Tuesday, February 28, 2012

HERALD: Hate speech clause in human rights act may be history ("Abolish Section 13")




Hate speech clause in human rights act may be history

February 28, 2012 - 4:30am By PAUL SCHNEIDEREIT

Chronicle Herald


Marc Lemire leaves a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal hearing into a complaint against him in Oakville, Ont., in 2008. The Toronto resident argued that rights legislation aimed at preventing the spread of hate on the Internet gags free speech and is unconstitutional. (COLIN PERKEL / CP / File)



To protect freedom of expression in Canada, sometimes you need a majority government in Ottawa.

That’s the moral of the story of a Conservative backbencher’s private member’s bill — which has now cleared second reading in the House of Commons and gone to committee — seeking to repeal Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Let’s recall the exact wording of that infamous clause. Hate messages, according to Section 13 (1), are communications "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."

In other words, if I were to write something critical about Islam, for example, and someone reading my column felt it "likely" that my words could provoke "contempt" towards Muslims, they could lodge a complaint against me with one of Canada’s government-created human rights commissions.

Truth would not be a defence. Neither would my intent. And the person complaining wouldn’t even have to be a Muslim.

That’s because, on top of the appallingly loose wording of this section of federal human rights law — a clause echoed in its provincial counterparts — any complaints are adjudicated by government-appointed tribunals, where the standard protections afforded any accused in a court of law don’t necessarily apply.

When complainants’ cases go forward, taxpayers pick up the tab. Meanwhile, those accused must pay to defend themselves out of their own pockets.

It’s a system ripe for abuse. And that’s exactly what has happened. We’ve seen comics fined for insulting hecklers (B.C. human rights tribunal), former publishers spend $100,000 in legal fees over three years to defend themselves for printing "offensive" cartoons (Alberta human rights commission), and Maclean’s magazine investigated by three human rights bodies (federal, Ontario and B.C.) for running an article on Muslim demographics in Europe.

The Conservatives have long opposed Section 13, but didn’t feel they had the support they needed from the other parties, as a minority government, to push the issue legislatively.

They also were concerned, with good reason, that some opponents might twist the issue for political advantage, slamming the Tories for being soft on hate.

Yes, Bill C-304, which aims to repeal Sections 13 and 54 (dealing with penalties under S.13), was put forward by Alberta MP Brian Storseth (Westlock-St. Paul) and is a private member’s bill, but the legislation has the justice minister’s endorsement. So there’s a good chance the bill will be back in the Commons this spring for final reading, then on to the Senate and, hopefully, passage and royal assent.

The bill, if made law, would take effect a year after receiving royal assent.

It’s worth noting that in 2008, Richard Moon, a constitutional expert hired by the Canadian Human Rights Commission to review Section 13, recommended that the clause be repealed, a suggestion the federal body not surprisingly ignored.

Some critics say abolishing hate speech provisions in the human rights act would mean prosecutions could in future only come under the Criminal Code, placing a greater burden of proof on complainants.

But what they term a bug, as the saying goes, I’d call a feature. One of the biggest problems has been the abuse of the current system by complainants who bear none of the financial costs and human rights bodies all too eager to spend years processing accusations that — using common sense — clearly lack merit.

Other critics say not everyone has the funds to go to court. But in a criminal hate speech case, it’s the Crown’s case — and the Crown’s dime. All too often, under the current system, it’s the accused who don’t have the money to defend themselves or fight tribunal rulings.

Freedom of expression is too precious — and too fundamental in upholding all other rights — to allow what is a democratic cornerstone to be undermined by an intrinsically flawed system based on political correctness and hurt feelings.

Abolish Section 13.



SEE FULL STORY AT: http://thechronicleherald.ca/opinion/67968-hate-speech-clause-human-rights-act-may-be-history





Monday, February 27, 2012

COLUMN: Shanoff - Bill C-30 is nothing compared to PIPEDA

COLUMN: Shanoff – Bill C-30 is nothing compared to PIPEDA




Media ignoring Liberals’ attack on our Internet privacy rights

by Alan Shanoff

It’s strange how so many commentators have whipped themselves into a lather over the attack on privacy rights in Bill C-30, otherwise known as Protecting Children From Internet Predators Act, yet don’t appear troubled by another equally troubling infringement of privacy rights.

Anyone worried by the potential erosion of privacy rights in the Conservatives’ Bill C-30 should be even more concerned about the actual erosion of privacy rights in existing federal law known as the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). [See: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/P-8.6/]

Introduced by the Chretien Liberal government in 2000, PIPEDA has been in force for over a decade. It regulates the collection, use and disclosure of personal information by businesses.

In other words, it applies to cellphone and Internet service providers, phone companies, credit card companies and all other businesses that collect and track data on our daily activities.

It covers a wider range of businesses than C-30.

PIPEDA allows any business to disclose any personal information without the knowledge or consent of an individual to a government institution or part of a government institution (including a police officer), where the disclosure is requested for the purpose of enforcing or administering any law, or if the information is suspected to relate to national security.

The only limit on this is that the person requesting the information must have identified his or her “lawful authority”.

Courts have interpreted this “lawful authority” to include a police officer’s authority to investigate.

(Further, under the proposed terms of new legislation known as Bill C-12, PIPEDA will be amended to state police do not require a subpoena or warrant prior to making any request._

PIPEDA means every police officer in Canada has the power to request disclosure of personal information from any business collecting information from subscribers or customers.

True, there’s no legal compulsion on the business to supply the information but they often do, based on user agreements and their so-called privacy policies, which permit information to be supplied under “lawful authority”.

Yet it seems few, if any, commentators are concerned with PIPEDA.

Surely, for the sake of consistency, opponents of Bill C-30 should be demanding the government amend PIPEDA to define “lawful authority”, so that it requires the person making the request for disclosure has a judicial warrant backing up that request.

True, Bill C-30 goes a step beyond PIPEDA by legally requiring all telecommunication service providers to provide subscriber information, based solely on a written request, whereas PIPEDA doesn’t force, but allows, businesses to release the information.

Still, PIPEDA covers a wider range of businesses, allows for more information to be released based solely upon request and is accessible to any government institution, as well as police.

Arguably PIPEDA is more intrusive than C-30. Anyone objecting to one must logically object to the other.

That said, a particularly troubling aspect of C-30 relates to the compelled disclosure of subscriber information.

Such disclosure may seem innocuous at first blush.

After all, who could reasonably object to release of a subscriber’s name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, Internet protocol address and service provider identifier associated with the subscriber’s service and equipment?

But we can’t look at any one piece of information in isolation. While it in itself might reveal nothing of significance, it may be that same piece of information, when coupled with other data, leads to disclosure of significant facts,

For example, the IP address alone may be of no significance, but it may be the missing piece to a puzzle that leads to disclosure of personal information deserving of protection.

For these reasons even seemingly innocuous subscriber information shouldn’t be accessible to authorities without a warrant, unless of course, there’s an emergency situation.


SEE FULL STORY AT: http://blogs.canoe.ca/lilleyspad/contributor-columns/column-shanoff-bill-c-30-is-nothing-compared-to-pipeda/



Possession of a dangerous crayon [WTF is going on in Canada!!!] Waterloo Police Freak out over a 4 year olds cartoon about shooting "monsters"

Possession of a dangerous crayon

Possession of a dangerous crayon
Where's the liberal media when a child's hand drawing of a gun leads to strip searches?

When Jessie Sansone was picking up his kids from school last week in Kitchener, Ont., he was asked to go to the principal's office.

There were three cops waiting there who arrested him, handcuffed him and took him down to the police station, where he was strip searched.

Then more cops went to his home where his wife, while caring for a 15-month-old baby, was told to go down to the police station, too. And then they searched his house. Without a warrant. Why? What did Sansone do?

Nothing. They didn't find anything in the house when they searched it. They didn't find anything on him when they searched him.

A warrantless arrest and strip search and search of his house. Why?

Because at school, his four-year-old daughter drew a picture of a gun and, when asked about it, told her teacher her daddy uses it to shoot bad guys and monsters. Seriously.

So her kindergarten teacher called Family and Children's Services. Seriously.

And they called the cops. Seriously. And they arrested and searched him. Seriously.

Because a kid drew a picture of a gun. I hear rumours that some kids, especially boys, sometimes draw pictures of robots with lasers, too. And supersonic fighter planes. Maybe we should arrest their parents, too.

But the thing about guns is they're not illegal. Even under the Liberals. We didn't have a gun ban, just a gun registry.

What's the excuse given for the strip search by the Waterloo Regional Police? Inspector Kevin Thaler says it was done "for officer safety, because it's a firearms-related incident," the Waterloo Record reported.

Sorry. Did he just call a child's doodle a "firearms incident?" Is there so little crime in Kitchener that three policemen are dispatched to school because a kindergarten kid drew a gun, and more officers to the home?

The cops were stupid. We pay cops not to be stupid. We pay them not to be political, or bitchy, or to take sides in personal vendettas. They're supposed to be the grown-ups. They're supposed to use their discretion.

A child's drawing of a gun — which does not depict a crime, by the way — is not a public safety matter. It's not a police matter. We have come to expect this anti-family, snitch-style of justice from Family and Children's Services. They regularly abuse families with whom they simply disagree about things, like the style of parenting or religion.

Alison Scott, the executive director of Family and Children's Services, went even nuttier.

"From a public safety point of view, any child drawing a picture of guns and saying there's guns in a home would warrant some further conversation with the parents and child," she told the Record.

Really? So merely owning a firearm is a public safety matter, time for an intervention?

But Alison Scott didn't have a conversation with parents and child, did she? She didn't give the parents the courtesy of a phone call, or a casual inquiry. She didn't stay calm and normal. She went into nanny state mode. She went into KGB mode. She cut the family right out of it.

Question: Where is the liberal media? You know, the ones who freaked out a week ago when Public Safety Minister Vic Toews proposed a law to allow police to get basic information about their Internet use? Toews just wanted to let cops get your e-mail address, but they'd still have to get a search warrant for anything more. National freak-out.

Here we have a child's crayon drawing leading to a strip search, handcuffing and home invasion. Where's the reaction? Why doesn't the liberal media care about civil liberties when it's a property rights issue or a firearms issue or a family sovereignty issue?

 That's the thing about civil liberties. It can't just be for pornographers or Muslim terror suspects.

Civil liberties have to be there for lawful gun owners.

And parents of creative children who are dangerous enough to draw a crayon gun.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

EFF: Canada's C-11 Bill and the Hazards of Digital Locks Provisions



Canada’s C-11 Bill and the Hazards of Digital Locks Provisions

While copyright owners claim that they need anti-circumvention laws to address copyright infringement, twelve years’ experience with the U.S. DMCA provisions demonstrates that overbroad digital locks laws can wreak havoc on lawful, non copyright-infringing activities, stifle free speech and scientific research, and harm innovation and competition. The issue is that overbroad anti-circumvention bans can override exceptions and limitations in national copyright laws, restricting or eliminating perfectly lawful non-copyright infringing uses of copyrighted works.

Small wonder that a broad range of groups in Canada have come out against the unforgiving nature of these provisions in Canada’s C-11 Bill, including librarians, content creators, rights advocates and others. We’ve been documenting the collateral damage caused by the US’s overbroad DMCA provisions in our unintended consequences [pdf] report over more than ten years. Now Canada has a chance to avoid repeating the U.S.’s mistakes.

Here are some of the areas in which Bill C-11’s digital locks provisions are likely to be problematic:

Consumer Rights

Like the U.S. DMCA, C-11 prohibits the act of circumventing a TPM and bans the circumvention tools, devices, and services that citizens would need to circumvent for non-infringing purposes. As a result the digital locks provisions in C-11 will supersede all user rights found in the Copyright Act except for in a few narrowly defined exceptions. This lets rights holders turn acts that are legal into illegal ones with the simple addition of a lock. In the U.S. for instance, many consumers want to make a copy of DVDs that they’ve purchased for personal use on their mobile devices, but the DMCA outlaws the tools needed to break DVDs’ DRM. Major movie studios have sued numerous DVD ripping software manufacturers using the DMCA to remove the tools from the marketplace.

Though C-11 has some exemptions for circumvention for certain purposes, they do not go far enough to accommodate all the legitimate and non-infringing reasons for breaking these locks. The existing exceptions are far too narrow and have become outdated even before the legislation could be passed. An exception exists, for example, permitting users to bypass locks on mobile devices (e.g. cell phones) in order to change service providers. However, bypassing those same locks in order to install an un-approved application (jailbreaking) might be illegal. A general process exists for adding new exceptions, but relying on examples means, at best, that exceptions will always be 10 steps behind legitimate uses. This lag in recognizing new services and uses could very well stifle innovative products out of existence altogether.

Innovation and Creativity

Digital locks provisions can make it illegal for innovators, creators, and artists to take apart and understand how a product works or to transform content. People learn to create new products and works of art by taking things apart. With the growing importance of user-generated content, we are becoming a “society of remixers and tinkerers”. Even though remixing and reusing is often 'fair use/dealing' [pdf] and not a violation of copyright, C-11 would prevent individuals from circumventing a digital lock in order to create a remix. Individuals must be free to use what they have to experiment with their ideas and engage their curiosity.


C-11 includes an exception [pdf] that allows circumvention for the purposes of protecting personal information, but most of the technologies that allow people to do so remain illegal. Someone can develop a method or device to break a digital lock to gain access to data, but that method cannot be shared. Therefore, such an exception does little to give users and consumers the ability to protect themselves from possible privacy violations by these companies.


Anti-circumvention measures directly impact [pdf] scholarly research and independent analysis. In applying for grants for example, researchers may lose or not even receive funding when they go under the legal examination of their project if it necessitates the circumvention of digital locks. Additionally, while C-11 contains exemptions for security researchers, it still requires them to inform the target product-maker of their plan or get prior consent from the service provider. This consent requirement can force them to sacrifice discretion or deter their efforts altogether.

Education and Access to Knowledge

Libraries and schools will be limited in their ability to provide content to their members and students. Libraries will be prevented from backing up resources and creating digital archives, while educational institutes will be prevented from using many education-specific copyright exceptions by the presence of a lock. Not only would it be a drain of resources for these institutions to have to do so, it harms their ability to have access to crucial learning resources.

Visual and Hearing Impaired

Unlike the US DMCA which does not have a permanent exception for circumvention to provide access to the visually impaired, Canada’s C-11 includes a limited exception permitting circumvention for those with perceptual difficulties. In the same way that the exception for privacy protection essentially renders itself moot, the law could legalize circumvention while keeping the distribution or sharing of most of those tools illegal. If those with perceptual disabilities want access to their content, it seems that they would need to have the know-how to create tools to circumvent the measures themselves, or otherwise face charges for using or distributing tools that allow other impaired individuals to do the same.

It doesn’t have to be this way

There are several changes to C-11’s digital locks provisions that would go a long way to avoiding the pitfalls of the U.S. experience and would allow Canada to implement a law that complies with the WIPO treaties. First, C-11 should make it clear that it’s lawful to circumvent TPMs to make non-infringing uses of works. In other words, legal protection for copyright holders’ TPMs should follow the scope of national copyright laws but go no further. Second, if it regulates the manufacture and distribution of circumvention tools, C-11 should permit trusted third party intermediaries, such as educational institutions and libraries, to be authorized to circumvent to give effect to existing copyright exceptions, as New Zealand’s TPM law does. Third, C-11 should include provisions to prevent TPMs being used for non-copyright infringing geographic market segmentation and to address possible anti-competitive misuse of TPMs as Australia’s revised TPM law does.


If you live in Canada or are a Canadian citizen, you can take the following action:

If you live in the United States or are a U.S. citizen, you can take the following action:





Monday, February 20, 2012

CATHOLIC REGISTER: Section 13 of human rights act one step closer to being repealed

FROM: http://www.catholicregister.org/news/canada/item/13889-section-13-of-human-rights-act-one-step-closer-to-being-repealed


Section 13 of human rights act one step closer to being repealed

\Written by Deborah Gyapong, Canadian Catholic News

Thursday, 16 February 2012 14:32



Conservative MP Brian Storseth's Bill C-304, which would repeal the so-called hate speech provision act, passed second reading by a 158-131 vote Feb. 15. - Photo by Deborah Gyapong

OTTAWA - A private member's bill that would axe the controversial Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act has passed second reading and will now go to committee for further study.

Conservative MP Brian Storseth's Bill C-304, which would repeal the so-called hate speech provision act, passed second reading by a 158-131 vote Feb. 15.

A lone Liberal, Scott Simms, voted with the Conservatives, who overwhelmingly supported the bill. Otherwise, the NDP and Liberals opposed the bill.

"I was excited that there was one courageous enough to stand up for his constituents and his own personal views," said Storseth, who said he hopes for more support from Opposition MPs.

Bill C-304 now moves to the justice committee where Storseth hopes it can be fast-tracked for study. If he is successful in getting a priority placed on the bill, it could come up for a final vote in the House this spring, and then go on to the Senate.

Under Section 13, which deems any communication "likely to expose" an identified group to hatred or contempt liable for prosecution under the rights act, the truth is no defense. Neither is intent, as the act considers only the possible discriminatory effect of the communication on the groups listed in the legislation. Thus those who might write factual or honest opinion can run afoul of Section 13 as Maclean's magazine did for running articles by best-selling author Mark Steyn on radical Islam. Christians who criticize homosexuality on the basis of religious belief can also find themselves facing complaints, as did Catholic Insight and Calgary Bishop Fred Henry over the same-sex marriage issue.

The Catholic Civil Rights League applauded the second reading vote. In a Feb. 16 news release, the League said Section 13 "has been used to penalize the peaceable expression of opinion based on religious belief." It cited the complaints brought against Catholic Insight that were later dropped, but not until the magazine had spent more than $30,000 defending itself.

"The hate speech provisions in the Criminal Code provide limits on expression that are sufficient in a democracy," said League executive director Joanne McGarry. "A situation where accusers are free to file complaints that may even lack a serious basis, and then leave the accused to pay his or her own potentially high costs in response, is unacceptable.

"Freedom of expression and freedom of religion are both Charter rights, and any limitation on them belongs in Parliament and the courts, not administrative tribunals," she said.

Storseth said he was grateful to have such widespread support from religious and other groups from all ends of the political spectrum for his bill.

"The key is to stay focused," he said. "This is one step. We now have to get this through the justice committee as quickly as possible and get this bill forward in the interest of all Canadians.

"This is an archaic piece of legislation. It's really hurt freedom of expression in our country."

Even opponents of Storseth's bill agreed that Section 13 needs to be reviewed.

"I am not suggesting that Section 13 is perfect," said NDP MP Mylène Freeman. "Indeed, that section is problematic. The main point I would like to make here today is that the principle behind maintaining Section 13 deserves the support of all members."

NDP MP Joe Comartin also argued for keeping a way of targeting hate speech without the high threshold necessary for criminal charges.

"We need two tiers in order to have a free society for individuals who are regularly targeted by anti-Semitic or anti-Islamic people," he said. "We can include homophobia as well."

Storseth rejected a two-tier approach to dealing with freedom of expression, calling open debates an "imperative to having a healthy and free Western democratic society."




Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ezra Levant & MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay On Why Section 13 Will Die

[VIDEO] Second vote on Bill C-304 (An Act to strip the censorship powers from the CHRC)

Feb 15, 2012: Second vote on Bill C-304 in the House of Parliament. This bill will strip the censorship powers from the fanatical Canadian Human Rights Commission and repeal Section 13 and 54 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. Section 13 has been used and abused by special interest groups as a risk-free taxpayers funded racket to harass and censor Canadians on the Internet.

More information at: http://www.StopSection13.com and http://www.Freedomsite.org

From Parl.gc.ca: Bill C-304, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act (protecting freedom), be now read a second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. The question was put on the motion and it was agreed to: YEAS: 158, NAYS: 131

Accordingly, Bill C-304, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act (protecting freedom), was read the second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

Bill C-304 Passes Second Reading! One more nail in the Section 13 coffin


Earlier today Bill C-304 passed Second Reading in the House of Commons.  Bill C-304 is an act to strip the censorship powers from the fanatics at the Canadian Human Rights Commission.  The vote was 158 in favour and 131 opposed. This is one more nail in the censorship coffin of Section 13.


The next steps for Bill C-304 is to be referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.  Then after the committee looks at it, the bill is referred back to Parliament for third and final reading.  Once that passes it goes to the Senate of Canada for review and once passed in the Senate the bill becomes law and Section 13 and 54 of the Canadian Human Rights Act are repealed!


Here is the details of what happened today in Parliament from the Feb 15, 2012 Journal.




Pursuant to Standing Order 93(1), the House proceeded to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion of Mr. Storseth (Westlock—St. Paul), seconded by Mr. Rathgeber (Edmonton—St. Albert), — That Bill C-304, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act (protecting freedom), be now read a second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.


The question was put on the motion and it was agreed to on the following division


YEAS: 158, NAYS: 131



Allen (Tobique—Mactaquac)
Brown (Leeds—Grenville)
Brown (Newmarket—Aurora)
Brown (Barrie)

Del Mastro
Duncan (Vancouver Island North)
Findlay (Delta—Richmond East)
Finley (Haldimand—Norfolk)
Harris (Cariboo—Prince George)
Kamp (Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission)
Keddy (South Shore—St. Margaret's)
Kenney (Calgary Southeast)
Kramp (Prince Edward—Hastings)

MacKay (Central Nova)
Moore (Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam)
Moore (Fundy Royal)

Simms (Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor)
Van Kesteren
Van Loan
Weston (West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country)
Weston (Saint John)
Young (Oakville)
Young (Vancouver South)

Total: -- 158




Allen (Welland)

Davies (Vancouver Kingsway)
Davies (Vancouver East)
Dionne Labelle
Doré Lefebvre
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Duncan (Edmonton—Strathcona)
Harris (Scarborough Southwest)
Harris (St. John's East)

LeBlanc (Beauséjour)
LeBlanc (LaSalle—Émard)
McKay (Scarborough—Guildwood)
Moore (Abitibi—Témiscamingue)
Morin (Chicoutimi—Le Fjord)
Morin (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine)
Morin (Laurentides—Labelle)
Morin (Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot)

Sims (Newton—North Delta)

Total: -- 131





Accordingly, Bill C-304, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act (protecting freedom), was read the second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.






Wednesday, February 15, 2012

[VIDEO] Bill C-304 - Second Reading in House of Commons to strip CHRC of Section 13 censorship


Bill C-304 will strip the censorship powers from the fanatical Canadian Human Rights Commission and repeal Section 13 of the human Rights Act.  Section 13 is Canada’s shameful internet censorship legislation, which has been used to gag and harass close to a hundred Canadians. Section 13 has a 100% conviction rate, and allows for no defences.  Hearings are lengthy and biased against the accused, which has caused many newspapers and columnists to dub the Human Rights Tribunal “a kangaroo court.”

Stand Up For Freedom Canada: Bill C-304 vote today - Contact your MP

The following text is from: Stand Up for Freedom Canada (www.HumanRightsCommissions.ca)

Bill C-304, “An Act to Amend the Human Rights Act” is being debated in Parliament today and is scheduled to have its first vote tomorrow evening. If you have not yet contacted your MP to support this legislation, please do so now.

The bill, introduced by MP Brian Storseth, seeks to ensure greater protection of freedom of expression in Canada by removing the government’s power to censor speech through section 13 and 54 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Our freedom is one of the most important things that we cherish in this great nation,” said Neil Dykstra, a representative of the national Stand Up For Freedom Campaign. “Many Canadians are not aware that our fundamental Charter freedoms are being undermined by commissions and tribunals both at the federal and the provincial levels. It is about time that our federal government stood up for freedom of expression, for the protection of a diverse marketplace of ideas, and against the chill that the Human Rights Act places on political discourse. Bill C-304 is a small but important first step towards greater protection of our freedoms.”

Stand Up For Freedom Canada believes Bill C-304 ought to garner support from all parties and all members. Justice Minister Rob Nicholson urged the opposition to “get onside with the media. Maclean’s magazine, the National Post and even the Toronto Star all say this section should go.”

There is much at stake with the passage of this bill,” adds André Schutten, a lawyer and member of the Stand Up For Freedom team. “If Bill C-304 is defeated, Parliament will in effect be encouraging censorship by its bureaucratic agencies. This will embolden the human rights tribunals and commissions to continue and increase their targeted persecution of politically incorrect opinions and ideas.” Member of Parliament Brent Rathgeber stated in support of the bill, “Free speech, if it is to exist, cannot be subject to some bureaucracy. There is no such thing as government regulated free speech. Either there is free speech or there is not.”

The fact that Bill C-304 is not a government bill is disappointing,” added Dykstra. “It really should have been a priority for any conservative government that values freedom. Because Mr. Storseth’s bill is a private member’s bill, it is not guaranteed to pass. While we applaud the government’s support of the bill, we must urge all Canadians to contact their Member of Parliament to support freedom of expression in Canada, to support Bill C-304. We also encourage Canadians to learn the facts about the human rights industry in Canada for themselves by going to the website www.HumanRightsCommissions.ca. They will also find tools there to contact their MP on this bill.”

Click here to customize and send a letter to the Prime Minister, Justice Minister, and your MP in only a few minutes.


GLOBAL NEWS: Fight to repeal hate speech law brings together unlikely allies




Fight to repeal hate speech law brings together unlikely allies

Rebecca Lindell, Global News : Tuesday, February 14, 2012 6:26 PM


Photo Credit: Bloomberg News Files , Bloomberg News

OTTAWA – A bill to repeal part of Canada’s most contentious hate speech provisions, which has brought together unusual allies, is one step closer to becoming law.

Conservative MP Brian Storseth’s private member’s bill that would repeal the Canadian Human Rights Commission’s power over hate messages disseminated online is likely to survive its next test. The bill is scheduled to be voted on for a second time on Wednesday, and while it is a private member’s bill, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson endorsed the proposed legislation last November. It will still have to be voted on once more in the House of Commons and pass through the Senate before it becomes law, but the progress is encouraging for its diverse supporters.

“This is a dead bill,” said Marc Lemire, one of the people to face a complaint under the Canadian Human Rights Act. “It shouldn’t be on the books and it will be a fine day in Canada when it is finally removed.” Section 13 of the Act makes it discriminatory to spread online messages that could expose an identifiable person or persons to hatred or contempt.

Lemire said the current legislation allows interest groups a risk-free way of attacking political opponents by censoring free speech, something he believes isn’t necessary or good for democratic society. “We don’t need the government looking over our shoulder looking at what we say and whether it is correct or not,” he said.

A well-known and outspoken figure in Canada’s far right, Lemire had a Section 13 complaint filed against him in 2006 for posting anti-Semitic and anti-gay material on websites. The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal found that Lemire did violate the Act, but found the section unconstitutional.

The case is now before the Federal Court of Canada and Lemire has found an unlikely ally in his fight to see the bill repealed, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. It’s an organization known for defending human rights, equality and diversity,  The CCLA’s general counsel Nathalie Des Rosiers said it is important liberty and equality are protected for everyone. “When you lose freedom of expression you lose the ability of having the outside voice being forcefully heard,” said Des Rosiers.

“The good thing with freedom is you have so many different people who have an interest in it,” said Lemire of the unlikely alliance.

The problem with Section 13, according to Des Rosiers, is the definition of hate messages is too broad and blurs the line between hate and vigorous disagreement.  “Every group that is a little bit concerned about censorship looks at this and says the possibility of this being abused to counter some critical speech is wide,” she said. “You can easily get into full-fledged censorships.”

University of Windsor law professor Richard Moon, who was hired by the commission to study Section 13, argues it is simply not the right vehicle to defend people from hate messages. “I personally believe that it is entirely right and appropriate that there be laws that restrict extreme hate speech,” said Moon, who defines such speech as advocating, justifying or inciting violence. Moon said the Criminal Code and its hate speech provisions are the best place for complaints to be dealt with, adding police are better suited to investigating extreme speech than individual complainants. The other major concern is the commission investigating a complaint is a violation of free speech in itself, Moon said. Since 2001 the commission has accepted 74 Section 13 complaints. Of the 17 that were actually heard by the tribunal, 16 found that the respondents breached the act. The maximum fine is $10,000.

Des Rosiers said a better move would be to spend money and energy targeting acts of discrimination, instead of fighting speech, something she calls a losing battle. “It hasn’t stopped the level of vitriolic comments on the internet,” she said. “It has done very little good and has the potential to do a great deal of harm.”

The NDP opposes Storseth’s bill, but Wednesday’s vote occurs on the same day as the final vote on legislation to kill the gun registry, ensuring there will be strong Conservative showing in the House of Commons.  Liberal Justice critic Irwin Cotler supports amending instead of repealing Section 13 in a bid to prevent vilifying speech while protecting people from hate speech.  Both the Supreme Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Canada are examining cases involved hate speech.

The court cases coupled with the political momentum leaves Lemire with one prediction:  “It’s really only a matter of time before this law is gone.” 

© Shaw Media Inc., 2012. All rights reserved.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Watch live today at 5:30pm to the Parliament Debate on Bill C-304 (An Act to remove the censorship powers from the Canadian Human Rights Commission)

The Parliament of Canada’s ParlVU event centre will be broadcasting the second hour of debate on Bill C-304 this evening (February 14th, 2012) at 5:30pm.

Bill C-304 will strip the censorship powers from the fanatical Canadian Human Rights Commission and repeal Section 13 of the human Rights Act.  Section 13 is Canada’s shameful internet censorship legislation, which has been used to gag and harass close to a hundred Canadians. Section 13 has a 100% conviction rate, and allows for no defences.  Hearings are lengthy and biased against the accused, which has caused many newspapers and columnists to dub the Human Rights Tribunal “a kangaroo court.”

Parliament’s Projected Order of Business for February 14th, 2012 shows:

5:30 p.m.

C-304 — Mr. Storseth (Westlock—St. Paul) — An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act (protecting freedom) Second reading (resuming debate)
Length of speeches, pursuant to Standing Order 95(1):
·        Member moving motion — 15 minutes maximum and the speech is subject to a 5-minute question and comment period.
·        All other Members — 10 minutes maximum.

Voting — at the expiry of the time provided for debate, pursuant to Standing Order 93(1).


You can watch the debate live on ParlVU here:

Background on Section 13

Sections 13 and 54 of the Canadian Human Rights Act are a direct attack on the freedom of expression guaranteed to us under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The provisions of these sections allow the Canadian Human Rights Commission to prosecute anyone alleged to have said or written something “likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt” whether there is an actual victim or not.

Vague concepts such as speech or writing “likely to cause hatred or contempt” are the basis of expensive state-funded prosecution of individuals. The statute provides no objective legal test for “hate” or any objective means of determining what constitutes “contempt”. As a result, the CHRC is used by various groups and individuals, as a risk-free taxpayer funded method to silence their critics and those they disagree with. CHRC investigators have testified that that “freedom of speech is an American concept” and therefore not valid in Canada. Such statements are contrary to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but are standard operating procedure for the extremists at the CHRC.

Commissioners of the Canadians Human Rights Tribunal, who are not judges and are often not even lawyers, have held that “truth” is not a defence against prosecution under Section 13. In fact, if you argue the truth of your statements, it is then used as proof of your guilt, and a rational to increase the amount of fines! Intent or fair comment are also not defenses.  In fact, there is not a single listed defence under Section 13! Because of the lack of any defenses, the Tribunal has a 98% conviction rate since 1978. The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal routinely ignores the principles of fundamental justice, such as the rules of evidence, and these kangaroo courts, even allow hearsay evidence.

On September 2, 2009 the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal found in the Lemire case that Section 13 was unconstitutional and in violation of the Charter. In the decision the Tribunal slammed the CHRC for being aggressive and confrontational. In 2008, the CHRC’s own hand-picked expert – Richard Moon of the University of Windsor – wrote a substantial report on Section 13 with his main recommendation being to repeal it.

Every journalist, writer, Internet webmaster, publisher and private citizen in Canada can be the subject of 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 Section 13. Arbitrary censorship and punishment are wrong, and cannot be justified in a free society.

Support Freedom of Speech
Section 13 and 54 of the Canadian ‘Human Rights’ Act is shameful censorship!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Section 13 censorship to be discussed in Parliament. Bill C-304 coming to a vote Feb 15 (debate Feb 14, 2012)

UPDATE:  Bill C-304 coming to Parliament Next week

Conservative MP’s Brian Storseth’s Bill C-304 is coming up for second reading (second hour of debate) on February 14, 2012.  Then a recorded vote will be held on February 15, 2012.

Private Members' Business
C-304 — Mr. Storseth (Westlock—St. Paul) — An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act (protecting freedom) — Second reading (resuming debate)

Ezra Levant and Brian Storseth discuss Bill C-304

Bill C-304, an Act to Protect Freedom of Speech, will strip the powers of the fanatical Canadian Human Rights Commission to censor the internet using sections 13 and 54 of the Canadian Human Rights Act the CHRC has attacked the freedom of expression guaranteed to us under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The provisions of these sections allows the Canadian Human Rights Commission to prosecute anyone alleged to have said or written something “likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt” whether there is a living, breathing victim or not.

Every journalist, writer, Internet webmaster, publisher and private citizen in Canada can be the subject of a Human Rights complaint for expressing an opinion or telling the truth. Bill C-304 will repeal Section 13 and no longer allow the fanatics of the CHRC to censor another Canadian posting on the Internet.

Arbitrary censorship and punishment are wrong, and can never be justified in a free society!

Bill C-304: See MP Brian Storseths website for further information: http://www.brianstorseth.ca/bill-c-304

For more information on the censorship provisions of Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act see: http://www.StopSection13.com or http://www.FreedomSite.org