December 22, 2016

New ruling against free speech in Canada — but we’re fighting back

Ezra LevantRebel Commander
 

I lost a big court case today, and I think freedom of speech for all of us has suffered a setback.

I’m worried that it is now legally dangerous for Jews, or anyone else in Canada, to call out an anti-Semite as anti-Semitic — without risking being sued into submission.

Let me explain:

Today the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a defamation trial judgment against me, in a lawsuit filed more than seven years ago, for comments I wrote on my blog.

So right there, imagine the punishing costs over seven years of this litigation. And that’s the point, that’s lawfare — a deterrent to anyone who would dare to speak freely; to make them censor themselves. Even if I had won today, I’ve already spent countless thousands of dollars on lawyers, and hundreds of hours of my life on this.

Here’s the background:

I was sued by Khurrum Awan, the former youth president of the Canadian Islamic Congress.

One of the reasons I lost was that the trial judge ruled that calling Awan an anti-Semite was defamatory.

Awan used to be the youth president of an anti-Semitic group — the Canadian Islamic Congress. The trial judge ruled that it was defamatory for me to call their former youth president anti-Semitic, even though Awan himself testified at trial that he agreed it's reasonable for people to call certain statements by the Islamic Congress anti-Semitic.

So I appealed the trial ruling. It cost me more than $30,000. And today, the Ontario Court of Appeal came out with their ruling. And it was awful. The financial cost was high, but there’s more.

You can read the entire Court of Appeal’s ruling here.

WATCH my whole video and visit StandWithEzra.ca for the details, too, but here, let me summarize in plain English:

If you campaign against anti-Semitism, or any other sort of bigotry, if you say anything, or Facebook anything, or Tweet anything, and if your comments are motivated by hard feelings and animosity towards anti-Semites like Mohamed Elmasry — this judge says those hard feelings and animosity take away your right to make a fair comment if they are directed at others associated with them.

But if you aren’t upset by him, and don’t have hard feelings towards him, it doesn’t motivate your feelings and comments about him, then the courts may let you call him an anti-Semite because they’ll say it’s fair comment.

Do you see the paradox here?

And by the way, this court ruling against me isn’t just about me. It’s the Ontario Court of Appeal. So it’s a binding precedent all across Ontario, and it’s persuasive all across the country.

Obviously we’ve got to keep fighting this.

I’m going to apply for permission to appeal this to the Supreme Court of Canada. I’m not sure if they’ll grant us permission. But we’re going to try. My lawyer says that will cost approximately $10,000.

We just can’t let this precedent stand.

This court of appeal ruling doesn’t just affect my rights. It’s a setback for freedom for everyone — especially for activists trying to fight back against anti-Semitism. Imagine not being able to use that word to describe activists with anti-Semitic groups.

If you share my belief that we cannot let this ruling stand, please help me cover the costs of applying to the Supreme Court by visiting StandWithEzra.ca 

Thanks for your support — for me, and for everyone who believes in free speech, and opposes anti-Semitism and lawfare.

Comments
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commented 2016-12-30 18:01:19 -0500
This isn’t the first time Ezra has been standing tall in front the thought police.
We’re becoming like europe, with orwellian proscriptions against anti progressive dissent.
I love the way the left screams that Trump will impose some kind of nazi tyranny.
You mean another one, different than the last? Used to be a non-communist had a right to an opinion.
commented 2016-12-30 00:53:25 -0500
I read the appeal court judgement. You’ve been told. Wish I could sympathize; perhaps you could chalk this up to a learning experience.
commented 2016-12-29 09:54:30 -0500
This is just the tip of the iceberg…The Canadian Parliament…NOTE: ALL parties…. have made free speech a TRAP for thinkers and speakers…not only have they condemned “Islamophobia IN ALL ITS FORMS” but the Conservatives added all religions under that banner making “phobia” against any religion, in ALL ITS FORMSANATHEMA… the simple fact that this is not specified under a law but a GENERAL GUIDELINE makes it far more dangerous than a law:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-10/canadian-parliament-condemns-free-speech

THE SLY AMBIGUITY of the wording of Trudeau’s government’s attack on free speech is an OPEN DARE AND A THREAT to anyone who may, accidentally trigger the hatred of any religious or ideological group to open legal warfare against that Canadian who steps into their trap. This is deceit and cunning at its worst…who is there who dares to take a stand in the Conservative Party as a leader to get Canadians out of this ROYAL MESS! Ezra’s mess is an example of the beginning of tyranny under that man who admires the “basic dictatorship of China”.
commented 2016-12-27 19:06:48 -0500
Has anyone tried gab yet it’s like twitter only better it’s trying to be a crowd funded platform dedicated to free speech and hopefully they wont go the way of censorship like twitter and Facebook https://gab.ai
Glad we reached our goal for new studio
commented 2016-12-27 03:25:12 -0500
Jimmy Reece you made excuses for ideological fascism, you are a POS who deserves subjugation.
commented 2016-12-27 03:24:00 -0500
Jimmy Reece we will support free speech Ezra is the only one who allows this. Now go be censored by the left.
commented 2016-12-27 03:23:16 -0500
Jimmy Reece who has been banned? I call BULLSHIT. Now go be a good hate filled tool.
commented 2016-12-27 00:57:27 -0500
Jimmy; who’s been banned and what for?
commented 2016-12-26 15:33:31 -0500
Liza,

Understood that you are fine with Ezra’s hypocrisy and the fact that he talks the talk about free speech, but doesn’t actually walk the walk and stand by his convictions on his own fucking website.
commented 2016-12-26 14:37:45 -0500
bla bla bla go watch ‘Breakfast with Scot’. Butterballs.
(I had to go on the cbc player to find a stupid title to post, since I don’t watch that crap.
Seriously, now that’s a premise for an intelligent show. ‘Gay ex hockey player turned sportscaster’, bla bla…Where do they come up with this garbage!)
All you talk Jimmy, is sht. Maybe because all you put in your brain is off the cbc.
commented 2016-12-26 12:24:17 -0500
Drew Wakariuk,

The Rebel bans people here, which completely goes against Ezra’s free speech crusade and thus he doesn’t deserve a fucking dime from anyone, because he is a hypocrite – who just talks a good game.
commented 2016-12-26 00:56:12 -0500
I’m really gonna miss Mogotogo or Bongocongo or whatever. He was cool. He wasn’t just a he, he was a we. And now alas, he is gone like vapour. All secret agenty and stuff. But he left us an assignment if choose to take it. Mogo, Mogo, the joy you have given us from your Mommy’s basement. May an ocluded moon brighten your path.
commented 2016-12-25 20:54:48 -0500
Absolute insanity! No wonder the Jews want their own state. Hell, now I want one for peeps
commented 2016-12-25 14:07:20 -0500
More proof the regressives (socialists/communists) have control of the justice system. It is dead and gone replaced by a legal system. Next it will be any dislike of Islam, or for that matter the Liebranos that will be targeted. All thanks to the 38 some odd percent of the morons that elected Trudope!
commented 2016-12-25 09:42:56 -0500
Progressives love censorship in all it’s forms as a useful tactic to impose their world view on everyone else. The mindset is of a cultural Jihadi. Progressive courts are even more dangerous to our civil liberties.
commented 2016-12-25 01:36:37 -0500
Jimmy, you prove my point yet again, if your mind was a steel trap it would be rusted shut. Too bad you refuse to acknowledge historical facts as well as reality as your past postings clearly show, but you are an amusing troll so thanks for that. Merry Christmas Jimmy, hopefully Santa will leave you something green instead of a lump of coal in your stocking.
commented 2016-12-24 23:06:41 -0500
Jimmy Reece when CBC censors conservative comments, they are a joke. And you call us a a circle jerk when the left wing media is the hugest circle of all.
commented 2016-12-24 23:04:31 -0500
Mo Otongo bye bye racist.
commented 2016-12-24 21:40:09 -0500
Hyacinth,

I go to many different media sources. Just like conservatives post at CBC and many MSM sites as well. I realize you want to circle jerk here with conservatives only, but opposing view and debate is a good thing.
commented 2016-12-24 20:56:20 -0500
The trolls like Tonogo, Kelly, Mann, Reece, etc. claim to despise The Rebel yet these trolls are continually drawn like moths to a flame, their aliases come and go just like the wind between their ears, yet they remain. They are amusing so I suppose they do serve some function.

Tonogo commented – “Have a lousy Xmas and may you all be scorched to death by a toppled burning cross at your next KKK rally!”

Interesting how the trolls of the left like to refer to either Nazism or the KKK as a fallback insult. They truly are ignorant of actual historical facts for both movements were born of the left side of the political spectrum.

Nazi = The National Socialist German Workers’ Party

http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/3554
“The Racist History of the Democratic Party”
commented 2016-12-24 18:02:10 -0500
The wheels of justice need to be greased. The entire legal system is corrupt to the core! They just want more fees to be paid to the government and more high priced lawyers and crown attorneys need their hands greased before they will even consider “justice”.
Think about it… how many lawyers end up as politicians?? Corruption and greed are running rampant!
commented 2016-12-24 17:42:04 -0500
Sorry about your luck.
Judges can be so self righteous yet so stupid about life. Many of them seem to think that expecting you to file papers and create a defense is a normal part of life. And if you don’t some how you are guilty or failing to do your part. But the Truth is, its normal not to be in court, its highly irregular to be in court. And hypocritically they do not care what damage they do, but if someone else claims damage they want to get on that band wagon while pissing on you. So they end up aiding crime and harm, specially in your case. They act against you, as the others you speak out against are acting against others. And they look down their fat noses and say you where acting against some racist bigot.

Sorry about your bad luck with the court of fools.
commented 2016-12-24 16:42:04 -0500
… or should I say guyS.
commented 2016-12-24 16:40:27 -0500
There really is a Santa Clause!
I knew if Mo TonOgo became triggered it would lead to threats. How about just that you are a moron, moron, with ‘little man’ syndrome. Even worse than just a pussy ass taker!
‘Gonna bow out now and forever’, you promise mo ?
You know you can’t , pathetic little trolls like you always come back, unfortunately.
Fortunately, the universe ‘deals’ with losers like you accordingly so have a good one.
You’re a funny little guy aren’t you?
commented 2016-12-24 15:02:18 -0500
Well it’s been fun driving all you nut jobs crazy, but I’m finding your responses boring. Gonna bow out now and forever, but if anyone wishes to track me down, good luck. Mo Tonogo is not an individual, but a collective with a subversive agenda. A slight alteration of this moniker is the only clue we’ll give but I doubt any of you are bright enough to take this task on. If you do succeed, however, any moronic insults or juvenile threats will be Dealt with accordingly. Have a lousy Xmas and may you all be scorched to death by a toppled burning cross at your next KKK rally!
commented 2016-12-24 14:09:07 -0500
Hey everyone Mo Otongo can opine and slander Ezra , but Ezra cannot have an opinion about someone else. Isn’t he a special hypocrite.
commented 2016-12-24 14:05:55 -0500
Mo twitter ad FB posts? LMAO! Yeah there is some concrete truth LMAO!
You and others deserve to be subjugated by this fascism.
commented 2016-12-24 14:04:08 -0500
Mo we are being censored more and more all the time , it is affecting everyone, look at our HRC’s. And sorry but neither you or some liberal judge should decide who can say what. When you are subject to silencing in the future you will whine and forget you were fine with it for someone else. You know damn well that the courts would not do a damn thing to some left wing twits calling people their many labels.
commented 2016-12-24 13:58:42 -0500
Mo Tonogo
Drew, if your ridiculous condemnation of those with different viewpoints is any indication of how you go about your business everyday, then you are one truly warped human being. Your family must be so proud of you.
Go look in the mirror you hypocrite.
commented 2016-12-24 09:47:43 -0500
Levant doesn’t give a damn about anyone’s personal freedom except his own. That he’s whining over the judicial outcome before referring to the effect on everyone else leads me to opine that it’s not only an afterthought, but a perfect segue to pass around his tin cup to bilk more gullible followers out of their life savings. The court ruling spells out several times how Levant could have put his point across in his blog without landing into judicial hot water, yet he chose not to pursue those routes. He obviously knew the risks, as the laws concerning defamation, according to Twitter and Facebook posts by others better versed in legal affairs than I am, are taken up in the first year of law school. It’s my belief that in his bloodthirsty quest for sensationalism, he got reckless and careless, and is asking for his cash-strapped minions to get him off the hook. Is he asking folks to defend free speech or pushing another con job onto Rebel fans? Personally, I think it’s the latter.