Sunday, November 16, 2008

Conservative Party passes resolution to remove Internet Censorship provision from Human Rights Fanatics

Conservative Party passes resolution to remove Internet Censorship provision from Human Rights Fanatics

 

In a show of support, the Conservative Party of Canada today voted overwhelmingly in favour of Resolution P-203 to repeal Section 13 (Internet censorship provision) of the Canadian Human Rights Act.

 

According to many of the reports, it was supported by 99% of the delegates, and surprisingly even the Minister of Justice, Rob Nicholson voted in favor of P-203.  This is a bit of a surprise, since it is his ministry that has spend at least $500,000 in the Lemire case to uphold the constitutionality of Section 13.  When the resolution was passed, Conservative Party Delegates went wild with a applause and a standing ovation for the ridding association that brought forward the motion.

 

[VIDEOInterview with Attorney General of Canada Rob Nicholson from Stephen Taylor’s website

 

 

The Resolution as passed reads:

 

Modify HRC Jurisdiction

 

PROPOSED BY VICTORIA AND KELOWNA - LAKE COUNTRY

 

iii) The Conservative Party supports legislation to remove authority from the Canadian Human Rights Commission and Tribunal to regulate, receive, investigate or adjudicate complaints related to Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.

 

 

Much of the credit for this overwhelming endorsement against the Human Rights Enforcers, has to go to a loose coalition of bloggers across Canada who prepared a fantastic campaign to support Resolution P-203.   This included an information package handed out to delegates, people on the floor raising the issue, and a massive blog blast.  [Here are some of the Blogs and websites that helped to raise the issue of HRC censorship]

 

For those who didn’t catch the vote on CPAC,  an intrepid reporter inside the convention reported: "When one of the people from the riding association rose to speak to the resolution on the floor, not only was there wild applause but he received a standing ovation. Pretty much everyone (we're talking the whole room) stood up and applauded. It was a thing of beauty!"

 

 

Media reports on P-203:

 

 

Canadian Press:

 

But other hot-button issues found wide support on the convention floor.

 

One policy would take away investigative and adjudication powers from the Canadian Human Rights Commission and tribunal for complaints of hate-mongering.

 

"This tribunal is a direct threat to our freedom of speech," the sponsoring delegate said to applause.

 

Edmonton MP Laurie Hawn supported the motion, saying "we already have hate laws" and the tribunals "punish individuals for expressing legitimate - even if they're controversial - views."

 

The resolution was adopted virtually unanimously.

 

 

 

CBC News:

 

A resolution that seeks to limit the investigative and adjudication powers of the Canadian Human Rights Commission and tribunals for complaints of hate-mongering was passed almost unanimously.

 

"This tribunal is a direct threat to our freedom of speech," the sponsoring delegate said to applause.

 

Edmonton MP Laurie Hawn supported the motion, saying "we already have hate laws" and the tribunals "punish individuals for expressing legitimate — even if they're controversial — views."

 

 

AM770:

 

 

It remains to be seen whether the Conservative government will actually follow through on this, but a great day for free speech as Conservative party members have voted "yes" on P-203

 

This would seem to be smart policy for the Tories - libertarian conservatives like it and social conservatives like it. Moreover, groups like the Canadian Association of Journalists, PEN Canada, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, and the BC Civil Liberties Association have been supportive of such a change.

 

Furthermore, a pro-free speech message can and should also include an anti-censorship message - something that could help the Tories make inroads in various communities that fear a streak of censorship mentality still exists within the Conservative Party.

 

 

 

CanWest News Service:

 

In the end, the rank and file urged the party to press ahead with its tough-on-crime agenda, and support some long-held causes of rock-ribbed conservatives, such as curbing the powers of the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

The party also overwhelmingly approved a proposal to remove authority from the Human Rights Commission to probe or adjudicate hate speech.

 

Nicholson said he supported the resolution, but is waiting for a report from the commission on the matter. "We'll have a look at all input on this, but we've got a very busy criminal-law agenda," he said.