Monday, April 04, 2005

Captain's Quarters ticks off Canadians

Captain's Quarters reported Canadians: Linking To CQ May Be Bad For Your Freedom

After CTV named Captain's Quarters on their news program last night, the site got swarmed with tens of thousands of visitors, leading to some slower response times (sorry!) and a "magnitude" increase of traffic for blogs who I've linked, especially on this story. However, if you've linked your blog to CQ and you live six or seven hours north of me, you may receive a summons from your government, according to this report from the London Free Press this morning

The Canadian website in question is, which linked to my post on Saturday night or early Sunday morning. It only provided a link back to my site; it carried none of the testimony itself. In fact, it's still headlining a link to CQ despite the threat of legal action.

In an age of instant communications and greater freedom of the press, one would think that this kind of publication ban would obviously prove futile, especially when dealing with the kind of corruption that the Gomery Commission is investigating. However, if Perreault is to be believed, no one even considered the notion that someone might talk. Either M. Perreault is hopelessly naive, or he gets the Captain Louis Renault award for being shocked, shocked that free speech goes on in a democracy.

The Globe and Mail interviewed me yesterday, and published this Jane Taber article:

flapsblog blogged It looks like anyone linking or handing out the address to CQ in Canada will be held in contempt of court.

Dust my Broom blogged The only reason for a ban in this case is to hide the truth and I am one Canadian who is not afraid of some pig lawyer

Angry in the Great White North blogged The Captain was quoting the London Free Press. I think the name of paper is ironic, but only by accident. Francois Perrault was "shocked" that the ban was breached. The paper does not mention if he swooned as well, or just had an attack of the vapours.

Conservative Friends Forum said Somehow I don't think Angry In The Great White North is taking the warnings from his government very seriously. Can't say as I blame him.

The London Fog blogged The microfilm is hidden in the wooden leg

The Politicker blogged The Blogosphere Can't Be Contained - What would make this perfect is the Canadian government trying to arrest somebody for violating the ban. Trying, hopefully not succeeding, as I wouldn't wish that on any practicioner of free speech. That would create an outcry such as has not been seen to date from the blogosphere. Canada would be dealing with eight million Captain's Quarters, not one. To be fair, here's some MSM coverage from inside Canada

Strange Women Lying in Ponds blogged And if you're going to piss of a foreign government, what better government to piss off than that of Canada? I mean, what are they going to do about it? Issue a Celine Dion super dance remix CD? Boycott major league baseball? Would anybody notice?

The Files of the Phantom Observer blogged Advice to Mr. Gomery: since Mr. Brault is asking for his criminal trial to be delayed until September, you may was well lift the publication ban and let Canadian journalists try to support or discredit his story. No one wants to be scooped by the Americans again, right?

Damian Penny blogged I posted the link myself Sunday morning, but I've since removed it after speaking to another lawyer. I'm busy enough without having to worry about a disciplinary hearing, and I certainly don't want to get my firm in trouble. But there are few words which can describe my frustration and disgust right now.

Mike Brock blogged It has been suggested to me by what is admittedly second-hand information, that Justice John Gomery will consider charging any Canadian blogger who not only provides a link to a site containing banned material, but any Canadian blogger who “names the site containing the banned material.”

If this is true, and I hope it’s not, then this would demonstrate firsthand what I have long believed, the true ineffectual nature of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which by it’s very nature, allows for massive legislative and judicial abuse, subjugating the rights that were intended to be, and most Canadians expect, are absolutes.

If the naming of a website alone can constitute violation of a publication ban, then this country is in grave danger of at some point in future history, falling victim to autarchy. If the fundamental right to unadulterated free speech cannot be protected against our governments and our courts, then we stand in clear danger of being molested through misinformation on the part of those who would use their power to manipulate and abuse these holes within the charter.

If Justice Gomery wanted to prevent the dissemination of the testimony by Mr. Brault, then he should have done it in quarters closed to the public in the first place. The fact that Gomery and members of the commission are “surprised” that someone who was present during the testimony recounted the details to the outside world is not only laughable but surprising in itself.

That being said, I do not agree with publication bans. If Mr. Brault wanted a fair trial, then it should be his responsibility to refuse to speak, citing his “right to not self-incriminate” under the Charter. If the commission feels that receiving his testimony is crucial to achieving its goals, then it should have considered seeking immunity for Mr. Brault from his criminal charges. Placing the burden on the media and the public at large to keep information to themselves, is not in my opinion, striking the balance between fundamental individual freedoms and justice. It is in fact, skewing the mark away from the very basis of fundamental freedom in favor of the expediency of justice.

Michelle Malkin has a good wrapup on the matter.

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