Orwellian law toast
Section 13 of the human rights act was a utopian strategy that tried to regulate human emotions
Canada’s Internet censorship law was finally repealed last week. Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act is now gone.
It was an Orwellian law because, despite its name, it was neither Canadian in its character nor did it protect human rights.
It did the opposite. It effectively criminalized comments made on the Internet that could hurt someone’s feelings. That’s destroying the genuine human right of freedom of speech and replacing it with a counterfeit human right not to be offended.
The law was a combination of utopian strategy and fascist tactics, as many attempts to re-engineer human beings are. It regulated human emotions. Section 13 made it illegal to publish anything on the Internet “likely to expose a person … to hatred or contempt.”
But hatred and contempt are natural human feelings. You can no more ban hate than you can ban love; if it were possible, we would have passed the Love Each Other Act long ago. It’s not possible. And it’s not desirable.
Some things are good to hate. Watch the video of the terrorist attacks on 9/11. How could a normal person not feel revulsion?
It doesn’t even have to be an act of terrorism — we use the word “hate” to describe everything from rival political parties to rival sports teams to our failed personal relationships.
It is not the Canadian way to criminalize hard feelings. We criminalize violence or other crimes. Not Section 13. It criminalized the feelings itself, without any proof of any harm coming from it.
It is no surprise that, for the first 32 years in that law’s existence, not a single person who was prosecuted under it was acquitted.
It had a 100% conviction rate — usually a laughable statistic from a dictatorship’s legal system. But that’s the thing — the enforcers of Section 13 had more in common with those countries’ sham trials than with Canada’s tradition of impartial and professional courts.
Canada’s human rights commissions and tribunals — there is one in each province and territory, in addition to the federal one — are not run by real judges. Most of them aren’t even run by lawyers.
They’re political appointees, usually activists who specialize in newfangled human rights. That is, the booming industry of hurt feelings.
Unlike real judges, these rulers are not required to be neutral; are not required to abide by legal precedent; do not have the same rules of evidence as real courts; allow hearsay; do not have the same standard of proof as a court; have powers of warrantless searches and seizures; and do not have legal aid for poor people who are accused.
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