‘Silencing Opposition’

“According to the ‘Law Society of Upper Canada’, Peter Best had been “instructed for investigation” because, based on…examples of facts and conclusions some aboriginals might find ‘wounding’, he “may have engaged in discriminatory conduct” and “may have acted in a manner that reflects adversely on the integrity of the profession (of law) and/or the administration of justice”… 

“Not a single word of his essay meets the Criminal Code criteria for “hate” speech or “incitement”, but the complainants…expressed the hope to the LSUC that Best would be “disbarred or suspended” unless he “completes a sensitivity training course and a Native Studies course”, as well as “apologiz(ing) for using his law practice to disseminate racist materials”.ERBLSilencingOpposition800x800Peter Best has been an inspiration to those able to see beyond the prejudices of the moment – those for whom noble principles like ‘equality before the law’ still resonate as the finest products of Western culture. His series of essays entitled “There Is No Difference” remains some of the most educational and thought-provoking material on ‘race law’ and the ‘Indian Industry’ in Canada.  


However, in our current intolerant climate, it was only a matter of time before someone tried to punish him for it: 

Illustration - John Dyson
Illustration – John Dyson

“Peter Best is a generalist lawyer near Sudbury, in practice with his daughter, Amy. A great admirer of Nelson Mandela, Best has a strong and abiding interest in all matters pertaining to racial equality. 

“In Dec. 2014, he posted a long, scholarly and provocative dissertation on a dedicated online site (nodifference.ca), entitled “There is no difference: An argument for the abolition of the Indian reserve system and special race-based laws and entitlements for Canada’s Indians.” 

“Best also posted the essay to his firm’s website, both for wider dissemination in the marketplace of ideas, and to ensure potential clients were aware of his views, to avoid future awkwardness.  

“In August, three complaints (the “Complainant”) against Best regarding the essay were filed with the ‘Law Society of Upper Canada’ (LSUC), and one as well against Amy, who the ANONYMOUS Complainant deemed complicit in working for a “racist”. The LSUC’s gatekeeper dismissed the complaint against Amy but in Oct. 2015, opened a dossier on Best.  

“Amongst other charges, the Complainant denounced Best for writing that the ‘Truth and Reconciliation Commission’ was a “net negative undertaking”; stoked a “guilt-making machine” that is perceived “as a mere agent for the accumulation of more power and money in the hands of the Indian Industry”; that it was “harmfully fixated on the past”, with “a complete lack of any ennobling goal”, which “ended up merely providing a lot of short-term Indian industry jobs and temporary jolts of feel-good meaning for its employers and adherents”;  and that its “victim narrative” was exploited “for status quo-maintaining political purposes”.  

“Not a single word of the essay meets the Criminal Code criteria for “hate” speech or “incitement”, but the complainants are treating it as though it does. They expressed the hope to the LSUC that Best would be “disbarred or suspended” unless he “completes a sensitivity training course and a Native Studies course”, as well as “apologiz(ing) for using his law practice to disseminate racist materials”.  

“As a reading of the essay makes clear, Best’s real “crime” is to fail to exhibit the requisite spirit of reverence for liberals’ received wisdom on aboriginal history and grievances. Best believes that the Indian Act is a benign form of apartheid, and a version of the “separate but equal” regime in the U.S. before 1954. This may be an unpopular view, but it is not irrational. He believes he is arguing in aboriginal people’s best interests, that they have been victims both of their own elites and of non-native elites. Also not irrational.

“His opinions do not impinge on his legal competence, and nobody is suggesting they do. So, what’s the LSUC’s beef?  LSUCLogo“According to the LSUC, Best had been “instructed for investigation” because, based on the above and other examples of facts and conclusions some aboriginals might find ‘wounding’, he “may have engaged in discriminatory conduct” and “may have acted in a manner that reflects adversely on the integrity of the profession (of law) and/or the administration of justice” {You mean like the Supreme Court judges whose creative rulings have generated a billion-dollar ‘Aboriginal Industry’?}.  

“Best has asked for an explanation of what the LSUC means by these words so he can properly defend himself, but has not received an answer. Best quite understandably describes this bureaucratic behaviour — vague accusations with no basis in law against which no defence can be mounted —  in his correspondence with me as “Kafkaesque”. 

“Best removed the essay from his firm’s website in order to protect his daughter’s reputation. But the “investigation” hangs over his head months after notification — he’d been promised a decision within 10 days — with no explanation for the delay.  

“The LSUC’s Rules of Professional Conduct state that

    “the Law Society will not be concerned with the purely private or extra-professional activities of a lawyer that do not bring into question the lawyer’s professional integrity.”

“A spokesman for the LSUC has told Best IN WRITING that in his opinion, the excerpts submitted by the Complainant “are not enough to merit a finding of any form of professional misconduct on their face”. And that’s where it should have ended. 

“Ah, but wait! The LSUC Rules also state that LSUC members have “a special responsibility to recognize the diversity of the Ontario community” {?}. That has a somewhat ominously ‘Humpty-Dumpty’ (“it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less”) ring to it. Those are words that could entrap any lawyer who doesn’t toe the ‘progressive’ party line in identity politics. What’s it to be, LSUC? Freedom for a private citizen to express evidence-based, politically incorrect opinions — or feelings-based, kangaroo-court “justice”?”  

–‘Kafqaesque kangaroo ‘justice’ at the law society’,
 Barbara Kay, National Post, January 12, 2016
{CAPS added}




COMMENT: “The existence of this case is an egregious one, as it is simply a form of retaliatory revenge by those discontented by the article who want the writer stopped. Every complaint needs even a cursory examination…this one should have taken up to 10 minutes or so to have dispensed with. The threat of complaining to the LSUC when you are not even a client of that lawyer is an attempt to silence academic thought precisely because it is well argued and coherent. It is also an attempt to deprive someone of their livelihood.”
“Anyone surprised here that some Canadians are so steeped in political correctness that they would complain about a man writing Best’s essay? 

“I’m not. I’ve seen similar cases while researching the complaints submitted to Human Rights Tribunals. I agree with Best, too. The reservation system, the Chiefs, and Band Councils are the problem. My ex is ‘First Nations’. He moved off the reservation many years ago because the corruption was so widespread. That’s when I really got interested in this topic. It wasn’t just the reservation he grew up on. It’s national and everyone in the ‘First Nations’ knows this is the biggest problem, but the people that control the money and resources are the Chiefs and Band Councillors.  

“Best should be applauded and its high time that the whole Indian Act was abolished and reservations transformed into municipalities. Divvy up the land to the band members equally. We could radically reduce ‘First Nations’ poverty rates by doing this.”
“Even our Law Societies suppress freedom of speech, freedom of expression or individual politics… In this case, Best is under investigation for what? Does he have to fear for his livelihood? I’m sure it has already impacted his business and standing in Ontario. 

“When ideology trumps reality, then dictatorships thrive.”
“It would seem that Canada has become a nation of where you either say, write, and agree with all this political correctness or you are no longer allowed to FREELY speak and express your opinions without being made to pay the “price”. We are slowly becoming a country without freedom of speech and expression.”
“Wow, 1984 has resurfaced! Let’s be honest here — this man is absolutely correct in his ‘musings’. The only difference between aboriginals and everybody else is they got here first.”
“God help anyone who challenges the Indian industry. They are every bit as powerful a lobby in Canada as the NRA is in the U.S. They will go after anyone who threatens their lucrative position, and have no regard for facts or truth or reason.”
“Canada creates discrimination every time we try to fight discrimination.

“Unification of Canada and Canadian people will not truly happen until we are all under one set of rights, laws and responsibilities.”  


From Peter Best:

“The cumulative effect of this fear-based censorship, self and otherwise, is a collective decision on the part of ordinary Canadians to dare not speak truth to power about this issue and to silently hear and see power itself lie to the people about it (a phenomenon central to surviving life in totalitarian states). And all the while, the vast majority of Indians — the ordinary, powerless, neglected, vulnerable ones, especially the children — get further disadvantaged, damaged, marginalized and forgotten. It’s a real disgrace.

“It’s not that ordinary Canadians don’t want to help Indians. We do. But we’re not permitted to get involved, except on the fallacious and unacceptable terms laid down by the Indian and non-Indian establishments. We’re in effect told that to be involved and heeded — to be allowed into their conversation — we cannot question or challenge their orthodoxy. So, fearful and unable to stomach that — unable to cope with the Alice in Wonderland nature of it — we find ourselves forced stay out of it — expelled from the arena of public debate and engagement on this issue and forced to stand back and helplessly watch the terrible social damage being suffered by Indians continue, and increase unabated…”  

‘An Issue of Freedom of Speech’:
“I believe that it’s the civic duty of Canadians, especially our elites, to promote social, political and legal arrangements that lessen race consciousness — that appeal to our higher and better instincts as expressed by our liberal values…

“The arrangements comprised of the ‘Indian Act’ and all its manifestations, and now ‘Haida Nation’ and ‘Tsilhcot’in’ and all of their manifestations…are increasing negative, exclusionary, race consciousness in Canada.

“These new arrangements being foisted on Canadians emanate from exclusionary race-thinking and, as such, are retrograde and stunting to the human spirit. They contain no social scaffolding upon which to build social relations based on forward-looking, racially-inclusive, universalist, aspirational, rational thought.

“And so I argue against the permanent presence of the ‘Indian Act’, reservations and race-based rights and entitlements – against ‘Haida Nation’ and ‘Tsilhcot’in’, and the permanent, psychologically-baser sense of racial apartness they represent…”

‘Moving Beyond Race’: https://www.facebook.com/ENDRACEBASEDLAW/photos/a.336196793149227.59519.332982123470694/678000715635498/?type=3  ERBLMovingBeyondRace600x600Here’s a summary of his views, as written by Mr. Best and addressed to a New Zealand audience: 

“…In 1981, Canada patriated its Constitution from Great Britain and, at the same time, made additions to it. One of the additions was to foolishly and unnecessarily add ‘section 35’, which states,  

    “The Aboriginal and treaty rights of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada are hereby recognized and affirmed.”

“This had the effect of elevating Indian rights from treaty and legislative rights only, to Constitutional rights, and of creating a situation where the Courts would define those rights, rather than Parliament.  

“Since then, a highly activist Supreme Court of Canada has brought about a constitutional revolution in our country, to the detriment of us all — including the vast majority of vulnerable, ever-more dependent Canadian Indians, who for one reason or another, cannot jockey themselves into the ranks of their elites and thus personally benefit from it. 

“Firstly, the Supreme Court ruled that, contrary to the express wording of most of the treaties — which clearly stated that Indians fully, finally and forever surrendered and relinquished all title to the land in favour of the Crown, (save and except lands reserved to them as “reservations”, and save and except their right to hunt and fish on the surrendered land) — our Indians did not surrender all their title to the land.   

“Instead, our Supreme Court ruled, WITH NO HISTORICAL JUSTIFICATION WHATSOEVER, and CONTRARY TO OVER 125 YEARS OF ESTABLISHED LAW AND PRACTICE, that they had merely agreed to share the land.  

“And, the Supreme Court ruled, the broad exercise of Indian rights is now not just reservation-based, as before. Apparently, unknown to Canadians for 125 years, (because such rights were never claimed or exercised during that time and no one ever thought of it), as the Supreme Court decreed, aboriginals now have, (and presumably always had, we all just didn’t know it), the right to be “consulted and accommodated” regarding the alleged impact on them of any planned Crown or private economic undertaking proposed to occur on their “traditional lands”.  

“Traditional lands” is turning out to mean not just their small reservations, but basically all of rural and wilderness Canada, where most of our resource-based economy is situated.

“Now, any time the federal government, a provincial government or a private company wants to do anything on Crown land in Canada — such as build a dam or a pipeline,  exploit a forestry license or open a new mine — every nearby Indian band automatically claims, whether it’s the case or not, that the proposed activity will adversely impact their “traditional culture” or their hunting and fishing rights, and they demand to be “consulted and accommodated” accordingly — which is turning out to be a fancy phrase meaning to be paid money and granted benefits, basically for doing nothing but merely happening  to exist in that general location.  ERBLShakedown600x600“And if the price demanded is not paid, the proposed undertaking will get tied up in Court or in endless negotiations, (usually paid for by the Canadian taxpayer), for so long that the economic impetus for the proposed undertaking is often lost…largely due to aboriginals exercising their increasingly demanding, delay-causing, veto-like,  “consult and accommodate” constitutional rights.  

“Prior to this judicially-caused constitutional revolution, there were two founts of constitutional sovereignty in Canada — the federal Crown and the provincial Crowns.

“In my opinion, as the result of these Supreme Court decisions and our non-Indian elites craven and unprincipled response to them, we now we have a third, de facto fount of constitutional sovereignty — over 600 tiny, poorly-governed, self-seeking, technically-illiterate, socially-dysfunctional Indian bands.  

“The result is a serious diminution — an emasculation — of necessary and beneficial Crown sovereignty, with legal confusion and unpredictability extant, and consequential harm to the Canadian economy, to the principle of the rule of law (the police and politicians are afraid of Indians and are often afraid to enforce the law against them) and to the Canadian social fabric.

“Canadians are finding that we are no longer, through our elected representatives and through our federal and provincial parliaments, masters of our own house.  

“This revolution has been almost entirely driven by Indian and non-Indian elites.  Our politicians and civil service elites have not even tried to inform the Canadian populace about the profound significance of what is going on. It’s as if they are ashamed to talk about it.  self-censorship“Most people are afraid to raise their concerns for fear of being called a “racist”. There is a lot of muttering and self-censorship happening. It’s not a socially or civically healthy situation. Race relations in Canada between Indians and non-Indians have probably worsened since these events have occurred.  

“As Canadian Indian elites move to exploit their amazing Court victories, they are tending to lead their peoples away from the idea of integrating and assimilating with the rest of Canadians. There’s so much money to be made and new power to acquire by furthering the benignly-racist, segregationist status quo, now being strengthened by our Courts and political elites.  

“With musical accompaniment from our non-Indian elites, Indian elites are trumpeting a new, most illiberal civic model of racial apartness for their peoples. So enthusiastic are they for this new racial apartness model that they are now demanding a separate, Canadian taxpayer-funded, “Indians-only” school system!  

“Indian elites now seem to feel that the “separate but equal” legal straitjacket (the pernicious doctrine that American blacks fought against for almost 100 years…) that our Supreme Court is further entrenching for them is beneficial for their people. It’s not. It’s only beneficial, in a materialist, short-term way, for those relatively few Indian elites who can derive jobs, money and power from it.  

“Integration and “one set of laws for all” used to be the classic liberal, humanist ideal. It was Nelson Mandela’s credo. It’s what Gandhi and Martin Luther King died for. It should still be the overriding goal and ideal for any and every civilized society.   

“It was the ideal Canada shared and, however haltingly, was moving towards. That is, until out elites and our Supreme Court, with no advice or consent from the Canadian people, very harmfully put Canada on the reverse, benignly segregationist course that we are on now.

“New Zealand should be very wary of following in Canada’s footsteps.” 

–‘A warning from Canada’,
Peter Best, NZCPR, September 28, 2014
{CAPS added} 

http://www.nzcpr.com/a-warning-from-canada/ ERBLAWarningFromCanada600x600Related Posts:

‘The Myth of ‘Nation-to-Nation’ Dealings’:

‘Come On In, The Water’s Fine…’:

‘Common Themes’:

‘On Segregated Schooling’:

‘Great Britain — A Conqueror With a Conscience’:

‘There Is No Difference’:


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