Ottawa anti-racist gadfly Richard Warman (pictured at left) has won a $30,000 libel judgment against a persistent antagonist for defamatory Internet postings he characterizes as "an oil spill on my reputation." In a ruling yesterday (November 23rd), Ontario Superior Court Justice Monique Métivier ordered Paul Fromm, director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression, to pay $20,000 in general damages and a further $10,000 in aggravated damages for nine defamatory postings about Mr. Warman. Full story published November 24th, 2007 by the Ottawa Citizen.
Judge Métivier also ordered Mr. Fromm, whose teaching certificate was revoked on October 31st, 2007 by the Ontario College of Teachers for professional misconduct related to his off-the-job "white supremacist" activism and views, to post full retractions on all the websites on which he posted the defamatory comments within 10 days.
Click HERE to view the 23-page court decision in PDF format.
Mr. Warman, who has had 10 complaints about Internet hatred upheld by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in recent years, sued Mr. Fromm for postings that characterized him, among other things, as an "enemy of free speech", a "member of the thought police" and a "high priest of censorship." The comments were posted on a site called Freedomsite.org using a server located in the United States. Many were also republished on the Canadian Heritage Alliance site. Both sites espouse far-right views. These postings were further republished on other sites worldwide.
Judge Metivier opined that Mr. Fromm's dominant motive was to attack Mr. Warman personally in retaliation for his use of legal processes to restrain illegal speech. She further found that Mr. Fromm's comments were designed to hold Mr. Warman up to ridicule. He published them, she said, "either knowing the fundamental falseness of the accusations he levelled at Mr. Warman, or being reckless as to the truth of these".
This story also being discussed on Stormfront and on the Vanguard News Network Forum.
Commentary: A review of the court decision indicates that there were nine separate Internet postings cited as a problem by Richard Warman. One of Paul Fromm's primary tactics was to mount a defense based upon the "fair comment" provision, in which he was simply giving his opinion about Warman.
However, the judge relied upon the provisions of Canada's Law of Defamation as her guide. On page 18 of the court's decision, it states that in order for a "fair comment defense" to succeed, the defendant must prove that a statement is:
(1). a comment, not a statement of fact
(2). based upon true facts
(3). on a matter of public interest
(4). made honestly and fairly
(5). without malice
On page 19, the judge further writes that "any statement that is not reasonably a clear comment cannot be protected by the defense of fair comment".
Longtime Canadian patriot and activist Paul Fromm is the most notable of the CHRT's victims. He has tracked the cases heard by the CHRT, and provides a statistical sketch of their results on the Freedom-Site, operated by the Canadian Freedom Resource Center:
The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal
Active and Past cases: 46
Cases the tribunal ruled on: 37
Total complaints received by CHRC: 100
- 0% of respondents have ever won a section 13 case before the tribunal.
- 100% of cases have Whites as respondents
- 98% of cases have poor or working class respondents
- 90.7% of respondents are not represented by lawyers
- So far, $93,000 has been awarded in fines and special compensation since 2003.
- 35 respondents have lifetime speech bans (Cease and Desist) orders and if not followed the victims could face up to 5 years in prison.
- 72.4% of complaints specifically identify "jews" as victims.
- 48.8% of all cases are by Richard Warman
Every Decision on Section 13 case (Active and Past cases), in PDF format.
Considering that Richard Warman has been the complainant in nearly 50% of cases brought before the CHRC, it's no wonder Paul Fromm and others are unhappy with him. Yet in Canada, they are apparently not allowed to express that unhappiness. This is why we Americans must guard the First Amendment like a pit bull guards a bone.