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Free speech under attack
by Rob Breakenridge
First they came for the basement-dwelling neo-Nazi recluse . . .
Until recently, it was no easy task galvanizing Canadians behind the notion that freedoms of speech and the press were at risk from runaway human rights commissions.
In the past, if such a case warranted attention, usually the preponderance of evidence against the accused outweighed -- or even masked -- concerns about the process itself. It's difficult to get too worked up over some racist being put through the wringer.
Certainly the human rights complaints filed against two news magazines -- Western Standard and Maclean's -- have taken the debate to a whole new level. Individuals and organizations who had never spoken out against these kinds of complaints, or even thought much of them at all, were suddenly vocal both in their opposition to the process and their demand for reform.
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