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Paul Fromm and Alexan Kulbashian Banned from Parliament for Criticism of the Canadian Human Rights Commission
Speech Advocates Banned from House of Commons
records: “By unanimous consent, it was ordered, ‘That this House order
that Alexan Kulbashian and Paul Fromm be denied admittance to the
precincts of the House of Commons during the present Session to preserve
the dignity and integrity of the House.’”
Kulbashian is acting as agent for Melissa Guille and Mr. Fromm as agent
for the Canadian Heritage Alliance, both defendants against a complaint
made by chronic complainer Richard Warman under Sec. 13.1, the
Internet censorship provision of the Canadian Human Rights Act.
press conference has been called to air concerns about spy activities by
the Canadian Human Rights Commission and its witnesses against Canadians
using the Internet. “There’s been a wholesale abuse of power,” Mr.
ban against us is ironic,” Mr. Fromm added. “This was the same day
Parliament recognized the struggle in
group or individual may apply to the Parliamentary Press Gallery to book a
half hour slot in the facilities of the Charles Lynch Room (located inside
the Parliament Buildings) to hold a press conference open to the members
of the Parliamentary Press Gallery.
have acted with stunning arrogance and disregard for free speech,” Fromm
charged. “After all, it’s we taxpayers who foot the bill for this
place. It’s not their private little club. ‘Parliament’ from the
French parler (to talk)
should be a place of talk and free exchange of ideas, not of the sort of
suppression more in keeping with the thuggish generals of Burma,” he
research shows that only five people have ever been banned from the House
of Commons,” Mr. Fromm explained. “The first was Louis Riel who led an
armed rebellion against the Dominion Government in the 19th
century. The other four were critics of the Canadian Human Rights
Commission. Controversial publisher Ernst Zundel and his lawyer Doug
Christie were banned from the precincts of the House of Commons in 1998
when they sought to hold a press conference to complain that the Canadian
Human Rights Commission does not consider truth a defence against charges
planned press conference will go ahead at another
No. 2 (Unrevised)
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
39th PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION
EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 002
|That this House order that Alexan Kulbashian and Paul Fromm be denied admittance to the precincts of the House of Commons during the present session to preserve the dignity and integrity of the House.|
(Motion agreed to)
* * *
Paul Fromm on the Parliament Ban
Sumner, a professor of philosophy at the
"If people utter hate messages in public then that's a criminal offence and they can rightly be charged under the Criminal Code with that offence," he said.
"But you've got to wait for them to do it first. You don't pre-empt them by saying, 'Well we think you might do something like that, we've got to stop you in advance."'
MPs unanimously approved the ban with this motion:
"That this House order that Alexan Kulbashian and Paul Fromm be denied admittance to the precincts of the House of Commons during the present session to preserve the dignity and integrity of the House."
Ernst Zundel, the notorious Holocaust denier, is the only other person to be similarly banned. The Commons passed a motion against him in 1998.
Fromm and Kulbashian had been scheduled to speak to reporters Thursday in the Charles Lynch Press Theatre in the Centre Block. They wanted to outline their complaints about what they see as the excessive powers of the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
They claim human rights legislation is being used to stifle political dissent.
Fromm and Kulbashian have been the subject of commission investigations. They are also associated with a long list of far-right groups.
A human rights tribunal last year fined Kulbashian over a racist website.
persons and people of the Jewish faith are particularly laid open to
ridicule, ill feelings or hostility, creating the right conditions for
hatred or contempt against them to flourish," the ruling said.
Fromm, a teacher, was fired from his Toronto-area classroom over his views.
He is a former member of the Western Guard and a self-styled director of other right-wing groups, including the Canada First Immigration Reform Committee and the Canadian Association for Free Expression.
Normally, the press theatre is open to any group wanting to speak to reporters on a topic linked to the federal government.
Richard Brennan, a reporter for The Toronto Star and president of the Parliamentary Press Gallery, was disappointed by the motion.
He said free speech is a given for journalists.
"That's what we're all about, that's what our job is, that's what the whole parliamentary process is about."
He said people have a right to criticize the rights commission.
"We aren't arbiters of what people can say and what they can't say."
Jason Kenney, the secretary of state for multiculturalism who moved the motion, said the two can find another venue.
"If they want to get a soapbox and go out in front of the Parliament Buildings in this free country, they're welcome to do so, but this House isn't going to let them use public, taxpayer-funded resources," he said.
Sumner, author of a 2004 book entitled The Hateful and the Obscene: Studies in the Limits of Free Expression, didn't buy that argument.
guys pay taxes too, don't they? If it's public space in that respect, then
you would think it should be open to any point of view, however repugnant
that point of view might be."
MPs unite to ban 2 speakers from Parliament Buildings
Last Updated: Thursday, October 18, 2007 | 8:23 AM ET
MPs from all parties have teamed up to ban two controversial speakers from holding a news conference in the Parliament Buildings on Friday.
Paul Fromm and Alexan Kulbashian, who are often criticized by human rights advocates, had booked the parliamentary media centre to discuss their grievances about the Canadian Human Rights Commission, a federal body that investigates allegations of discrimination.
The commission's human rights tribunal fined Kulbashian in March 2006 for posting hate messages about blacks, Jews, Muslims and other minorities on the internet.
Fromm has come under fire for supporting people accused of racism.
MPs passed a motion Wednesday night to prevent the two men from entering the Parliament Buildings.
Conservative MP Jason Kenney said the move does not hinder the men's freedom of expression.
"If they want to get a soapbox and go out in front of the Parliament Buildings in this free country, they're welcome to do so, but this House isn't going to let them use public, taxpayer-funded resources."
NDP MP Joe Comartin said MPs did the same thing when Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel wanted to speak in Parliament in 1998.
"While we recognize the broad scope of free speech in this country, you're not allowed to libel and slander anyone, you're not allowed to use hate literature."
Fromm learned of the motion banning him and Kulbashian from Parliament when contacted by CBC News Wednesday night.
"We operate on the basis of a system where you're presumed innocent until you're proven guilty," he said. "The press conference hasn't even occurred yet. Nothing has been said.
"All it is is an opportunity for an interested party to have access to the press, if they're interested in coming. To prevent that, to my way of thinking, is horrific."
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