian law.|
|2:18||I am not here, sir, to justify to you words I have used on TV in the United States,|
|2:25||radio in Australia… —I just [?] Mr. Cuomo… —And I do not intend to do it.|
|2:29||The words I chose are the words I chose… —[?] Mr. Cuomo? —And you are free to interpret them as you so wish.|
|2:34||—I want to ask you a very simple question: Why did you [?] Cuomo? —No. You’re doing|
|2:37||what is the most, perhaps the most repugnant aspect of this… —No, I asked you a question;|
|2:40||it’s an open-ended question… —No. You’re doing what is the most repulsive aspect of this committee,|
|2:46||which is, you’re trying to force people to deny certain things they said five, ten, fifteen years ago…|
|2:52||—I’m asking questions; that’s my job here… —As if there is only one correct position|
|2:57||on Islam… —No, I’m just [?] asking you a question; I think that’s my job here… —on immigration, on climate change,|
|3:01||on transgender bathrooms, on same-sex marriage.|
|3:05||We cannot keep going on saying, “This is the correct line,|
|3:08||and if you don’t… —Mr. Steyn, I have to say… —you’re not willing to sign on to that, you’re a hater.”|
|3:12||—that I completely agree with Mr. Garrison. This isn’t an abstract exercise, and I’m just asking you a simple question.|
|3:17||—Well, I’ll tell you something with respect to that, too. I’m not going to bandy death threats|
|3:21||with Mr. Garrison; I take it he’s had them. I appeared on stage at the Danish parliament,|
|3:27||had to be protected by Danish secret police, security service, the secret service.|
|3:33||The British Foreign Office and the United States Department of State said it was not safe|
|3:38||for British nationals or U.S. citizens to go near that event. When I appeared there five years before,|
|3:44||in the five… I was on stage with four… —Mr. Steyn, I [?] a simple question. —I was on stage with four other people,|
|3:48||one of whom had her restaurant firebombed, the other of whom had… —Could you answer the questions, Mr. Steyn?|
|3:52||—had his event shut up… —Could you kindly answer the question?|
|3:55||No, I’m telling… I’m telling you that there are all kinds of people who get|
|4:00||death threats. And if the alternative is surrendering our liberty… —No, that’s not what I’m [?]…|
|4:04||—over death threats, to hell with that, sir! —Thank you, thank you, thank you…