The Internet hates Section 13

Either Section 13 of the Human Rights Act had to go, or the Internet did.

There are many reasons to be glad Section 13 of our Human Rights Act is all but dead.  For one, we already have hate speech laws, if you’re into that sort of thing.  Section 319 of The Criminal Code of Canada bans the “wilful promotion of hatred” toward “an identifiable group.” It’s weird to me that the promotion of an emotion is against the law, but I get what the law is going for, and at least it’s enforced like any other law—by the police, selectively.  If the identifiable group you promote hatred toward is Nickelback, the cops will probably leave you alone.

Human Rights Code violations on the other hand are investigated by the Code’s own little bureaucracy, the Human Rights Commission, and offences are judged by their own kangaroo court, the Human Rights Tribunal. Cases arise whenever a citizen makes a claim. If you make a successful hate speech claim, you can be awarded money in fines collected from the guilty party, even if you weren’t the target of their hate speech. And there’s nothing to stop an employee of the Human Rights Commission itself, say a lawyer who knows exactly how the process works, from making a claim.

We know this because that’s what happened. A former employee of the commission launched the vast majority of Section 13 cases during the past 12 years, winning all but one of them and collecting thousands of dollars. His name is Richard Warman, and you might call Section 13 “Richard’s Law.”

As I said, there are lots of reasons to applaud the scrapping of this ridiculous bit of legislation. But there’s one reason in particular that has me celebrating its pending demise: Section 13 was an anti-Internet law. Seriously, either it had to go, or the Internet did.

Richard Warman’s final Section 13 complaint was against “white nationalist” Marc Lemire, who hosts the Freedom Site web forum, where fellow “white nationalists” hang out and discuss “white supremacy nationalism.” But it wasn’t Lemire’s speech that Warman found hateful. It was Craig Harrison, a contributor to Freedom Site, who allegedly violated our hate speech laws by allegedly subjecting a group to hate.  But Lemire ran the site, so he was the one Warman targeted. And by the vague, anachronistic language of Section 13, he was the right target.

That’s why Section 13 hates the Internet: it makes no distinction between the publisher of a comment and the publisher of a website.  If Section 13 were to remain a law, and one that’s actually enforced by Canadians other than Richard Warman, then you simply couldn’t host any kind of interactive website. Youtube would go, Wikipedia would go, Macleans.ca and every other site with a comment section would go. It gets sillier the more you think about it. Warman has admitted to posing as a white supremacist and joining Freedom Site to help his “investigations.” If Section 13 were to stand, and website publishers were held liable for what their users post, then someone could theoretically join a site, leave hateful messages, file a complaint against the site’s owner, and then collect a cash prize, profiting from their own hate speech.

The Human Rights Commission came to their senses in 2009 when Warman’s complaint against Lemire reached their tribunal. Rather than rule that Lemire violated Section 13, tribunal member Athanasios Hadjis ruled that Section 13 violated our Charter, setting into motion a process that led directly to last week’s private member’s bill repealing the law itself.  It’ll be off the books in a year, and not a moment too soon.

Jesse Brown is the host of TVO.org’s Search Engine podcast. He is on Twitter @jessebrown

 




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The Internet hates Section 13

  1. If the author of this piece is so knowlegeable, show us a case decided under s. 13 where something that was not clearly hate speech was found to be such.

    • “Hateful” is in the eye of the beholder- in this case, unelected, usually unqualified, “human rights” “experts”.

      • then it should be easy to demonstrate a case which is clearly not hate being defined as such, right? FAct is, they do a good job, mainatain an incredibly high bar, and exercise their discretion cautiously and wisely.

        • My issue with the HRC is not that they make bad decisions, actually, they see only a very small percent of cases brought before them (official numbers are at about 100, though even by the HRC’s account, those numbers are flimsy at best), it’s that they offer a way for anyone to damage another person without any worry of consequence. There is no way for a successful respondent to reclaim resources lost fighting a bogus charge.

          • That’s an unfortunate situation of course but it’s fairly common in our society. Police brought charges that didn’t stick? Fire marshall hassled your place? A complaint to the privacy commissioner? (and give me a while I will get you an internet defamation takedown/apology source, i’m busy to be searching case names for the next little while.

      • Oh bullshit.

        As an example: “People who choose the name “Bernie” in online forums like to bugger small children and should probably have their fingers broken with a sledgehammer.”

        So.. tell me, who’s the beholder who would think that type of statement, were it made in earnest, be anything but hateful?

        • You talkin’ about my attorney,Bernie ? You talkin’ about him ?

        • So convince a prosecutor to press charges against that individual.

          You are advocating taking a Charter right away from someone without due process. You are far more dangerous to the social fabric and health of the Canadian democracy than some crackpot spouting off on a keyboard.

          • Think really hard. Perhaps consider looking at the whole conversation. Then possibly you’ll realize that I was speaking to Bernie’s point about any hate being entirely in the eye of the beholder — nothing to do with whether it is actionable or not.

    • GFMD – Your “point” in the guise of a rhetorical question is irrelevant. The problem with section 13 is the issue of who defines what hate is and a working litmus test, which, under S13, is whether a comment or a link (re links see Marc Lemire’s case) “is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt ” Likely? Words like nebulous and fuliginous come to mind.
      This then leads us to the real life application of the law. There is a reason why CHRC called Richard Warman’s behaviour “disappointing and disturbing”.
      ————————————————————————————————————–
      Reference:
      During the hearing Mr. Warman initially denied that he was the individual who had made the posts under the pseudonyms Axetogrind and Pogue Mahone. In one post, in response to a comment in January 2005 about American neo-Nazi leader Jeff Schoep, Warman wrote, “Keep up the good work Commander Schoep!”
      >> The CHRT ruled that Warman’s posts could have precipitated further hate messages from forum members, and that “his participation on Internet sites similar to the Northern Alliance is both disappointing and disturbing and it diminishes his credibility.” << (my emphasis)
      [59] The CHRT therefore did not prescribe any penalties beyond a cease-and-desist order against Mr. Ouwendyk. – see:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Warman#Praise_.26_Criticism
      ————————————————————————————————————–
      Ask yourself this: how many more are out there like Warman with an “Axetogrind”? S13 is the perfect weapon because the complainant pays nothing (the government covers ALL the legal costs) to attack someone. The process itself (all costs are forced on the target) can easily financially destroy the accused before their “guilt” is determined. Then there are the costs of “damages” to the accuser for “hurt feelings”. What a racket!
      Laws like Section 13 are akin to intellectual Jim Crow laws. Ironic, yes, but true. It just depends on whose “side you are on”. I for my part want transparent laws that apply equally and fairly to everyone regardless of race, sex, religion or station. But hey, I'm probably not on the politically correct side of this issue. C'est la vie.

      • my question is the most relevant of all. you will find many legal matters involve words which seek refinement and definition. That’s why you look at the cases and see how it turns out. We’ve been doing it for hundreds of years.

        • Is entrapment OK with you?

          • shoiw me a s. 13 case that wasn’t clearly hate.

            Do it now.

          • LOL. Demands. You’re cute.

          • i just hate stupidity,.

          • Did you say hate? I’m filing while I still can!

    • There are many, many examples, and if you don’t bother to read the news then I have no time to list them all for you.

      • i win.

        • No, you’re too lazy to make even a simple point.

        • No you don’t. Wrong question. Has your accusations been proven in a court of law beyond reasonable doubt?

          You are talking about denying a person their Charter right. We do that, but only after charging them, trying them and convicting them of a crime.

    • Freedom of expression is a charter right. The Charter also expresses some limits and we have laws against incitement and the like.

      So I challenge the question. It should be whether it was proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law, with all the due process protections granted the accused, whether it was found they broke the laws passed in parliament by their speech.

      Section 13 and the whole apparatus of Human Rights commissions were expressly designed to short circuit the due process provisions of the courts. In some instances that can be justified, but for such an administrative apparatus removing Charter rights from an individual without due process is a travesty.

      A man in northern BC murdered someone, and the police officer followed a trail of blood into a private home to apprehend the person and gather evidence. The Supreme court made it clear that the right to not have police enter your home without a warrant was so important that some evidence was ruled inadmissible in court.

      But you would put a Charter right, the right to freedom of expression in the hands of the likes as Warman and the Human rights commissions with the abuse and lack of due process protections. You give your rights away far too cheaply.

  2. The Supreme Court was absolutely 100% correct in Taylor – the commissions function well within thier ambit, recognize procedural fairness and provide a cheaper more efficient method of dealing with hate speech than we would otherwise have. I am sorry to see them go, mad at Ezra for the lies he spread about them, and ashamed of my country for how easily people allowed themselves to be misled and how deeply they fell for it.

    • Your tears are delicious.

      • Like!

      • only to the despicably craven. I don’t wnat a country based on lies and misinformation and I am saddened to see that you do.

      • the bizarre thing is although i support human rights tribunals i recognize the actual real arguments against them, even as I disagree with them. It’s the “kangaroo court!” nonsense and the complete misrepresentation of cases like Datt that drives me utterly up the wall, and horrified in a government that either believes it or exploits it.

        • So you must really dislike and be horrified by the same misrepresentations and nonsense that drove the creation of these commissions as well.

  3. Jesse Brown wrote: “If Section 13 were to stand, and website publishers were held liable for what their users post, then someone could theoretically join a site, leave hateful messages, file a complaint against the site’s owner, and then collect a cash prize, profiting from their own hate speech.” — Or the site owener could delete the comment and hey presto! things are OK again. Just as you have to do with defamation. Arguing that a law should be repealed because the press is lazy doesn’t really cut it.

    • That makes absolutely no logical sense. It’s like saying robberies are ok as long as you give the money back. Defamation is ok as long as you apologize later.

      If the “hate speech” has already been published, then the supposed “offense” has already been committed.

      Not only that, the logistics are absurd. People with web sites do have lives, and they aren’t on 24 hours a day vigilance to hit the delete button, or hiring people to do so for them on high traffic web sites.

      • learn a bit about how defamation works, esp. on the internet. then make a reasonable inference.

        • I know how defamation works. Regardless, if knowledge were a prerequisite, none of your comments would qualify.

          • No you obviously don’t. If somebody makes a defamatory comment in the comments section of a newspaper, lets say, the typical sequence of events is that the allegedly defamed party complains, and then the paper has to decide whether or not they want to leave the comment up and fight or pull it down. Even in more egregious cases, for instance where Levant defamed G. Soros right in a T.O. Sun column, Soros chose not to sue after a retraction and apology.

            Similarly, after Levant left the Western Standard, a comment calling for the extermination of Muslims was published after his last blog post. The police were alerted to a possible case of criminal hate speech, but when the Standard apologized and deleted the comment, nothing further was done.

            Mind you, Mr. Brown doesn’t seem to know what he’s talking about either, so you are in good company.

          • You’re wrong. Once defamation occurs, the victim has every right to sue. Simple as that. I’m not talking about the “typical” sequence of events, I’m talking about the law, and this article is talking about the law, specifically section 13. You said “presto! things are OK again”, which is simply absurd, the defamation has occurred and the victim has every right to go to court for damages.

            Here’s a link:
            http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/defamation

          • they can still sue, but it’s a big stroke against them and a big factor in damages.

            Seriously,your’e clueless. Utterly.

          • and that’s just for the original defamer, not even a web admin. Frankly, there’s little if anything to suggest that if defamatory material were posted on a website, the admin was made aware and acted swiftly to remove it that there’d be any trouble at all.

          • I find it impressive how you can be smug and insulting while admitting he was correct in his original assertion.

          • he clearly doesn’t understand how much of a deal immediate removal and apology is for the original defamer and even moreso for someone like a web admin. I feel secure in my smugness, here.

          • I’m not disagreeing, however, I will put to you the same test you put to the rest of the forum. you seem to be farely knowledgable on this topic, can you provide case study to back up your claim? Just to be clear, I don’t mean an example like Bigcitylib’s above where G. Soros CHOSE not to sue, an example where the case was thrown out.

          • xxx

          • Individuals like him, who have no problem denying others their charter rights and freedoms, claim intelligence while utterly failing to ever provide evidence for their outlandish assertions. They rudely demand from others what they are incapable of providing for their own arguments. In short: they substitute arrogance for evidence.
            It is funny, but it’s also evidence why basic rights are so important.

          • Booby boy, quoting U.S. law when talking about cdn defamation law is ridiculous. You really are totally ignorant.

          • I did not quote US law. You supreme geniuses sure have trouble with reading comprehension, grammar, truth or basic logic (sometimes all at once). As I said below to GMFD, what you lack in intelligence you attempt to make up for with arrogance.

          • You link goes to a US legal site.

          • It is not a US legal site.

          • no, you really really don’t

          • Seems to me that none of you lawyer-types is getting the jist of it. A defamed person may ‘settle’ for an apology for all sorts of pragmatic reasons, and thus settle the liability. However, the stain of public falsehood is still there, and so is the cost of defending yourself, which is rarely recovered by the injured party, except by lawsuit, and even there… But that’s all beside the point. The HRCs are not courts to settle torts. They are political instruments for inflecting public behavior, penalizing classes of people they regard as ‘reactionary’, promoting the power of designated ‘victim groups’ (‘enabling’) and generally suggesting that there _is_ no law, there is only naked power. Incidentally, I once sat and watched the “human rights commission” of one province _order_ a group of school teachers to adopt a policy, where a student phoning in on the morning of an exam, claiming not to be able to write the exam because she had a “headache,” be granted a deferred exam for that reason, at her own leisure, and at the teacher’s expense of time. This was given by the HRC as an example of “accommodating people with physical disabilities.” These are the “human rights” that an HRC loves to defend. The “order” by the HRC was punishment for one teacher in the group not “accommodating” a similar student during a similar test. Had the body of teachers not acceeded to this “order,” other punitive measures would have been applied, so it was blackmail. “Accommodation” can mean giving the student twice the amount of time that others are given, or having books open that are not available to other students, that sort of thing. Human rights? You’re talking about naked abuse of norms and standards, of fairness and equality, and of the system, on behalf of privileged classes, led by social workers who’ve been drafted into positions of power.

  4. If the arguments are that the wrong parties are getting unjust awards, then the solution is to amend the section to address those concerns.
    That’s exactly what the Canadian Bar Association recommended in 2010 when it recommended that the penalties be changed, the Tribunal be give the power to throw out a party who was not the proper party to the proceeding (i.e. Warman) and award costs against a party who abused the process.
    http://www.cba.org/CBA/submissions/pdf/10-03-eng.pdf
    (summary of recomendations near the end).
    Besides the recomended amendments, one more paragraph seems to apply particularly well at the moment:
    “Of greater concern to the CBA is the fact that the debate surrounding the expediency of section 13 has become the proxy for an open assault on the very existence of an administrative framework to protect human rights in this country. Critics have decried human rights proceedings as “kangaroo courts”
    which provide only “drive through justice” and advocated that human rights tribunals and commissions should no longer be permitted to operate. We reject attacks of this kind and reiterate forcefully our support for the continued importance of the work undertaken by these human rights bodies to foster human rights in Canada. “

  5. I don’t ‘get’ any ‘hate speech’ law at all. That’s why all such laws must be repealed. Sixty years ago, Baptists would be before Babs Hall and her kangaroos, for calling Roman Catholics ‘dupes of the AntiChrist’. What we need in Canada is this: 1) abolition of ALL so-called Human Rights commissions and tribunals; fire the glorified social workers who staff them. They are not worth reforming. 2) move their legitimate jurisdiction (over actual discrimination) back into the law courts, or into a branch of the Min. of Labor, where REAL evidentiary rules apply, due process, and where false claims will be punished; 3) reinforce the idea that there’s only ONE speech that isn’t protected, e.g., shouting Fire in a crowded theatre, libelling, or advocating physical harm, such as in a riot.

    • isn’t it ironic that the ministry of labour usually decides things by tribunal anyway, using the same rules as the “kangaroo courts” of human rights commissions?

    • One of the things S.13 did, was make it illegal for people to go around posting stuff that would cause a person to be disadvantaged prejudicially, but isn’t necessarily hate. Things like “Mexicans are lazy,” “Jews will cheat you.” “Homosexuals are pedophiles.”, and other garbage like that.

      It’s not “hate” speech under the criminal code, as it doesn’t incite any actual hatred or a violation of the peace. Nor is it considered libel or slander as it’s directed toward a group, not an individual. But, over time, messages like that can lead to real disadvantages.. employers not being willing to hire Mexicans because of their reputation, for instance. Which, even if there are enlightened employers out there, means that they can get away with paying their Mexican workers less. That’s simply not right, and it’s not fair.

      The full courts wouldn’t, and won’t, touch things like that.. and further, they shouldn’t. It’s a waste of valuable police resources that need to be pursuing more violent activities. However, that doesn’t mean that people should be allowed to run around trying to promote those types of ideas.

      The HRC/HRT was a good middle ground. Did it have problems? Hell yes. Warman exposed those problems rather nicely.. but they could have been dealt with.

      Chopping S.13 entirely throws out the baby with the bathwater, and what’s worse.. doesn’t even throw out the bathwater because the problems are *still* there. People can still get awarded money for claims that don’t actually involve them — just now it’s tougher to make them as they need to more than simple verbal discrimination.

      • thwimm, racially tinged gossip is passed around in a variety of ways. It remains loose talk and gossip, nothing more. If it’s stuck on a wall, you might call it graffiti and have a municipal bylaw deal with it, fine the mess. The old saying is that there is no law that protects you from being offended. And there’s no law that outlaws saying offensive things… except the bilge of the HRC’s mandate.
        Actually, HRCs are far more subversive to Canadian values that s. 13 suggests. Here’s just one anecdote, backed up by hundreds of similar ones. A cousin of mine, faced with having to dismiss an incompetent dental technician, does so. She marches over to the provincial HRC to lay a false complaint of “sexual harassment.” Five years later the case is still being processed in one way or another; the lying complainant has paid Zero to press her complaint; on the contrary, she’s been begged by HRC bureaucrats to press it, as it gives them profile and justifies their salary. My cousin has now spent $100,000 to clear his name. He is bankrupt and ceases practicing his profession. A few years later, the “complainant” walks away from the complaint, having destroyed a working professional, and the latter has no-one he can sue for damages, were he in a financial position to do so. The HRC is a State-terror organization, whose mandate is to chill, silence, and terrorize those it regards as ‘enemies’ of its clientel. It is a private club for the practitioners of identity politics. It knows that its Star Chamber can destroy anyone at will, allow hearsay and frivolous evidence; hide the identity of the complainant; prevent disclosure or effective cross-examination; violate every rule of evidence and trial; and it picks and chooses its targets. It feeds on the soft underbelly of Canada, which is composed of intellectual laziness, Utopia, and cowardice.

        • Curious.. why did he spend anything?

          My understanding is that one of the major points of the HRC’s is to allow people to access the system without having to have money.

          That’s why they have the relaxed rules of evidence, etc, so that you don’t have to use a lawyer.

          Beyond that, you’re also confusing the bathwater with the baby, because eliminating section 13 will do not a damned thing about sexual harassment charges to the HRC. Job discrimination is still in there.

          And as for the rest of your spittle-flecked rant.. meh. 6 out of 10. You need to consider adding some Nazi and Stalinist imagery to it if you’re going to put it to a pamphlet for the meetings.

        • With apologies for those multiple posts. This blogsite is, well, cruuude.

      • Thwin, I recall last week you said “you are now entirely free to incite hatred toward a group of people. We can freely say now that all Christians are greedy fascists who want to enslave blacks and rape any woman who thinks she should be able to get a job and so should be exterminated”
        In other words, last week you stated that extreme slander and calls for the murder of a particular group are permitted. But now, your argument seems to be watered down to merely : vague generalisations are now permitted, like X are all lazy, or Y are liars.
        Have you changed your stance? Do you now admit that the law still does not allow the type of slanderous things (including murder) towards groups in paragraph 1 above? Or do you yourself have trouble defining “hate,” therefore reflecting/proving many of the criticisms of S-13, where “hate” cannot be clearly defined, and can be vaguely and frivolously interpreted to suit any particular motive?
        FYI: Since tone can be misinterpreted on these comment boards, I’ll add that I’m not trying to paint you into a corner, or attempt an Aha! / Gotcha moment. I’m genuinely asking for clarification. Your comments are typically very intelligent and well thought-out, even if I don’t always agree with them, and you always add to the discussion rather than freely toss insults and drag discussions into the gutter like a few other commenters.

        • You’re right. My stance has changed, since after that first post, I went wandering around looking for more information to see how far things could go. That’s when I found s. 319 of the Criminal Code. Which means yeah, my previous statement was in error. That kind of thing could be processed as hate speech by police, and possibly as incitement to violence.. (And I’ll be quick to point out that there’s a specific exemption in the law for saying those kind of things as part of making a point about hate speech — which is interesting in that it was thought of. Good law that.) ..and now that you mention it, should probably go back and edit it.

          But that still leaves the non-actionable stuff, as I’ve pointed out, and also doesn’t deal with the bulk of the problems people are talking about here, which seem to revolve around the award measures.

          Oh, and incidentally.. gotcha tone would have been perfectly appropriate. I screwed up, didn’t do my research first, and deserve to get called out on it.

          • There’s enough vitriol on these discussion boards. I felt the Gotcha would have only added to it. Besides, it’s not really my style.
            Thanks for the response. I don’t agree that vague generalisations about a particular group would cause as much damage as you claim. Mexicans will be abused by employers because they don’t know their rights, and are probably afraid of law enforcement, not because an employer overheard a stereotype in a bar.
            As for your comment (“Allow people to access the system who don’t have money… lax rules about evidence”), you might be right about the financial aspect (I don’t know enough about courts to know for sure), but the lax rules was one reason why I was against the HRTs. Lax rules will always be inconsistently and unfairly applied, and can also snowball (where does the laxity end?). Couple this with chairs who were partisan appointees, and didn’t have sufficient experience with the justice system (rather than, say, a former judge or lawyer chairing the HRTs) and it’s a recipe for trouble. IMO, if someone didn’t have a lawyer representing him in court, the judge would allow some understanding, and gently remind the person of proper procedure (while he might tend to be impatient towards a lawyer who did the same thing). But the judge wouldn’t throw out the entire rulebook and say “What the heck, this guy’s not a lawyer. I won’t apply all the relevant rules or enforce procedure.” IMO that would lead to problems. Heck, if that were the case, it would be a reason not to hire a lawyer, and defend myself instead, because the rules wouldn’t apply to me and I’d be shown incredible leniency.
            In any case, good discussing with you.

          • You have to read the cases to know what’s going on. The HRCs were _designed_ to allow for advocacy trials against private citizens. They are designed to detour around due process and the law; and to dispense with rules of evlidence and the bar on hearsay, innuendo, witness abuse, etc etc etc. A man may be accused without even knowing the name of his accuser. They are an instrument of political _chill_, not legal bodies to decide cases fairly. They are not run by court officials, but by social engineers.
            They are designed to tilt the scales of justice in one direction, not to keep them level. Millions of university students have been taught that social-engineering tribunals are a “progressive step.” And they go along with the idea, just like the Cubans. Canadians are puffy-cheeked rubes when it comes to defending due process… until they themselves become the victims. There is no essential difference between the HRC bureaucracy and the show trials staged by the Stalinists in Russia.

          • Anybody will be abused by their employers if they don’t know their rights. That’s a wash. However, we have documentation showing that some groups of people statistically get paid less for similar work. You can’t really shift the blame for something that appears systemic to the individual workers.

            And while hearing one stereotype at a bar probably won’t make a difference, living in a culture where that stereotype becomes ingrained into the culture because no steps are ever taken to curtail it does. There must be a reason, after all, that people in the southern united states evidence more racist behavior than in the northern ones, and I’m pretty confident in asserting it’s not genetics.

            You’re correct about how the courts shouldn’t be lax in their application of rules. And while a judge might have some leniency, a judge is also constrained by the law as to how much leniency he can apply.. because the appeal courts won’t have any if the judge went too far. There’s also the problem that these claims are always more nebulous. They do not have the amount of proof where we can definitively claim that one side or the other is completely right or wrong. So much like a lone kid in the living room with a broken lamp and a soccer ball rolling across the floor, while we can’t say with 100% certainty that the kids story about it being someone else who just left isn’t true.. we pretty much know.

            At the same time, because of the nebulousness of these cases, there really shouldn’t be the type of punishments that criminal court can apply such as a criminal record or jail time. But that’s the bath-water.

            My concern is people aren’t thinking about what happens now. With section 13 gone, more people will rely on s.319. This means more real police are spending their time looking into these kinds of things rather than concentrating on safeguarding us from actual violence. It means when these things are punished, it’s more likely to be with jail time (and personally I don’t find that appropriate). It means that the more nebulous cases — those without the direct evidentiary trail (such as the broken lamp kid) will be formally *acquitted*.. ergo, the behavior will be condoned in the sense that the person wil be able to legitimately say, “The Courts have said I’ve done nothing wrong!”

            And perhaps most concerning, it means that well-monied interests can use lawyers to drag cases out and put an end to them simply by wearing down the complainants. That’s what throwing out the baby, rather than just changing the bathwater, gets us.

    • If you get rid of hate speech laws, how will you deal with hollocaust deniers or “historical revisionsists” as they prefer to call themselves, like Ernst Zundel and Jim Keegstra whose sole purpose is to lead others to believe in a vast Jewish conspiracy that somehow puts the rest us at a financial disadvantage. These people aren’t just “gossiping” or making sly remarks, they are teaching our children to hate others based on their religion and to disregard what has been proven to have happened in history all so that they can promote their sick agenda. Do you know that the children who Keegstra taught were taken on a tour of the gas chambers in the concentration camps because despite their parents and experts trying to convince them otherwise, they held steadfast to the belief that their beloved teacher, Mr. Keegstra was right when he told them the hollocaust hever happened and it was all a Jewish conspiracy. The only way Canada got Ernst Zundel deported back to Germany was on the basis of a conviction through the human rights commision. Thwim is right. Before you get rid of hate speech laws, you better think through all the ramifications.

      • Healthcare: The words “freedom of speech, expression, and opinion” are fairly well defined this way: The freedom to express an idea which the majority of people find utterly repugnant.
        There is no such thing as “freedom of speech” for nice and inoffensive ideas unless not-nice people are running the show. If there were, it would be like saying you’re in favor of water that is wet, not dry. By extension, there is no such thing as banning not-nice speech unless it provokes a riot deliberately or is full of obscenities in places where children are present.
        Adolph Hitler loved animals, was a Vegan, detested smoking, was in favor of physical exercise, loved green spaces, was obssessively clean, and had loads of other ‘nice’ things to say about life and the Planet. Therefore, even under Hitler, freedom of speech for ‘nice’ ideas would be a non-starter.
        “Holocaust denial” is an opinion and an odious piece of research. But it threatens nobody’s life or safety in Canada, so it is by defnition legal, and should not be banned. The so-called Hate Speech laws are a violation of all our founding principles of public discourse.

        On the other hand, for the sake of argument, if you proposed banning it in Austria, the fountainhead of anti-Semitism, led by neoNazis, and a historic perpetrator of the Holocaust, I’d vote for that with both hands.

        • You just made my argument for me…ban Holocaust denial in some parts of the world where anti-Semitism, led by neoNazis has already gotten a stronghold but leave it alone in other parts of the world so anti-Semitism and the neoNazi movement can flourish in those areas. Did you not GET the point where I explained that Jim Keegstra was a highschool history teacher and was a Holocaust denier? How is it okay to use your influence as a teacher (who passes and fails students) to teach them incorrect history based on your own beliefs. How is using lies to teaching child to hate a group based on their religion any less offensive than yelling “obscenities in place where children are present”. The fact that you then pass or fail those children based on their ability to regurgitate the lies you told them is truly sickening. If you believe there is no “white supremist” and neo-Nazi movement in North America, I would have to tell you to wake up and smell the coffee. You have obviously had your head in the sand. We have had actual parades right here in Calgary.

          • Healthcare, don’t give us the slipperyslope cliché; nazism and the holocaust were products of the WWI defeat, the Great Depression, and the Jewish Question in Europe, none of which is going to slop over the banks of the Bow River any time soon. Private anti-Semitism and minor pockets of extremism exist in countries all over the world.
            Keegstra was a fool who could have been effectively dealt with by his school board, period. The idea that Keegstra posed some sort of public threat was ludicrous, as every sober commentator agrees, except the one lobby group that helped push this Special Law into effect.
            The only reason why special laws are applicable in Austria is that Austria is the birthplace of Nazism and large parts of its population would love to see the Swastika float above Vienna. We defeated them; for that reason, we have a right to comment on this. In fact, we’d have the right to drop an A-bomb on them, given that they killed thousands of our soldiers 1939-45 and we’ve let them resurrect themselves as a country. Watch out there, all you skinheads with saurkraut on your breath!

      • “If you get rid of hate speech laws, how will you deal with hollocaust denier…”
        Here’s a revolution thought: you deal with Holocaust-deniers do way you deal with any historical and controversial issue, i.e. by debating and presenting arguments backed up by facts. You surely don’t start promulgating obscurantist censorship laws to fine and/or jail people. That’s what fascists, communists, and Islamists do. As we speak, there are people sitting in prison in freedom-loving Europe because of heterdox views regarding the Holocaust, that should make free men and women uncomfortable. What kind of truth needs legal protection? This is the same continent that first collaborated with the Nazis and then with communists, they have no morality lessons to give us on free speech.

  6. If we’re mad that there’s two, why not get rid of the Criminal ones? Heck, I’m a huge supporter of there being penalties for hate speech, and I even don’t want these losers thrown in actual jail and have to carry around criminal records. And as mentioned by Godless Lawyer, administratively they actually work really well, so that’s not an argument against.

  7. We need legislation that targets serious crimes on the net. Child abuse murder etc

  8. Hate like beauty is the eye of the beholder. The fact that we have any so-called hate-speech laws on the books illustrates that we live in what the author James Kalb described as “liberal tyranny” where only state-approved speech is tolerated by cultural Marxist apparatchicks (and increasingly infiltrating Islamists) who infest our “human rights” industry.

  9. In Canada today, any opinion expressed by the spoken word, in print, or posted online that is not politically correct, can easily be deemed as “hate Speech”. However, the imminent demise of Section 13 will make it considerably harder for Richard Warman, Darren Lund and other professional whiners will now have to actually work for a living.

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