The Liberals plan to release a new bill targeting online hate speech before the House of Commons breaks for the Summer.
According to the National Post, Justice Minister David Lametti plans to table a bill that will “amend the Criminal Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act and to make related amendments to another Act (hate propaganda, hate crimes and hate speech).”
It is not immediately clear if the legislation will include regulation of internet content or only cover types of hate speech which the government consulted on last year.
The proposal comes as the Liberals try to pass the controversial internet regulation bill, C-10, which has been attacked for limiting free speech online.
Speaking at the Banff World Media Festival, Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault hinted at the forthcoming legislation, going so far as to admit the bill will be divisive.
“Now, this is going to be controversial. People think that C-10 was controversial. Wait till we table this legislation,” he said. https://www.youtube.com/embed/pXtqCRpelxw?feature=oembed
Lametti’s bill has the potential of reviving an extremely controversial former law — Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.
Section 13 was heavily criticized for going beyond hate speech, effectively prohibiting speech online that was perceived as offensive. At the time, the section was widely condemned by civil rights groups.
Section 13 was repealed in 2013 thanks to a private member bill from a Conservative MP, but Lametti’s parliamentary secretary, Arif Virani, confirmed that the Liberals are examining the section to see if any of it should be returned to. https://www.youtube.com/embed/h0RY7403WoU?feature=oembed
True North fellow and free speech expert Lindsay Shepherd says government hate speech laws inevitably end up censoring legitimate free speech which some find offensive, adding that social media platforms already censor dissenting opinions.
“It all goes back to this: we don’t want the government defining online hate, because it will inevitably cast too wide of a net. We know that a Reddit forum for gender critical feminism was banned. A pro-life news site called LifeSiteNews had their YouTube channel banned. Rebel News was kicked off of PayPal,” she said.
“This shows us that if the views you’re expressing fall outside the liberal-progressive orthodoxy, you can and will be shut out — and with a return of section 13 or some other similar online hate speech law, Canadians who express non-politically correct opinions could potentially face fines or legal trouble.”
In 2019, Shepherd testified at the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights on regulation of hate speech online. https://www.youtube.com/embed/Bgk6gC_nG7o?feature=oembed
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Taxpayer Funded Canadian Anti- Hate Network Wants Return of Sec. 13
Sec. 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act was inserted at the last minute, in 1977, on the request of Jewish lobby groups and the then-Deputy Attorney General of Ontario, to “get” one man, John Ross Taylor who was using a telephone answering machine with a recorded message to spread his views. This was in the late 1970s, before today’s Internet technology. Sec. 13 stated: “It is a discriminatory practice for a person or a group of persons acting in concert to communicate telephonically or to cause to be so communicated, repeatedly, in whole or in part by means of the facilities of a telecommunication undertaking within the legislative authority of Parliament, any matter that is 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.” These privileged groups included race, religion, sexual orientation or identity. Mr. Taylor and a number of others using telephone answering machines to spread their views were slapped with “cease and desist orders.” These had the force of a court order.
To broadcast the same or “similar” (whatever that is) messages was considered contempt and cold land you in jail. Happy Warrior John Ross Taylor, an honest and guileless man, was twice sentenced to a year in jail, the last time when he was 77 years of age.
By the late 1990s, the Internet had replaced telephone answer machines. Sabina Citron, a bitter enemy of revisionist publisher Ernst Zundel, made a complaint against him about the Zundelsite, which was located in the U.S. and run by an American citizen, educator and novelist Ingrid Rimland (who would eventually become Mrs. Zundel). This was a hard fought case, which lasted from 1997 to 2002. CAFE was an intervenor. On the censorship side were a number of Jewish groups. The defence argued, inter alia, that the Internet was not “telephonic communication”, as the section was then worded. Bill C-36, an omnibus anti-terrorism law covering many things was brought in as a response to 9/11. It gave control of the Internet to the Canadian Human Rights Commission and clarified that it did cover the Internet.
Along came Richard Warman, an Ottawa lawyer and bitter enemy of free speech — he had earlier tried to get various venues for British author David Icke cancelled. Warman started filing a flurry of human rights complaints against various nationalist bloggers, historical revisionists and others. For a while he was even working for the Canadian Human Rights Commission , in a way, drumming up business for them.
Most of his victims were poor and few could afford a lawyer. CAFE assisted a number of these victims (Terry Tremaine, Glen Bahr, Jessica Beaumont, Melissa Guille, and others, and intervened in the Marc Lemire/Freedomsite case.
We witnessed a massacre. Along the way, it was ruled that truth was no defence, intent was no defence. No harm had to be proved. In one case, we proved that, prior to Warman’s complaint, only one person, anti-free speech offence hunter Richard Warman, had ever clicked on the offending comment. The wording of the Section “likely to expose” is very loose. What is “likely”? No evidence had to be presented that anyone actually saw the comments, believed them and started to hate a privileged minority. Hatred may be hard to define, but what about “contempt”? Contempt is a negative feeling toward a person.
As it turned out, ANY strong criticism of a privileged group, even if true or fair comment, could lower a person’s opinion of that group and, therefore, might “expose them to contempt.” We learned that there was no defence to a charge under Sec. 13. The anti-free speech complainants, the vast majority Warman’s, won in every case but one — a record only surpassed in North Korea. The press paid no attention to this bullzosing of freedom. Often, echoing the complainant they had demonized the victims as “neo-nazis” or “racists” or “White supremacists”.
Eventually, others decided to mimic the success of Jewish groups and Warman, who worked closely with them, to silence their critics. A group of Moslems, angry at Mark Steyn for his book on the Islamicization of Europe, which had been exerpted in Maclean’s made a Sec. 13 complaint against Maclean’s. Finally, the press paid attention and they learned that there basically was no defence to a charge and that the vast majority had been brought by one man.
Soon, religious groups began to pay attention. We had warned Real Women back in 1998 that having we their teeth on historical revisionists and immigration critics, the thought control freaks would move on to others — Christians who opposed abortion or the LGBTQ agenda. A groundswell of opposition arose to Sec. 13. A Conservative Party conference called for its repeal. A Conservative backbencher, Brian Storseth, introduced a private member’s bill repealing Sec. 13, which passed in 2014.
Warman no longer has his favourite toy. The enemies of free speech have smarted ever since. Now, the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, on whose board sits Richard Warman and Bernie Farber, former CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress and a decades-long advocate of censorship. Sadly this frenetically pro-censorship gropup has lucked into government money. Even worse, this summer they were the beneficiary of a $500,000 grant from the Bank of Montreal. [No, corporate Canada is no friend of free speech.]
Thus free speech supporters should be concerned by the following news from the Canadian Anti-Hate Network.: “Earlier this month [December] we met with Heritage minister Steven Guilbeault and a number of social justice organizations to discuss legislation surrounding online hate. We argued that reinstating s. 13 is fundamental to successfully dealing with the problem. We were joined by numerous voices in support of these measures — the Mosaic Institute, the National Association of Friendship Centres, the Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice, and others — and we are committed to a coalition to realize a better solution for today.” The problem was views on the Internet dissenting from political correctness.
Government-funded Militant Anti-Free Speech Group, the Canadian Anti-Hate Network Wants Sec. 13 (Internet Censorship) Back
Hatemongers Don’t Face Serious Enough Consequences in Canadian Courts
While Canada has clear legal definitions of what does and does not constitute hate speech, enforcement is lacking. In the cases when known peddlers are actually brought before a judge, the trials are delayed, extended, and lack consequences. It’s time to bring back section 13. Posted on December 30, 2020
We need to do away with the myth that hate and racism aren’t
issues in Canada, especially online. We produce hate speech and
internationally recognized hate figures at a disproportionately high
rate — in many measures we’re worse than the United States on a per capita basis.
As it stands now, we do not have the legal tools needed to reverse this trend.
On 4Chan, we represent almost 6% of posts made to the worst
message board on the site, and earlier this year UK based think tank
Institute for Strategic Dialogue identified 6,600 online channels where Canadians posted hateful content.
Before we begin, let’s quickly debunk the central bad faith
argument against our hate speech laws. “Hate” is not impossible to
define or undefined — the Supreme Court has clearly defined it and endorsed a guide to determining what is and isn’t criminal hate speech. Our laws have been challenged and upheld by the Supreme Court as Charter consistent.
The laws strike a good balance between freedom of expression
and criminalizing what is dangerous hate speech. Unfortunately, they
aren’t enforced and they don’t have sharp enough teeth to be a
deterrent. The very worst actors continue spreading hate largely with
Police services across Canada are the main roadblock. A few do
take it seriously and act, but most are reluctant in the extreme to
investigate hate-related charges against individuals — whether that’s
hate speech, continuous harassment, and even death threats. Sometimes,
overwhelming community pressure on the police works — but shouldn’t be
Even if the law is applied correctly, it’s not strong enough to
be a deterrent. Some hatemongers make a mockery of it and use the
opportunity to grandstand.
James Sears, the discredited former medical doctor who served as editor for Toronto-based Your Ward News,
was sentenced to the maximum one year in prison in 2019 for promoting
hatred against women and Jews. The crown proceeded with the charge as a
Ontario Justice Richard Blouin wished he could hand down more,
saying at the time “It is impossible, in my view, to conclude that Mr.
Sears … should receive a sentence of any less than 18 months in
Sears hasn’t seen a day in jail yet. He was allowed to stay
out, pending his argument that his lawyer misrepresented him by not
giving him an opportunity to deny the holocaust and call notorious
antisemites as “expert witnesses.” He regrets nothing.
Hate vlogger Kevin Johnston was initially charged with a single
count of wilful promotion of hatred in 2017. Johnston has still not
been tried. In 2019 he lost a $2.5 million judgment
to Toronto philanthropist Mohamad Fakih for his role in racially
motivated defamation against Fakih in which he repeatedly accused him of
being a terrorist.
Travis Patron, leader of the overtly neo-Nazi federal Canadian Nationalist Party, has been “under investigation”
by the RCMP for over a year for a video in which he claimed Jews are a
“parasitic tribe” and called for their expulsion from Canada. Patron
continues to make antisemitic posts and flyers and do photo ops giving
the Nazi salute.
It’s an open and shut case. What could possibly make it take this long to lay charges?
Chaput is one of the ideological leaders of the newest
generation of neo-Nazi terrorists — his hands are soaked in blood. It’s
a travesty that the most he’s likely to get is a year. It’s uncertain
whether he will even spend it in prison, given the pandemic.
Neo-Nazi Paul Fromm was under investigation by the Hamilton Police Service for posting the manifesto of the Christchurch killer, titled “The Great Replacement” — a nod to the white supremacist conspiracy theory that white people are being replaced — in full on his website in 2019. Fromm had stated, “[The shooter’s] analysis of the crisis we face is cogent.”*
They decided not to charge him.
British Columbia’s Arthur Topham, convicted in 2015 of one
count of communicating online statements that wilfully promoted hatred
against Jews, and again in 2017, had been sentenced to a six month
conditional sentence, two years probation, a curfew, and was banned from
Some of these people just won’t stop — not as things are.
Our hate speech law, s. 319 (2), is crafted to balance freedom
of expression while criminalizing the worst hate speech. Unfortunately,
it’s not a deterrent for the most vitriolic offenders because the police won’t enforce it, and some hate mongers laugh off the consequences.
It feels like we’re banging our heads against the wall filing criminal complaints.
Before 2014, members of the public could file a hate speech
complaint under s.13. Credible complaints went to the Human Rights
Tribunal, and a panel of judges could order hatemongers to stop. It was
relatively fast, gave communities the power to defend themselves
legally, and it worked. It gave us direct access to justice
If they refused to stop, they were in violation of a standing
court order and were relatively quickly thrown in jail. Eventually, most
of them learned their lesson.
Earlier this month we met with Heritage minister Steven
Guilbeault and a number of social justice organizations to discuss
legislation surrounding online hate. We argued that reinstating s. 13 is
fundamental to successfully dealing with the problem. We were joined by
numerous voices in support of these measures — the Mosaic Institute,
the National Association of Friendship Centres, the Chinese Canadian
National Council for Social Justice, and others — and we are committed
to a coalition to realize a better solution for today.
Every single anti-racist and human rights group we know of wants it back.
_____* This viciously anti-free speech group utterly distorts my posting of the Christchurch Manifesto. Yes, I said his analysis of the dire position of Europeans, betrayed internally and being replaced by an elite-organized Third World invasion_was correct. BUT, and this is a huge BUT, I added that his solution — shooting up two mosques and killing 31 people was NOT the solution._________________________________________