ARPA Canada is thrilled to finally see Bill C-304 pass through the Senate this week, removing the infamous Section 13 from the Canadian Human Rights Code. This Section has chilled free speech in Canada and been used to classify the truth as hate speech. We tip our hats to MP Brian Storseth, who had the courage to introduce this legislation and defend it all the way through Parliament over the past couple years. The fact that it is a private member’s bill and still passed is a huge testament to just how much these reforms are needed. Press on! We need to make changes in the provinces as well.
Calgary Sun – June 26 2013: OTTAWA – An Alberta MP has succeeded in his bid to repeal a section of the Canadian Human Rights Act long seen by
free-speech advocates as a tool to squelch dissenting opinions. Conservative MP Brian Storseth saw the Senate give third and final reading late Wednesday to his Bill C-304 which repeals Section 13 of the Human Rights Act, an act that had been used to, among other things, attack the writings of Sun News Network’s Ezra Levant and Maclean’s columnist Mark Steyn. Section 13 ostensibly banned hate speech on the Internet and left it up to the quasi-judicial human rights commission to determine what qualified as “hate speech.” But, unlike a court, there was no presumption of innocence of those accused of hate speech by the commission. Instead, those accused had to prove their innocence.
With elimination of Section 13, producing and disseminating hate speech continues to be a Criminal Code violation but police and the courts will adjudicate rather than human rights tribunals. Read more