CHRC hand-picked independent constitutional expert – Prof. Robert Moon submits his long awaited report, and amazingly calls for the Repeal of Section 13!
On June 17, 2008, the Canadian Human Rights Commission called their own policy review of Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act – Canada's notorious thought control legislation.
In a press release posted to the CHRC's website, they stated:
The Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) has launched a comprehensive policy review of how best to address hate messages on the Internet. Leading constitutional law expert Professor Richard Moon of the University of Windsor will conduct an independent study as an important part of this review.
He will conduct legal and policy research and analysis and make recommendations on the most appropriate mechanisms for addressing hate messages on the Internet, with specific emphasis on section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act and the role of the CHRC. His work will include a review of existing statutory and regulatory mechanisms, an examination of the mandates of human rights commissions and tribunals, and a consideration of Canada's international human rights obligations.
Earlier today, the CHRC made Prof. Moon’s report public on their website. And shockingly, Prof. Moon recommends that Section 13 – Canada’s internet censorship provision – be repealed!
Here are Prof. Moon’s recommendations:
1. The first recommendation is that section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) be repealed so that the CHRC and the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) would no longer deal with hate speech, in particular hate speech on the Internet.
Hate speech should continue to be prohibited under the Criminal Code but confined to expression that advocates, justifies or threatens violence. In the fight against hate on the Internet, police and prosecutors should make greater use of section 320.1 of the Criminal Code, which gives a judge power to order an Internet service provider (ISP) to remove "hate propaganda" from its system.
2. The second part of the recommendations concerns changes that should be made to section 13 of the CHRA if it is not repealed.
These changes would reshape section 13 so that it more closely resembles a criminal restriction on hate speech.
i. changes to the language in order to clarify that the section prohibits only the most extreme instances of discriminatory expression, that threatens, advocates or justifies violence against the members of an identifiable group;.
ii. the amendment of section 13(1) of the CHRA to include an intention requirement; and
iii. the amendment of the CHRA to establish a distinct process for the investigation of section 13 complaints by the CHRC. Under the amended process, the CHRC would receive inquiries and information from individuals or community groups but would no longer investigate and assess formal complaints.
These are quite amazing recommendations, and give a huge impetus to the Constitutional Challenge of Section 13 brought by Marc Lemire, and currently awaiting a decision from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.
Prof. Moon then goes on to suggest some quite totalitarian methods to remove offensive (non-criminal) speech from the Internet by a simple forced deletion or blocking at the ISP level.
3. The third set of recommendations concerns the role of non-state actors in the prevention of expression that is hateful or discriminatory in character.
The major Internet service providers (ISPs) should consider the creation of a hate speech complaint line and the establishment of an advisory body, composed of of individuals with expertise in hate speech law, that would give its opinion as to whether a particular website hosted by an ISP has violated section 13 of the CHRA or the "hate propaganda" provisions of the Criminal Code.
If this body were to decide that the complaint is well founded, the ISP host would then shut down the site on the basis of its user agreement with customers.
Newspapers and news magazines should seek to revitalize the provincial/regional press councils and ensure that identifiable groups are able to pursue complaints if they feel they have been unfairly represented in mainstream media.
If this does not happen, consideration should be given to the statutory creation of a national press council with compulsory membership. This national press council would have the authority to determine whether a newspaper or magazine has breached professional standards and order the publication of the press council’s decision.
A newspaper is not simply a private participant in public discourse; it is an important part of the public sphere where discussions about the affairs of the community takes place. As such it carries a responsibility to portray the different groups that make up the Canadian community fairly and without discrimination.
These recommendations are really quite scary and represent a departure from anglo-Saxon justice, and the right to face your accuser.
The creation of a “Hate tip line” is something censorship driven groups such as the Canadian Jewish Congress have lobbied government for years to implement. This might include such projects as the ridiculous “CleanFeed” program, which would allow for arbitrary removal of websites from being accessible in Canada, via a blacklist of websites, that are blocked at the Internet Service Provider level.
“Cleanfeed” would then allow websites to be effectively banned in Canada and the webmaster of the website would have no recourses. No hearing on the content of the site, no decision from a court and no recourse for effected sites.
The CHRC all along has liked this approach. As part of their mandate under Section 27 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, they have attacked some 200-300 websites in Canada and around the world, trying to get them knocked offline by highlighting “Acceptable Use Policies”.
Dating back to 1995 in Canada, the CHRC has been strong-arming Internet Service Providers behind closed doors to not allow those they deem “Hate mongers” to post material online.
The first major ISP the CHRC targeted was the Greater Ottawa “National Capital Freenet” which provided free access for local users to dial in and access Internet content. Through a series of intimidating letters, the CHRC attempted to have the “Freenet” agree to ban users based on material reviewed by CHRC investigators. (Yes… those would be the same CHRC investigators who think that “Freedom of Speech is An American Concept”)
The CHRC has had multiple meeting with every major ISP in Canada, including: AOL Canada, Bell Canada, Telus, CCTA, Rogers, Shaw, SaskTel, Cogeco, and Blue Sky Freenet in Manitoba.
The full story behind the Canadian “Human Rights” Commission’s harassment of Canadian Internet Service Providers is detailed in a soon to released book by Marc Lemire entitled:
The Human Rights Industry's War on Freedom of Expression -- A Report on Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act