FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 2, 2008
PROTECT FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND MODERNIZE THE CHRA
OTTAWA – Last week, Dr. Keith Martin introduced a motion in the House of Commons calling for a public examination of the Canada Human Rights Act and the Commission and Tribunal that stems from it. The motion calls on the Federal Government to hold public hearings across into this matter. This follows a letter Dr. Martin wrote to the Justice Committee requesting that they do a study and hold public hearings on the CHRA.
The purpose of this motion and the letter was to give the federal government two further options on how a fair and open public examination of the CHRA can occur so that solutions can be offered by the Committee to modernize the Act's mandate.
"I just returned from the Canadian Association of Journalists AGM in where I attended a debate with a member of the CHRA. After the debate it became even more obvious that the Act needs to be modernized. The CHRA member had little understanding of the deep flaws and misuses of the Act by the Commission and the trampling of free speech that the Commission sometimes engages in," said Dr. Martin.
"There was no recognition of the problems inherent in Section 13(1), nor was there any recognition of the absurdity that Section 13(2) of the Act exonerates some people for saying the same thing that the CHRA can use 13(1) to prosecute other people for. The CHRA member also stated that needs, "more laws to protect against hate speech".
The motion and letter will enable all Canadians to see the current workings of the CHRA and offer solutions that will protect free speech, while protecting people from hate speech.
For more information contact:
Office of Dr. Keith Martin