Alberta HRC tosses complaint against Levant

The Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission has dismissed the complaint against Conservative activist and former publisher of the now-dufunct Western Standard Ezra Levant.

The complaint was filed by the Edmonton Council of Muslim Communities against Levant over his republication of the Danish Muhammad cartoons in 2006. The dismissal notice can be read in full here, and Levant wrote an op-ed in the National Post after the announcement.

On his blog, Levant writes:

I suppose an optimist would say this is a sign of progress: the HRCs are now vulnerable enough to public opinion that they thought they’d throw me back in the ocean – like the Canadian Human Rights Commission recently did with Mark Steyn and Fr. Alphonse de Valk. They’re in damage control mode. That should give us encouragement.But we shouldn’t be too giddy. Because look closely at what Gundara has said. He didn’t say I was free. He said I merely met his censorship standards, so I may go. Those are two completely different things.

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) issued a statement welcoming the decision and CAJ president mary Agnes Welch noted that human rights commissions were never intended to “act as language nannies.” The association also said:

The CAJ also notes with muted satisfaction that the Canadian Human Rights Commission dismissed a complaint against Maclean’s magazine earlier this summer. The CAJ, however, renews its call for the federal and provincial governments to amend human rights legislation to prevent commissions from being used by complainants to attack freedom of speech in future. The absurdity of the current system is underlined by the fact that although complaints against Maclean’s were dismissed nationally and in Ontario, the same complaint was heard by a human rights tribunal in B.C., which has yet to deliver a decision.

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