Tuesday, March 24, 2009

United Reformed Church Targets Section 13 - Send a Letter today demanding a repeal of Section 13


The ECP Centre reports that:




Draft letter to MPs concerning Section 13

We were pleased to receive a request for a form letter on Section 13 from a URC (United Reformed Church) congregation in Ontario last week that, if it meets with approval, may get sent to the Justice Minister and other MPs from a healthy percentage of that congregation. We sent them a draft letter to consider using, and I am providing it below for your use as well. The tone of this letter is probably softer than what I might send personally, and it may not be the kind of letter that all of you would want to send, but if it is something that you feel comfortable sending or if it's a letter that you think you can rally support behind at your church, then please use it. If you want our help with an alternative letter that has a different emphasis or tone, then please get back to us to discuss this.

Regarding Section 13, please note the following from an important article by Ezra Levant: "Enforcement of section 13 of the CHRA has been suspended." Near the end of this March 14th blog post, Ezra observes: "The enforcement of Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act has been suspended indefinitely by the CHRT. ... But look what hasn't been suspended: the investigations and prosecutions of section 13. And, as I've said a dozen times before, it's the process that's the real punishment. In this case, it was three years from complaint to ruling - three years of bullying someone because they had "wrong" political ideas. The CHRC and the CHRT will continue with that informal punishment, the punishment of abusive process. The law is coming apart at the seams; the law's chief user has been officially exposed as malign; the law's enforcement has been suspended; but the sick, sick HRC system continues to grind on, using our money and abusing our heritage of natural justice."  [Editors Note: This is Ezra Levants take on the Tribunal, but in fact the Tribunal continues on, and currently setting dates for the next Section 13 victim – Arthur Topham]

So, don't give up now. Let's keep pressing the issue with the Justice Minister and other Members of Parliament.

Here's the draft letter you can use if you wish (If you are new to this issue and need more information about Section 13, please email us.):

Dear Minister Nicholson,

Human Rights Commissions in Canada have stirred up a great deal of controversy in recent years. A primary reason for this controversy is that human rights commissions have taken on a role as censor, undermining fundamental and constitutionally protected rights such as the freedom of religion, freedom of conscience and freedom of speech. Additionally, these decisions violate principles of equity. In particular, when a "human rights" case involves a homosexual complaint against a Christian person or institution, the human rights tribunal rules in favour of the homosexual that discrimination did take place, imposing penalties on the Christian. Muslims have also begun to use the human rights commissions in an attempt to censor criticism of Islam.

The Canadian Human Rights Commission comes under your jurisdiction as the federal Justice Minister. As you know, the censorship provision of the Canadian Human Rights Act that complaints exploit when they file complaints with the CHRC is Section 13. Section 13 bans a wide scope of communication of comments claimed by a complainant to be "likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt by reason of the fact that that person or those persons are identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination."

Liberal MP Keith Martin has tabled a Private Member's Motion (M-153), recommending the repeal of Section 13.

Richard Moon, who prepared a report on behalf of the CHRC, has recommended the repeal of Section 13.

The Justice Department, presumably under your direction, has launched an internal review of Section 13.

Many people, represented a variety of vocations, and different views across the political spectrum, have expressed their support for the repeal of Section 13.

None of these people support hateful language, but they recognize that Section 13 goes far beyond prosecuting language that is unacceptable in a free society.

The repeal of Section 13 may not be SUFFICIENT in terms of the reforms necessary for the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the Canadian Human Rights Act, but it is a NECESSARY reform - a morally necessary reform. It is also a politically safe amendment.

As a Canadian citizen, committed to the historic Judeo-Christian values of this country; as a Christian who treasures the fundamental freedoms that play such an important part in the preservation of our civilization, I urge you to move immediately to repeal Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Yours sincerely,