Wednesday, July 27, 2005

It's A Family Thing

I recently wrote here about Link Byfield's outrageous historical revisionism

Well not to be out done by hubby, his wife Joanne Byfield is no stranger to the over the top rhetoric of the right wing. Joanne is active in the anti-choice movement and Real Women. No mere foot soldier, she is in fact a leader in the anti-choice, anti-feminist, anti gay movement on the Right in Canada.

See my article Right To Life = Right To Work

Like the whole clan, Father and Mother in Law, Ted and Virgina Byfield, and brother in law Michael Byfield, whose personal publishing empire was the Alberta Report, they are prone to hysterical rhetoric and over generalizations. Their comments border on what some would call hate speech at worst , and racist, mysoginist and homophobic at best.

In Alberta such speech is 'protected' by the right wing who loudly denounce anyone who challenges them as being opponents of 'Free Speech'. It is promoted in the Sun and Hollinger newspapers, usually disguised as comment columns. Lorne Gunter who used to work at Albewrta Report has a regular column in the Edmonton Journal. Ted and Link have columns in the Edmonton and Calgary Sun. These right wing whiners, still have a forum for their hateful speech.

Here is one of Joannes stupid hateful comments from the now defunct Alberta Report Magazine.

"Public opinion is far less influential in shaping public policy than special interest groups, especially groups favoured and funded by the federal government. These are many and diverse: feminists, homosexuals, criminals, environmentalists, multiculturalists and minority-language groups."
Joanne Byfield, March 2003

Deconstructing Joanne:
By criminals she means that the Elizabeth Fry and John Howard Societies get federal funding, but criminals sounds so much better doesn't it. Multiculturalists does not mean Germans or Ukrainians (Ukraiaians were the major group who pused the Trudeau Liberals to fund multiculturalism back in the early seventies). It means coloured folks of East Indian, East Asian origin.
Minority Language groups means of course those folks who speak French, one of the two founding nations in Canada.

Lump them altogether with each other throw in the term criminal and this sounds well horrorfying, eh. Except once you do lump all these groups together the only 'public' Joanne can be refering to is WASPS, and the occasional Catholic, who are not a majority in Canada anymore, which is what really gets her and the rest of the Byfield clan's goat.

And by the by the Alberta Report was taken to the Alberta Human Rights Commisision over anti-semitic statements made in an article by Michael Link her brother in law. They ruled that the Alberta Report and the article were in violation of the Provincial and Federal Human Rights act. Surpirze, Surprize.

This raises the old debate of nature or nurture. Is right wing idiocy the Byfield clan collectively suffers from genetic or environmental. Hmm? Or perhaps it's just a case of birds of a feather flock together.

The Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission
Commission Panel Decisions 2002

The Panel finds that beyond the words of the Article, the message contains a very powerful image or caricature that amounts to a negative stereotype of Jewish people, more specifically of Jewish businessmen. Simply put, the Article is a report of a failed business deal. However, the message contained in it goes far beyond the purpose.

This Panel finds that the Article published or caused to be published by the respondents, The Alberta Report, Michael Byfield and Link Byfield is in contravention of Section 2(1)(a) of the Act. The caricature contained in the Article indicates discrimination against Jewish people.

The Panel has carefully balanced the interests of freedom from discrimination and that of the freedom of expression in its consideration of Section 2. The Panel concludes that the Act, and in particular Section 2(1), is directed towards achieving such pressing and sufficiently important objectives that it warrants limiting freedom of expression in this case.

In this case, the limitation on expression required involves not including the last quotation in this report on the failed business deal. The Panel is satisfied that this is such a minimal interference with the freedom of expression that it is justified in these circumstances. The only thing the anonymous quote adds to the Article is the discriminatory message. The removal of the quote in no way detracts from the business purpose.

R.S.A. 1980, C. H-11.7 (AS AMENDED)

AND IN THE MATTER of a Complaint before
The Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission
Complaint No. S9805008




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