Reading Mohamed Elmasry's piece in the Kitchener-Waterloo Record about his hate-speech complaint made me think of something I read a few days ago by Colby Cosh. Cosh's column in the Post was about a recent Supreme Court decision, R. v. D.B. where the court ruled on the constitutionality of some provisions in the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
What especially caught Cosh's eye was the reasoning of Justice Rosalie Abella on mandatory publication bans. The judge weighed the s. 2(b) Charter right to freedom of the press against the s. 7 right to security of the person - as if those two rights were supposed to go into the scale in a situation like this. The problem with such logic is that the Charter is only supposed to be there to protect us against state actions, not actions from private individuals.
This is a pretty elementary part of Canadian constitutional law, but some people appear to still have real trouble with it. Which takes me back to Elmasry. Check out this part of his apologia: