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Richard Warman

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Richard Warman is an Ottawa-based lawyer active in human rights law. Warman worked for the Canadian Human Rights Commission from July 2002 to March 2004.[1] He is best known for initiating complaints against white supremacists and neo-Nazis for Canadian Human Rights Act violations related to Internet content. In June 2007, Warman received the Saul Hayes Human Rights Award from the Canadian Jewish Congress for "distinguished service to the cause of human rights".[1] He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Drama from Queen's University, a Bachelor of Law from the University of Windsor, and an Masters of Law from McGill University. [2]

Warman has written a detailed report on Internet hate in Canada for B'nai Brith's Annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents.[3] Warman, who is not Jewish, but has been presumed to be so by some of his opponents, has been the target of anti-Semitic and homophobic smears by neo-Nazis and other anti-Semites.[4]

Legal activismEdit

Warman has initiated complaints against a large number of groups and individuals he claims have violated the Canadian Human Rights Act. These include the Canadian Heritage Alliance and its leader Melissa Guille;[5] Jason Ouwendyk and the Northern Alliance; Marc Lemire[6]; Tomasz Winnicki[7]; Alex Kulbashian[8] and James Scott Richardson of the Canadian Ethnic Cleansing Team[9]; Bobby Wilkinson and his Canadian Nazi Party [10]; Craig Harrison; Terry Tremaine[11]; Glenn Bahr, Peter Kouba[12], Jessica Beaumont and Ciaran Paul Donnelly[13], all formerly with the group Western Canada For Us; Alex Di Civita; Liz Lampman[14]; Fred Kyburz[4]; and, Eldon Warman [15].

In addition to Kyburz and Eldon Warman, Richard Warman also raised concerns about Wally Dove, another member of the Canadian detax movement who was attempting to use his qualifications as a Certified General Accountant (CGA) to promote unlawful tax evasion schemes. The Chartered General Accountants of Ontario later revoked Dove's CGA and obtained an injunction ordering him to stop claiming to be a CGA thereafter. Warman has also sued: Paul Fromm[16], Jason Ouwendyk and David Icke[17] for libel. Paul Fromm had called Warman "an enemy of free speech".[18]

Warman is also known for his attempt to have the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) block access to two United States-based websites that included what Bernie Farber of the Canadian Jewish Congress described as a "murder warrant" against Warman. In refusing the initial ex parte application, the CRTC stated:

In the Commission's view, given the unprecedented nature of the relief sought in the Application and the serious and fundamental issues it raises, as well as the fact that the specific approval is being sought in favour of Canadian carriers without notice to such carriers, it would be inappropriate to consider granting the interim relief sought in the Application on an ex parte basis, and in particular without affording Canadian carriers and all other interested parties the opportunity to comment.[19] [20][21]
Warman was the subject of death threats after Tomasz Winnicki was sentenced to nine months in prison for violating a court injunction.[22][23] A federal court sentenced Winnicki to nine months imprisonment for contempt of court for breaking that injunction.[24] The threats included website Vanguard News Network's webmaster Alex Linder posting material inciting the murder of the Federal Court judge, employees of the Canadian Human Right Commission, and Warman (who had testified against Winnicki at the contempt of court hearing). Linder suggested on the main VNN website and in a VNN Internet radio broadcast that their killing would be a "genuine act of patriotism." Other individuals posted similar violent rhetoric to the VNN Internet forum. Both the main VNN website and the VNN forum were temporarily shut down on July 26, 2006 by their website hosting company's upstream provider after being contacted about the threats.

Warman sued Fromm and his Canadian Association for Free Expression for libeling him in various Internet posts. On November 23, 2007, Ontario Superior Court Justice Monique Métivier ruled in Warman's favour and ordered Fromm to pay Warman $30,000 in damages, and to post full retractions within ten days on all the websites on which he posted the defamatory comments. Métivier found that Fromm posted statements about Warman "either knowing the fundamental falseness of the accusations he levelled at Mr. Warman, or being reckless as to the truth of these."[25]

Canadian Human Rights TribunalEdit

Warman has won all ten of the cases he has brought before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT),[26] and two more have been successfully mediated after the individuals had left the neo-Nazi movement and renounced their beliefs.

The CHRT has awarded Warman victories over the following individuals and groups: Fred Kyburz[27]; Eldon Warman[28]; Alexan Kulbashian, James Scott Richardson and the Canadian Ethnic Cleansing Team, Affordable-space.com[28]; Tomasz Winnicki [29]; Craig Harrison (for postings on Marc Lemire's Freedomsite) [30]; Peter Kouba[31]; Glenn Bahr and Western Canada For Us [32]; Terry Tremaine.[33]; Bobby Wilkinson and his Canadian Nazi Party[34]; and Jessica Beaumont. [35]

Blogger and former magazine publisher Ezra Levant has argued that Warman's actions as a plaintiff before the Canadian Human Rights Commissions are tantamount to censorship in the name of human rights.[36][37] Warman is currently suing Levant, Jonathan Kay and the National Post, the operators of Free Dominion and several bloggers for defamation in relation to comments made about him and his complaints to the Commission. Levant says these "nuisance suit[s]" are part of Warman's "maximum disruption" policy.[38]

MacLean's magazine has reported that "Richard Warman says he's fighting hate. Critics say free speech is the real victim." That article noted concerns that:

...[T]he slam-dunk quality to Warman's Section 13 cases are a cause for worry, symbolizing the drift of human rights commissions into the boggy territory of covert investigation and speech control. Those concerns deepened two weeks ago with revelations that, for a time, Warman was acting both as a complainant and an investigator at the commission. Even after he left in 2004, he seemed to enjoy easy access to commission offices, stopping by to chat with staff or get documents printed. ... Of the fact Warman and investigators were going online undercover, [Keith] Martin says simply: "That's appalling."[39]

Political activismEdit

Warman ran as a Green Party of Canada candidate in the 1997 federal election in the Windsor West riding, and in the 2000 federal election in Ottawa—Orléans, placing fifth on both occasions.[40] He ran as the Green Party of Ontario candidate in the 1995 Ontario provincial election in Simcoe Centre, placing fifth, and in 1999 in Ottawa West—Nepean, placing fourth.[41][42]

In 2006, Warman contributed to the Renewal Commission of the Liberal Party of Canada's Report on Human Rights.[43] He is also one of the backers of the reward fund established by the Assembly of First Nations in relation to the Gatineau murder of Kelly Morrisseau.[44]

ReferencesEdit

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