Canadian government to introduce online “hate speech” regulations in early 2021
- By Tom Parker
- Posted 8:32 pm
Canada’s ruling Liberal Party has made tackling online “hate speech” a major priority.
If you’re tired of cancel culture and censorship subscribe to Reclaim The Net.
The Canadian government plans to introduce “comprehensive” regulations that target “hate speech” on social media platforms.
The regulations will reportedly be tabled in 2021 and are being introduced “to promote a safer and more inclusive online environment.”
A briefing note on the new regulations from Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault’s department stated:
“We are working to introduce regulations to reduce the spread of illegal content, including hate speech, in order to promote a safer and more inclusive online environment. We want to protect Canadians online.”
The briefing added that: “Social media platforms can also be used to threaten, intimidate, bully and harass people, or used to promote racist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, misogynist and homophobic views that target communities, put people’s safety and risk and undermine Canada’s social cohesion or democracy.”
Before winning reelection in 2019, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party made tackling online hate speech a major priority and proposed giving social media platforms a 24-hour deadline to remove hate speech or face “significant financial penalties.”
Last September, the Canadian government doubled down on its threat to regulate online hate speech with Canada’s Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Catherine McKenna, warning: “We don’t have to regulate everything but if you can’t regulate yourselves, governments will.” One day later, the Canadian government promised to “redouble its effort by taking action on online hate.”
Trudeau has also expressed conflicting views on free speech. In October, he compared drawing Muhammed cartoons to “yelling fire in a crowded movie theatre” and said there are “limits” to free speech after a terrorist attack in France where a teacher was beheaded after showing Charlie Hebdo cartoons that depict the Prophet Mohammed.
After facing heavy criticism, Trudeau then backtracked on these anti-free speech comments and stated: “I think it is more important to continue to defend freedom of expression and freedom of speech. Our artists help us to reflect and challenge our views, and they contribute to our society.”
Critics have warned that online hate speech laws pose a threat to free speech because they risk criminalizing and jailing people for expressing controversial views.
But these warnings have largely fallen on deaf ears with Canada being just one of several countries to propose or introduce hate speech laws and regulations over the last few months.
For example, Scotland’s controversial “hate crime” bill, which would sanction the possession of “inflammatory media” and “problematic” social media posts, is looking increasingly likely to pass. And Norway recently passed a new law under which people can be jailed for hate speech in private conversations.If you’re tired of cancel culture and censorship subscribe to Reclaim The Net.
Dear OCLA Supporter,
This email is to give you an update on the Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA)’s work in the surreal year of 2020. We hope to stay connected with you and work together to resist and reverse the rapid degradation of civil rights currently occurring in Canada.
OCLA report “Criticism of Government Response to COVID-19 in Canada”
In April, we published a research report authored by OCLA researcher Dr. Denis Rancourt, criticizing the government’s actions during the spring lockdown. The Abstract of the report reads as follows:
We review the scientific literature about general-population lockdown and social-distancing measures, which is relevant to mitigation policy in Canada. Federal and provincial Canadian government responses to and communications about COVID-19 have been irresponsible. The latest research implies that the government interventions to “flatten the curve” risk causing significant additional cumulative COVID-19 deaths, due to seasonal driving of transmissibility and delayed societal immunity.
Denis has written several research and review articles on COVID-19, including:
- Masks don’t work: A review of science relevant to Covid-19 social policy (April 2020)
- All-cause mortality during COVID-19: No plague and a likely signature of mass homicide by government response (June 2020)
- Face masks, lies, damn lies, and public health officials: “A growing body of evidence” (August 2020)
- Evaluation of the virulence of SARS-CoV-2 in France, from all-cause mortality 1946-2020 (August 2020)
- Measures do not prevent deaths, transmission is not by contact, masks provide no benefit, vaccines are inherently dangerous: Review update of recent science relevant to COVID-19 policy (December 2020)
OCLA’s opposition to mandatory face mask policies
OCLA continues to oppose the arbitrary and draconian imposition of face masks on the general population. Our interventions in 2020 are documented at the following links:
- OCLA asks the World Health Organization (WHO) to retract its recommendation advising the use of face masks in the general population: https://ocla.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/2020-06-21-Letter-OCLA-to-WHO-DG.pdf
- OCLA’s practice guide for civil disobedience against mandatory masking: https://ocla.ca/ocla-recommends-civil-disobedience-against-mandatory-masking/
- Campaign page containing letters to Ontario municipal officials and their responses: https://ocla.ca/opposing-mandatory-face-masks-in-ontario-municipalities/
- Invitation to Keith Egli, Chairperson of Ottawa Board of Health, to participate in a public debate on mandatory face masks (Mr. Egli declined): https://ocla.ca/the-chairperson-of-the-ottawa-board-of-health-keith-egli-refuses-to-debate-ottawas-face-mask-law/
OCLA’s submission on new online hate speech law
In July 2020, civil liberties associations were invited by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada to participate in consultations to “inform the development of legal remedies for victims of online hate”.
OCLA has previously argued that the “hate speech” provisions of Canada’s Criminal Code are unconstitutional and in violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and we reiterated this argument in our submission for the July 2020 consultations, as well as critiquing the Minister’s specific proposed additions to Canada’s hate speech laws.
Defending free speech of Ontario medical doctor Dr. Kulvinder Gill
In August, OCLA asked Dr. Brenda Copps, President of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO), to dismiss the CPSO’s investigations of tweets made by Ontario medical doctor Dr. Kulvinder Gill that are critical of COVID-19 policy and practices. The letter can be read here: https://ocla.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/2020-08-11-OCLA-letter-to-CPSO-President.pdf
“Blocking YouTube channels and banning books on Amazon are akin to requiring government authorisation to operate a printing press or to buy a photocopier or pen and paper. Only the technology and the administrative covering structures have changed. Establishment censorship is establishment censorship.”
The above quote is from OCLA’s statement opposing Amazon’s deplatforming of Ezra Levant’s book China Virus: How Justin Trudeau’s Pro-Communist Ideology is Putting Canadians in danger.
We, like many other organizations and individuals, have also been affected by social media censorship. In July, our Facebook group was disappeared and then reappeared 24 hours later. Many posts in the group are now being arbitrarily removed by Facebook. As a backup in the event that Facebook deletes our group, OCLA maintains an alternative group at MeWe. However, our email list remains the best and most secure way to stay connected with us.
- Dec. 14, 2020: “RINNER: Canada’s current pandemic response isn’t supported by the facts”, Toronto Sun
- Oct. 27, 2020: OCLA’s Joseph Hickey interviewed on political organization during the lockdown, The Shift with Doug McKenty
- Jul. 7, 2020: OCLA’s Hazel Lievonen interviewed on civil disobedience of mandatory mask policies, Global News Radio Toronto 640
- Jun. 22, 2020: OCLA’s Denis Rancourt interviewed about OCLA letter to WHO, Global News 640
- Apr. 21, 2020: OCLA’s Denis Rancourt interviewed about COVID-19 and OCLA’s report, The Craig Needles Show
What you can do
Thank you for being a valued contact for OCLA. Here are some suggestions for what you can do to help:
- Tell your friends and family about OCLA, and the importance of freedom, and suggest that they look at our website and join our free Newsletter list.
- Let us know about civil rights violations in Ontario, via our Contact page, here.
- Make a donation to OCLA, if you can this year.
- If you are a lawyer or paralegal, consider adding your name to our list of legal contacts, and tell us about your relevant interests.
- If you have academic research skills, consider offering some volunteer involvement.
- If you have social activist skills, and would like to get more connected with OCLA, let us know.
- Fight for freedom any way you can, and let us know about your battles.
How to stay connected and donate to OCLA
OCLA is an independent, volunteer-run organization. Donations help cover operating costs such as booking rooms for public events, printing promotional material for campaigns and events, and paying for court filing fees and court document production costs (copies and binding) for court and tribunal interventions on civil liberties issues.
As we are an entirely volunteer-run organization with a very small budget, we do depend on donations to continue our work, and appreciate any contribution you can make.
Donations can be made in three ways:
1) Through PayPal, by clicking the “Donate” button in the top-right corner of https://ocla.ca;
2) With cryptocurrency (Bitcoin and other options) at the link here; or
3) By sending a cheque to “Ontario Civil Liberties Association” to our mailing address:
Ontario Civil Liberties Association
170 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 603
Canada K1P 5V5OCLA is not affiliated with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) or the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA). All three associations are separate and distinct.
Thank you for your support!
|Our pro-life reporting is being attacked. So is the truth. We can’t back down in the fight against abortion!View this email in your browser Photo Credit: Getty ImagesJames,The outrageous erasing of the White Coat Summit from the internet is only the latest in a long series of brazen acts of censorship against conservatives and all those who support legitimate free speech.|
You may agree or disagree with the efficacy of Hydroxychloroquine against the coronavirus, but everyone should agree on this point:
No Big Tech company should have the power to erase from the internet the medical opinions of licensed practicing doctors simply because they do not like what they have to say about the coronavirus or their experience treating it. Americans and other free peoples do not need leftist computer programmers deciding what the best course of medical treatment is for them.SIGN PETITION
Google/YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, and their Big Tech friends want to control what you see, what you read, what you think, and ultimately, how you vote. Not only do they spend hundreds of millions of dollars on lobbying congress and buttering up big Washington DC think tanks, but now they brazenly and directly censor any content they don’t want you to see.
This must stop, but it won’t unless we demand it as forcefully as legally possible. We believe that we have reached the point were Big Tech must be broken up if legitimate free speech is going to survive and continue to thrive on the internet.
Please CLICK HERE to sign our petition to demand real consequences for Big Tech’s suppression of legitimate free speech.
In an era where almost everything is polarized, there is an overwhelming support for breaking up the Big Tech monopolies. A recent Pew poll found that 75% of Americans believe that Big Tech companies have too much influence.
It is time to bring serious accountability to Big Tech for their attempts to use their monopolies to kill free speech.It is time to break up Big Tech.
PLEASE SIGN THIS URGENT PETITION, TODAY!
John-Henry Westen and the entire LifeSite Team
PS – Please SIGN this petition which calls for consequences for Big Tech’s suppression of free speech.
PPS – Please CLICK HERE to find out more about the petition. Then, please SIGN and SHA
CAFE CALLS ON MINISTER OF JUSTICE NOT TO REINTRODUCE SEC 13 — INTERNET CENSORSHIP
Canadian Association for Free Expression
Rexdale, Ontario, M9W 5L3
Ph: 905-289-674-4455; FAX: 289-674-4820;
Paul Fromm, B.Ed, M.A. Director
June 21, 2019
Hon. David Lametti,
Minister of Justice,
House of Commons,
Dear Minister Lametti:
RE: Please Don’t Reintroduce Sec. 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Code
I read in the National Post (June 20, 2019) that you are considering “very carefully” a recommendation by the Commons Justice Committee to reintroduce the discredited Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act which was repealed by Parliament in 2013. Please don’t do it.
Sec. 13 made it a discriminatory practice to repeatedly communicate over the Internet material that is “likely to expose to hatred or contempt” a long list of privileged groups.
I represented a number of the victims of this section at Tribunals. Our organization the Canadian Association for Free Expression participated in a number of other Tribunals including the very complex Warman v Lemire.
In practice, Sec. 13 meant certain groups were virtually immune from criticism. While hatred is a very strong emotion, contempt is merely the result of negative commentary. To take a neutral example, were I to say smokers had bad breath, discoloured teeth, stained fingers, smelled and ran added risks of cancer or strokes, I would not be exposing smokers to hatred. I wouldn’t be asking anyone to hate smokers but I would certainly be creating an unfavourable impression of them, and, thus, exposing them to contempt. Thus, were smokers a privileged groups, I’d risk a conviction under Sec. 13.
As time went on, Tribunal rulings held that it was not necessary to prove that anyone actually felt or expressed hatred or contempt as a result of the impugned posting. In the Lemire case, logs showed that only five people had ever even read one impugned post. Surely a case of de minimis! It also emerged that truth was not a defence, sincerely held religious belief was not a defence nor was opinion or commentary.
Indeed, there actually were no defences, except, perhaps, that the accused person had not posted the controversial material in question. Thus, until the Lemire case, Sec. 13 had a one hundred per cent conviction rate. This would rival the vile legal system of North Korea!
After 2001, when Sec. 13 was amended to specifically include material on the Internet, one individual, Richard Warman, a driven “anti-Nazi” campaigner and sometime employee of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, made the bulk of the complaints, turning it into an industry and, at times a profitable one too for, should the victim post criticisms of Mr. Warman after he filed a complaint, he would then allege retaliation, which exposed the victim to a punitive fine.
Sec. 13 was only used against people seen to be on the “right” of the political spectrum. No person expressing strident opinions against Christians or Europeans was ever prosecuted.
Much is made of so-called “hate speech” on the Internet. The Internet is not a free for all. Postings expressing extreme hatred can and have been prosecuted under Sec. 319 of the Criminal Code. Those who denounce “hate speech” are using a loaded term to demonize views they don’t like. The accusation of “hate speech” tells you little about the content of the impugned material but does tell you that it is material the accuser hates!
The Internet allows a much greater range of views and commentary and a more free wheeling debate, especially on such volatile issues as immigration, than usually appears in Canada’s fairly controlled press that tends to limit the range of acceptable opinions. Such freedom and the divergent voices being heard are upsetting to people who would like a much more controlled public discourse.
I have seen lives ruined by Sec. 13 — huge fines and life-long “cease and desist orders” that have the force of a Federal Court order. I have seen individuals jailed for nothing more than the non-violent expression of their political views.
I urge you to choose freedom. Reject calls for the reintroduction of Sec. 13. Yes, there is some extreme, foolish and insulting material on the Internet. Open discussion and debate tend to isolate and expose such postings. Canada needs more speech and debate not less. Do not bring back Sec. 13.
WARMAN IS AT IT AGAIN: COMPLAINS TO FACEBOOK & GETS ANTI-MOSLEM PAGES TAKEN DOWN
‘It only takes a 30 second Google search to confirm why most of these individuals and groups are a problem in relation to hate speech,’ Warman said. ‘Hate speech has no place in Canada.’”
Notice, the victims got no trial or right of response. And what is ‘hate spech’? Why it’s speech some privileged minority hates.
Warman, who has long battled far right websites, had sent a list of suspected Canadian anti-Muslim pages to Facebook following the Quebec City mosque attack that left six worshippers dead.
Facebook has ‘taken action on those that qualify as hate speech,’ a company spokeswoman said Tuesday. While some of the pages were removed, others remained up but specific posts were deleted.
Six of the 22 Facebook links in Warman’s complaint were no longer online, among them the Cultural Action Party, Canadians Against Justin Trudeau and Soldiers of Odin – Ontario South.
‘The reason I forwarded the list of Facebook profiles to their management in Canada is because they had been reported to me with concerns about hate speech,’ Warman said.” [Who reported them? Was Warman’s complaint written on his own time?]
“According to Facebook’s community standards code, the company removes content that ‘directly attacks’ people based on their race, religion, sex or sexual orientation.
‘Organizations and people dedicated to promoting hatred against these protected groups are not allowed a presence on Facebook,’ it reads. ‘As with all of our standards, we rely on our community to report this content to us.’ But most of the links Warman had complained about were not taken down, despite having provocative names such as the Worldwide Coalition Against Islam and the Canadian Anti Islamic Force.
Canadian Facebook pages down following complaint they were anti-Muslim, possibly related to Toronto protest
In Response to Zionist Pressure the Internet Bigs Vow to Censor “Racism, Anti-Semitism” and Criticism of Israel
Web giants unite to ﬁght online hate
Internet giants Twitter, Facebook, Google and Microsoft have pledged to work harder to tackle online hatred after agreeing a deal with a leading antisemitism watchdog.
The companies endorsed a series of pledges on Monday following talks in California with the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism.
Described by one insider as a “game-changing” development, the agreement will see the companies increase efforts to stop the proliferation of racist and abusive comments on their sites.
The technology firms are all members of the ICCA’s working group on cyber hate. The Anti-Defamation League is a co-convenor of the group. The taskforce has been leading collaborative efforts with politicians, lawyers and the business world to force racism and hatred from the web.
An IT professional with over 30 years experience has launched an initiative to fight antisemitism and anti-Israel activity on social media.
The DJ First scheme offers free training courses for members of the community on how to use social networks like Twitter.
Gary Simon, who set up the project, explained that social media could be harnessed as a weapon against antisemitism but the community was suffering from a knowledge gap in the area.
Under the agreement, the companies have committed to introduce more user-friendly reporting systems, and will respond quicker to allegations of abuse. They will also enforce tougher sanctions against those who post abusive messages.
More work will now take place between the companies to develop further ideas on tackling online hate speech and create educational materials.
An ICCA spokeswoman in London said: “This is very significant. It’s the first time solutions have been found. If we have the big players then the others will follow. It’s not too much to say it’s a game-changer.”
British members of the working group travelled to Los Angeles last week to strike the deal. Labour MP John Mann joined Superintendent Paul Giannasi, of the Ministry of Justice’s Hate Crime Unit, and Mike Whine of the Community Security Trust, in California.
Mr Mann, ICAA chair, said: “We welcome this development and will continue to work with the industry, governments and parliaments to implement these best practices and work against the spread of hatred on the internet.”
Mr Whine said: “The internet has facilitated and encouraged the spread of hate speech. The impact is of mounting concern to governments, their criminal justice agencies and civil society alike.
“These new agreed best practices are a significant step forward. They follow five meetings in Silicon Valley which CST helped prepare and facilitate.”
Canadian Association for Free Expression
Rexdale, Ontario, M9W 5L3
Ph: 905-56-4455; FAX: 905-566-4820
Paul Fromm, B.Ed, M.A. Director
June 26, 2013