Wednesday, April 2, 2008

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Repeal Section 13 of the "Human Rights" Act NOW! Get behind Keith Martin

Let's get behind brave backbencher as he stands up to an Orwellian law


John Martin

Special to The Province

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Back in 1972, Pierre Trudeau infamously referred to opposition backbenchers as "nobodies" once they were more than a few yards from Parliament Hill.

In more recent times, backbenchers, even on the government side, are commonly portrayed as pawns, puppets and potted palms. They're told how to vote and publicly speak their mind at their own peril.

It is refreshing therefore to see Dr. Keith Martin, Liberal MP for Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca, bucking the tradition and taking a stand against the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Specifically, Martin has introduced a private member's motion to delete subsection 13(1) of the act.

This is the subsection typically referred to as the "thought crime" or "pre-crime" component of the law.

Subsection 13(1) makes it an offence to electronically communicate anything "likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt." Like something out of a science-fiction novel, the section gives human-rights commissioners the authority to gaze into the future and convict people based on what "might" happen.

No acts of hatred or contempt need take place. No intent to incite hatred or contempt need exist. All that's required is a vague notion of what might cause hatred or contempt somewhere down the line.

For the past 20 years, I've been telling my first-year criminology students that, in Canada, we only prosecute people for things they've done, not things they might do. Now it appears I've been dead wrong all this time.

In three decades, not a single person who has been charged under this section has been acquitted. After all, how does one defend oneself against what might happen in the future? Truth is not a defence, and there is no due process or obligation to follow the rule of law under the human- rights legislation.

Canada's Human Rights Commission staff have been free to run this Orwellian racket, with no oversight or scrutiny, for decades.

Rest at:




The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal

Active and Past cases: 46  |  Cases the tribunal ruled on: 37


·         NOT A SINGLE respondent have ever won a section 13 case

·         98% of cases have poor or working class respondents

·         90.7% of respondents are not represented by lawyers

·         $99,000 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.



Groups and Writers that Support Repeal of Section 13:


Liberal MP Keith Martin

Liberal MP Dan McTeague

Ezra Levant

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (Rex Murphy)

Catholic Insight Magazine

Catholic Register

Halifax Chronicle Herald (Paul Schneidereit)

Victoria News

PEN Canada

CDN Association of Journalists

Mary Steyn (Macleans Magazine)

Calgary Herald

Western Standard Magazine

London Free Press

B'nai Brith Jewish Tribune

Sask Leader-Post

Deborah Gyapong

Calgary AM770

Globe and Mail

National Post

David Warren (Ottawa Citizen)

Eye Magazine (Toronto)

Toronto Star

Toronto Sun

Interim Magazine

Sault Ste. Marie – SooToday

Winnipeg Free Press

Oak Bay News