Wednesday, April 8, 2009

TRANSCRIPT: Conservative Party vote on P-203 to stop Section 13 and CHRC censorship

TRANSCRIPT: Conservative Party vote on P-203 to stop Section 13 and CHRC censorship

[Background on Resolution P-203]

Proposed by: Victoria and Kelowna Lake Country Association

Hello I’m Jeff Ingram, I come from Kelowna lake country.

My fellow delegates picture this with me. One day you inadvertently annoy your neighbor and the next thing you know you are thrust into a court – where even truth is not a valid defence.

In this court, you are forced to pay all of your costs, and the complainant is fully funded. In this court you can’t even recover your costs if you are proven innocent. And with 100% conviction rate over the past thirty years, your chances of being proven innocent are slim to none.

This tribunal is a direct threat to our freedom of speech.

Now, what would you call this threat to our human right? The human rights tribunal.

Every journalist, writer, internet webmaster, publisher and private citizen in Canada can be subject to a human rights complaint for expressing an opinion or telling the truth.

Given the ambiguity of Section 13, it is virtually impossible for any individual to determine if they might be in violation of this section. Arbitrary censorship and punishment are wrong and can not be justified in a free society.

I ask you ladies and gentleman to please join me in supporting resolution P-203 and preserve Canadians chartered right to freedom of expression.

(applause and standing ovation)

Laurie Hawn (MP for Edmonton Centre): … Section 13 has obviously been abused by many activist groups, who have tried to punish individuals for expressing legitimate, even if they are controversial views.

We already have hate laws for punishing hate speech. We’re not well served by an unfair non-judicial process that obviously penalized those at great expense to prove their innocence, while rewarding those who have brought frivolous complaints.

Organizations across the country and obviously people in this room feel the same way. We will serve Canada and freedom by voting yet to this and getting rid of Section 13.