Conservative MP Brian Storseth appears via videoconference to discuss his bill (C-304) that would repeal Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. This section bans hate speech transmitted over the Internet or by telephone. The private member’s bill also seeks to repeal Section 54, which deals with associated penalties. Hate speech would still be prohibited under the Criminal Code.
Senators also hear from University of Windsor law professor Richard Moon, who wrote a 2008 report for the Canadian Human Rights Commission calling for Section 13’s repeal.
Representatives from the Canadian Bar Association and Canadian Civil Liberties Association present their organizations’ viewpoints as well. Cara Faith Zwibel tells the committee that the CCLA has been advocating for Section 13’s repeal, and for the repeal of its provincial counterparts, for many years. Mark H. Toews and Kerri Froc expresses the CBA’s strong recommendation for the section’s retention.
UPDATE: Bill C-304 received royal assent on June 26.