Another day, another lawsuit by a bully in the “human rights” industry trying to shut me up. I’m not sure why those geniuses think this one will gag me, when the previous 19 suits haven’t.
I received it when I was on my blogging hiatus in September, so I haven’t posted it until now. I filed my statement of defence earlier this month, which you can see here.
It’s a frivolous suit, but it will cost me money to defend against all the same. It’s a SLAPP suit – strategic litigation against public participation. The public participation is my criticism of Canada’s abusive human rights commissions. It’s the same reason why Kinsella filed two law society complaints against me, trying to get me disbarred.
It’s malicious prosecution and it’s an abuse of process, but that’s how Warren Kinsella rolls – here are 1, 2, 3, 4 other bloggers he’s tried to bully this way, just off the top of my head. I’m sure there’s more.
The only question is: will it work?
Will Kinsella’s attempt to bully me – and disbar me, and cost me $50,000 plus the same in legal fees – get me to stop advocating for freedom of speech, and the abolition of Canada’s tyrannical human rights commissions? Can Kinsella destroy me? That’s clearly his goal.
Gentle reader, what do you think?
Here’s what I think. Every time someone like Kinsella or his friends hit me with a human rights complaint, defamation action or law society complaint, I think: “this proves my point. These are fundamentally illiberal people. They can’t convince me I’m wrong, so they’re trying to bully me into silence.”
In other words, they prove my point for me.
That gets me fired up.
Before the age of the Internet, I’d be flattened by the legal bills involved. But thanks to my blog, I’ve received help from hundreds of people around the world who think this fight is as important as I do. When the stress of paying lawyers’ bills is taken away from me, I have to admit I actually love this fight, because it’s for a noble cause, and I really feel we’re winning.
Let me address the substance of his suit for a moment – which is all it needs.
Earlier this year, Kinsella met with the bigoted Canadian Islamic Congress, the people who hauled Mark Steyn and Maclean’s magazine to three human rights commissions on charges of “Islamophobia”. On his website, Kinsella bragged about meeting the CIC’s complainants, and he helpfully published a press release for them. I linked to Kinsella’s site, and called his aid and comfort to the CIC “repulsive”, since Kinsella sits on a committee of the Canadian Jewish Congress which is supposed to fight anti-Semites, not give them political advice and do PR work for them. Here’s exactly what I wrote, and here’s the original post where I wrote it:
Farber’s newest recruit to the CJC, Warren Kinsella, has provided political and media advice to the CIC’s young bigots-in-training, the “sock puppets”. Farber just verbally supports Elmasry. Kinsella — on the CJC’s legal affairs committee — actually rolls up his sleeve and helps the anti-Semites out a bit.
This is the Canadian Jewish Congress in 2008. How repulsive.
That’s it – that, and he’s suing me for $50,000.
Of course, that’s not really what this is about. It’s about Kinsella trying – so far, unsuccessfully – to destroy me, because I dared to disagree with him.
Kinsella first became unhinged about me when I briefly criticized his friend, Richard Warman, the serial human rights litigant and Canada’s leading political censor, in this National Post column last December. Kinsella went apoplectic, denouncing me as a “fraud” on his blog. I laughed it off, and assumed it was just Kinsella’s rage getting the better of him. But I became a bit of an obsession for Kinsella – even his wife told him he should just let it go. He should have listened to his wife.
Instead he got a little bit creepy, writing increasingly wild and incoherent accusations at me on his own blog – and on the National Post’s blog, where he had posting privileges. When he wouldn’t stop his vendetta, they politely asked him to leave.
Kinsella kept at it on his own website, calling me everything from a criminal to a deadbeat. Now that’s false and defamatory, but really: does anyone take Kinsella seriously anymore? If the Liberal Party doesn’t take him seriously, why should I? I even received a letter of support from someone at Kinsella’s own firm. If his own staff don’t take him seriously, why should I?
I’ve ignored Kinsella as best I can. But you can’t ignore a law society complaint designed to disbar you, and you can’t ignore a $50,000 lawsuit.
Other than the cost of it, I’m looking forward to the trial – it will be a real window into the strange world of the Canadian Jewish Congress, on whose legal committee Kinsella sits. Will Kinsella really argue that the Canadian Islamic Congress – presided over by Mohamed Elmasry, who declared on television that any adult Jew in Israel is a legitimate target for a terrorist attack – isn’t anti-Semitic? Maybe I should subpoena Rabbi Reuven Bulka, the co-president of the CJC. Does he agree with Kinsella?
Kinsella will lose on the merits – what I wrote about him was clearly fair comment based on true facts — and the Supreme Court recently strengthened the defence of fair comment enormously. But there is another part to a defamation trial: the value of the reputation of the plaintiff. Just how much is Kinsella’s reputation worth – and how badly was it hurt by my mild comment?
That’s an interesting and dangerous question for any highly political plaintiff. But in Kinsella’s case, it’s suicide. Kinsella was named a dozen times by a judicial inquiry into government corruption, and was legally found to have engaged in “highly inappropriate conduct”. When he was a ministerial aide, Kinsella had written to the civil service demanding that they steer government advertising and polling contracts through Chuck Guité, who was convicted of five counts of fraud, and sentenced to 42 months in jail for his stealing money through fake ad and polling contracts. the kind of contracts Kinsella demanded be sent to him.
I’m not sure how it’s even possible to hurt Kinsella’s reputation after that.
Believe it or not, I sat on a board of directors with Kinsella once. We both served for a stint on the Canada-Israel Committee, part of the CIJA family of agencies (so is the Canadian Jewish Congress). I recall a discussion at one board meeting about a new strategy being used by anti-Semites. CIJA called it “chill/vil” – libel chill and vilification. This was a few years ago now, when it was a fairly new phenomenon: radical Muslims using defamation nuisance suits, smears and other “lawfare” to bully Jews and supporters of Israel. It was identified as a strategic threat.
I’d have to check my notes, but I’m guessing that was in 2005. It was interesting what happened after that. Soon, I was hit with a “chill/vil” human rights complaint by a radical Muslim for publishing the Danish cartoons. Soon, Kinsella was helping the radical Muslims prosecute their campaign of “chill/vil”, and engaging in a bit of it himself.
I repeat my comment: for Kinsella to assist the anti-Semitic Canadian Islamic Congress is discreditable enough on its own, but for him to do so as a member of CIJA’s Canadian Jewish Congress is repulsive. His lawsuit against me is the same sort of thing.
Hey, I’ve got an idea. Let’s beat him. Not just to get me out of the legal soup – but to show these bullies they can’t get away with it.
Let’s beat back these nuisance suits, let’s get these human rights commissions cut down to size, and let’s strengthen public discourse in Canada by rescuing it from the censorship bullies. If you can help me, please do.
If you can chip in by PayPal, please click on the button below. My statement of defence cost me over $6,000 and I can’t imagine a trial costing less than $30,000.
If you’d prefer to send in a cheque by snail mail, that’s fine. I’m using Toronto’s Christopher Ashby as my lawyer on this one. Please make cheques payable to:
“Christopher Ashby in Trust”
Attn: Ezra Levant defence fund
8 King Street East
Toronto ON M5C 1B5
Thank you very much.
By the way, I’m not weary of fighting these fights. I’m a little sheepish about asking for help every time I get sued, but I need to.
I’m so grateful for your help. Stop for a moment to realize how much we’ve achieved and how far we’ve come. Freedom of speech is on the march in Canada. We’re winning in the court of public opinion. Please help me win in the court of law.
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