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Old 06-10-2012, 09:45 PM   #1
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Bill C-304 - The Legalization of Hate Speech

This was posted in the "No need to start a new thread, thread," but it's very deserving of it's own thread in my opinion. So, here it is... discuss.

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A Conservative private members’ bill that repeals part of Canada’s hate speech laws has passed the House of Commons with scant media attention, and even less commentary. But it's being cheered by many Canadian conservatives as a victory for freedom of speech. And it's being cheered most vocally by another group: White supremacists.

Bill C-304, introduced by Conservative backbencher Brian Storseth, repeals Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which bans hate speech transmitted over the Internet or by telephone. It passed third reading in the House of Commons on Thursday and is now headed to the Senate.

“This is a huge victory for freedom in Canada,” a poster calling him or herself “CanadaFirst” posted on the website of StormFront, a notorious white supremacist group. “However, we still have other unjust Zionist ‘hate’ laws that need to go.”

“Way to go, Harper. I know we can’t get everything we want, but I stand a little taller today as a Canuck,” wrote “OneMan.”

The new law doesn’t make hate speech legal on the web or by phone -- hate speech remains illegal under the Criminal Code. But by removing it from the Canadian Human Rights Act, it takes away the authority of the country’s human rights commissions to investigate online hate speech and request that violating websites be taken down.

That has alarmed the Canadian Bar Association, which said in a recent report it’s concerned that the law may be the start of a campaign by the Conservatives to weaken Canada’s human rights laws.

“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,” the CBA stated.

"Over the years, human rights commissions have remained at the vanguard of eliminating discrimination based on race, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, and other grounds, and advancing equality," the CBA added.

Other supporters of the commissions say taking away their authority over hate speech will embolden racists and lead to more racial violence.

But human rights commissions have become bogeymen to many Canadian conservatives, and some others, who have campaigned for years to eliminate them altogether, painting them as bureaucratic tools of censorship.

In one famous case, conservative media icon Ezra Levant was hauled in front of an Alberta tribunal to explain his decision to run controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohamed in the magazine he ran at the time, the Western Standard.

Levant became a cause celebre for opponents of the commissions, and his decision to republish the cartoons online on the day of his human rights hearing was hailed as heroic by many conservatives.

But all the opposition parties voted against the private members’ bill in Parliament Thursday, with NDP public safety critic Randall Garrison arguing that it would now be much harder to prevent hate speech online.

“We do have a serious problem,” Garrison told the National Post. “If you take away the power to take (websites) down, it’s not clear they have any mandate to even to talk to people about it and educate them about it.”

Garrison argued that the Tories are being dishonest by having these laws be introduced as private members’ bills, rather than government bills, noting that the Conservative Party of Canada made repealing human rights commissions’ ability to regulate hate speech a part of their platform.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews defended the bill, tweeting on Thursday that the new law will “end arbitrary censorship powers of human rights commissions.”

Public opinion on human rights commissions is split. An unscientific poll on the CBC website shows a bare majority of people supporting the Tories’ move.
Bill C-304: Hate Speech Clause's Repeal Gives White Supremacists Rare Moment Of Glee
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:39 PM   #2
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The new law doesn’t make hate speech legal on the web or by phone -- hate speech remains illegal under the Criminal Code. But by removing it from the Canadian Human Rights Act, it takes away the authority of the country’s human rights commissions to investigate online hate speech and request that violating websites be taken down.
So the only thing Bill C-304 does is prevent a human rights commission from making a polite request for someone to take down their hateful webpage?

THIS is what people are foaming at the mouth over? Wow. All aboard for the media hype machine.
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:56 PM   #3
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So the only thing Bill C-304 does is prevent a human rights commission from making a polite request for someone to take down their hateful webpage?

THIS is what people are foaming at the mouth over? Wow. All aboard for the media hype machine.
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That has alarmed the Canadian Bar Association, which said in a recent report it’s concerned that the law may be the start of a campaign by the Conservatives to weaken Canada’s human rights laws.

“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,” the CBA stated.
My concern is not the expediency of section 13 itself, but the precedence it sets. The next natural step seems apparent, the decriminalization of hate speech. Call it censorship, but I fail to see a benefit to allowing people to spew bigotry.
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:00 PM   #4
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So the only thing Bill C-304 does is prevent a human rights commission from making a polite request for someone to take down their hateful webpage?

THIS is what people are foaming at the mouth over? Wow. All aboard for the media hype machine.
I guess that'll make your job harder when people use the word "gay" in a derogatory, politically incorrect way...
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Old 06-11-2012, 12:18 AM   #5
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I guess that'll make your job harder when people use the word "gay" in a derogatory, politically incorrect way...

Are you trying to be clever? How is this relevant to the thread?
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Old 06-11-2012, 12:23 AM   #6
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I don't want a government that thinks that they know more than I do. As evidenced by, well years of precedence of governing on their own, and years prior to that of having a little Britain in their back pocket-I don't think they do.

The thing about free speech is...you don't always like what they have to say, but I'll fight for your right to say it.

This is one step in the right direction.

The thing is, I don't want this to be a 'vote for hate speech', which I'm sure someone at NDP headquarters is furiously typing as I write this, this is a vote FOR free speech. As well, the people in this particular wing of bureaucracy can focus on things that actually matter, instead of the rants online that like so many other things online, can never truly be shut down.
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Old 06-11-2012, 12:44 AM   #7
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Wow Grid, for someone who bitches a lot about another forum that holds racism, homophobia, and general bullying with such high regard, I am rather shocked that you do not see an issue with this.
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Old 06-11-2012, 12:44 AM   #8
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The thing about free speech is...you don't always like what they have to say, but I'll fight for your right to say it.
Just curious? Would you fight for the Westboro Baptist Church as provocateurs hiding behind the veil of "free speech"?
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Old 06-11-2012, 12:51 AM   #9
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This is less a vote for hate speech and more an end to augmentation to the Canadian Human Rights act in a very small way.

I'm not entirely certain as to the endgame for the conservatives for making this change. But the takeaway from all of this is the media's willingness to jump on a news story and whip it from what should be a page two footnote to front page. If you read the article, you'll see its more about the reaction than the actual impact of this bill.

Seriously, who uses Stormfront as a source for credible public reactions to this bill? (or to anything for that matter) This is more about selling newspapers and getting advertising impressions than it is about public outrage.
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Old 06-11-2012, 12:53 AM   #10
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I don't want a government that thinks that they know more than I do. As evidenced by, well years of precedence of governing on their own, and years prior to that of having a little Britain in their back pocket-I don't think they do.

The thing about free speech is...you don't always like what they have to say, but I'll fight for your right to say it.

This is one step in the right direction.

The thing is, I don't want this to be a 'vote for hate speech', which I'm sure someone at NDP headquarters is furiously typing as I write this, this is a vote FOR free speech. As well, the people in this particular wing of bureaucracy can focus on things that actually matter, instead of the rants online that like so many other things online, can never truly be shut down.
It's not a vote for free speech, it's a vote for hate speech and that benefits no one except people with the desire to proliferate bigotry.

Free speech would mean the end of all government censorship, which is not what this bill aims to do nor does the government intend to take measures towards that end. The bill aims to open up my ability to say I hate chugs, niggers, chinks, jews, and faggots (see spoiler). The government has no stated intention to open up my ability to publish pornography featuring children, incest, rape or animals, or instructions on building pipe bombs, which like hate speech, are subjects censored for good reasons.

Spoiler!

Last edited by MindBomber; 06-11-2012 at 01:34 AM. Reason: because I would make a terrible racist
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Old 06-11-2012, 01:32 AM   #11
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, nigers,

Spoiler!
Just what do you have against Niger? I hear its lovely this time of year...
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Old 06-11-2012, 01:35 AM   #12
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Yes, MB, it is all that. It's someone doing what has been talked about by some, and dreamed about by others-smaller government.

Fuck, do we need someone from the government to wipe our asses for us to? Online rants..never going to win this battle. My god, we should know that from rs alone hate speech is just that. Speech. Sticks And stones and all that.

Do I like it? No. I'm sure there are people saying shit that would disgust me in ways I can't imagine. Worse for me though, it some gov't bureaucrat making impartial judgement on some, not all.

We spend so much time in this country trying to hold 30 million hands and lead them through life. Does that mean I'm pro-america and fuck the dying? No. But let's focus on shit that actually has an effect-public hate speech, inciteful speech and many other things that actually affect lives.

This is such a minor change, and like so many other minor changes, people fear it for just that-change.

For the record- westboro is on the edge for me-is it hate speech or isn't. I tend to side on freedom of speech, and know that a logical mind can and should tune them out. They shouldn't have an audience, not because the government shuts them down, but because the public won't listen. As much as I disagree, if there is a public that wants to listen, in a free state, is that not their right?
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Old 06-11-2012, 01:38 AM   #13
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Wow Grid, for someone who bitches a lot about another forum that holds racism, homophobia, and general bullying with such high regard, I am rather shocked that you do not see an issue with this.
Yes, they are stupid redneck americans. I hate it, andi fight it as much as I can, but I would never support censoring the channel because a) I disagree, or b) because I can.
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Old 06-11-2012, 01:42 AM   #14
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^ what's the difference b/w 'free speech' and verbal assault/abuse?
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Old 06-11-2012, 02:03 AM   #15
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^ what's the difference b/w 'free speech' and verbal assault/abuse?
I see it as this....free speech is a legal issue where as verbal abuse is more or less a moral issue.

Free speech is called just that because it is legally provided and guaranteed.

Verbal abuse and people saying things that are verbally offensive becomes an issue of morality and the law becomes rather tricky when it comes to deciphering what is right and what is wrong. I've thought about these things often and the best way I can put it is:

In a community that is predominately white, if the KKK decided they wanted to march through it and propagate their hateful views, they would be allowed to do so. So long as it did not disturb the majority. At least, that's how the laws in the states work.

What I would like to know is, with the current laws and addendums, how much hate speech is ACTUALLY being prevented? I almost never hear about websites or stories being taken down because they're hateful to a particular group or culture. In fact, I see that stuff all over the internet everyday. So again, how much are our current laws really preventing and is there another way to mandate internet and media content (that is more practical and applicable) in preventing hateful and racist content?
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Old 06-11-2012, 02:24 AM   #16
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Stormfront has been targeted for years but yet it's the largest open forum for white supremacist and it's growing. There is stuff on that forum that can merit criminal charges but no one seems to care and this bill imo isn't going to change much. The Liberal media will add their two cents and the Conservative media will add theirs and everyone will move on.

One thing I will say about Harper is his approval rating is dropping, his party is now been beat by the NDP in some polls and him and his party have pissed off a lot of people especially in the ethnic communities so they need to go back to their base and make them happy or they'll be the next Liberal party.
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Old 06-11-2012, 02:35 AM   #17
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^ what's the difference b/w 'free speech' and verbal assault/abuse?

It's funny because I had to think about this for a minute and actually look at this in a grander scale.

I've seen the fight for freedom of speech a whole lot in my lifetime. But most of them are from the news, and from 3rd world countries, often in dictatorial or tyrannical governments. In the crux of it, the fight for freedom of speech is for their ability to openly criticize the government with out fear of penalty, torture or inprisonment.


I find it funny now in a western society where we are guaranteed the right to the freedom of speech that we have taken this liberty so far, that now that we're questioning if we should allow people the right to practice "hate speech" ie. anti-racial, anti-gay, anti-religious... etc.
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Old 06-11-2012, 04:17 AM   #18
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It's like I've said in previous threads about the conservative party


minor moves, changes, stepping stones that allow people like Gridlock and EB to continue feeling safe/unconcerned and make them go when they hear people complain because they can't see/believe where its all leading us

by the time people like that realize what's going on its far too late to evoke change; after they've been led down a path by the hand of the government ( thanks for that one grid) for so long they actually won't have a problem with outright allowing hate speech/etc because it seems like a natural progression/step
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:15 AM   #19
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I like how everyone still thinks white people are dominant, we are the minority here, and suffer from just as much, if not more racism than any other race. We just cant pull the race card and complain about it like everyone else does.

This is a step forward, im starting to like the conservatives
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:36 AM   #20
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Trust me, there are things happening that the conservatives are doing that have me concerned.

Changes to the environmental review process for one. Things that you can sit there and say,"thats a gift to our base"

Changes to Parks Canada, where Dino is telling me they are gutting a system that was built over the last however many decades.

The government saying we'r ecutting back on effectively monitoring the internet for butthurt...doesn't concern me.

I think Canada is grown up enough that we can recognize that we don't need the government stepping in on some shit.

Change is not necessarily bad. People are all kinds of happy when 'change' is adding something. A new layer of approval, a new law targeting more than we are already doing. Difficult change is, "is this effective. Are we getting our money's worth?"

I think, in Canada, those are good questions to ask.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:58 AM   #21
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This isn't about change, imo.

I think someone mentioned it above...it is motivation. You can't tell me that one day Harper and his gov't woke up in the morning say said, "hmmm....today we look at free speech!". It didn't fucking happen.

The Harper gov't, with all their cuts (that by the way, NOBODY seems to give a shit about), decided that they wanted to cut the ministry/board/section/committee/governing board that oversees the Free Speech section of the CHRA.

So...they can't monitor it....they amend the act to avoid people saying, "HEY! This is against the law!! Its in the Canada Human Rights Acts! Why aren't you doing anything about it!?"

Now...they gov't doesn't have to turn around with their tail b/w their legs and say, "Sorry, we have have time to deal with it b/c PM Harper cut the funding and we have a backlog".

This is NOT about free speech. This is NOT about the CHRA. This is not about clarifying a hotly debated issue.

This is about budgetary cuts to, YET AGAIN, area of the Canadian Gov't. The only reason THIS ONE happens to be getting media attention (although, let's face...I didn't see this on the 6 o'clock news) is because any time you though a bunch of crazy pants KKK members together with a microphone, but seem to listen.......for about 30 seconds before walking away in disgust.
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:58 AM   #22
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I like how everyone still thinks white people are dominant, we are the minority here, and suffer from just as much, if not more racism than any other race. We just cant pull the race card and complain about it like everyone else does.

This is a step forward, im starting to like the conservatives
Caucasian people are not a minority in Canada, maybe in Richmond and certain areas of Vancouver and Burnaby, but certainly not as a whole. Regardless, I'm not really following how hate speech would benefit a caucasian persons' position as a "minority." Any intelligent argument can be constructed without crossing over that line.

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It's funny because I had to think about this for a minute and actually look at this in a grander scale.

I've seen the fight for freedom of speech a whole lot in my lifetime. But most of them are from the news, and from 3rd world countries, often in dictatorial or tyrannical governments. In the crux of it, the fight for freedom of speech is for their ability to openly criticize the government with out fear of penalty, torture or inprisonment.

I find it funny now in a western society where we are guaranteed the right to the freedom of speech that we have taken this liberty so far, that now that we're questioning if we should allow people the right to practice "hate speech" ie. anti-racial, anti-gay, anti-religious... etc.
Well said, sir.

Our society holds the desire to both eliminate censorship and bigotry, but which is more important?

Without censorship, I'm sure our society will evolve enough over the next several centuries and realize the idiocy of holding prejudice against someone for a superficial quality. With censorship, I think that process may take place much quicker. I'm all for the censorship of hate speech, because it doesn't impact anyone who does not engage in it negatively.

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Trust me, there are things happening that the conservatives are doing that have me concerned.

Changes to the environmental review process for one. Things that you can sit there and say,"thats a gift to our base"

Changes to Parks Canada, where Dino is telling me they are gutting a system that was built over the last however many decades.

The government saying we'r ecutting back on effectively monitoring the internet for butthurt...doesn't concern me.

I think Canada is grown up enough that we can recognize that we don't need the government stepping in on some shit.

Change is not necessarily bad. People are all kinds of happy when 'change' is adding something. A new layer of approval, a new law targeting more than we are already doing. Difficult change is, "is this effective. Are we getting our money's worth?"

I think, in Canada, those are good questions to ask.
So, essentially you're down for this because it will save money?

I don't think you're familiar with the way government works, be it Green, NDP, Liberal, or Conservative. The people currently working to make these investigations will simply be transferred to another department along with their budget. If any money is actually saved, I would be shocked.

Aside from that, this isn't about saving money. If it were, they could simply make an amendment to say, don't investigate anymore if you can't make an effective impact. There are also a million other places they could more easily and less controversially cut the meager amount of funds from, yea, budget, not why this happened.

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Old 06-11-2012, 12:07 PM   #23
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minor moves, changes, stepping stones that allow people like Gridlock and EB to continue feeling safe/unconcerned and make them go when they hear people complain because they can't see/believe where its all leading us


Thats the funny thing about being informed enough to have my own opinion and thoughts on things. People think I'm either too far left, or too far right when I don't jump on a bandwagon and scream "NNGGG MERKKKA SUCKS" or tell people not to call each other fags, niggers, chinks, or gooks on a forum that relies on advertising dollars to keep running.

It seems like some of you have been drinking the kool aid so long that you don't know what its like to have an opinion of your own, instead relying on news stories written to evoke a knee-jerk reaction and polarize people in a certain way.

Most of the comments I've been making in this thread are more about how the media is treating this story and the reactions to it than about the bill itself. Somehow me not blindly agreeing that this bill is going to lead to the degradation of society has put me in the line of fire here on Revscene.

Critical thinking, not a blind obedience to the popular opinion is the method I employ when determining my feelings on what happens in the world. For those of you threatened by that, the fail button is at the bottom of my post.
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She taught me right from wrong and always told me to stay positive and help others no matter how small the deed - that helping others gives us meaning to carry on. The sun is out today and it's a new day. Life is good. I just needed a slap in the face.
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Old 06-11-2012, 12:34 PM   #24
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It seems like some of you have been drinking the kool aid so long that you don't know what its like to have an opinion of your own, instead relying on news stories written to evoke a knee-jerk reaction and polarize people in a certain way.

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Old 06-11-2012, 12:40 PM   #25
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Thats the funny thing about being informed enough to have my own opinion and thoughts on things. People think I'm either too far left, or too far right when I don't jump on a bandwagon and scream "NNGGG MERKKKA SUCKS" or tell people not to call each other fags, niggers, chinks, or gooks on a forum that relies on advertising dollars to keep running.

It seems like some of you have been drinking the kool aid so long that you don't know what its like to have an opinion of your own, instead relying on news stories written to evoke a knee-jerk reaction and polarize people in a certain way.

Most of the comments I've been making in this thread are more about how the media is treating this story and the reactions to it than about the bill itself. Somehow me not blindly agreeing that this bill is going to lead to the degradation of society has put me in the line of fire here on Revscene.

Critical thinking, not a blind obedience to the popular opinion is the method I employ when determining my feelings on what happens in the world. For those of you threatened by that, the fail button is at the bottom of my post.
Yes! Just because its change, and from the 'evil' conservatives doesn't necessarily mean the sky is falling.
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