|Original still available HERE|
The repeal does not take effect immediately, but will be phased in over a one year period. But it is only a partial victory; the Montreal Gazette reports that producing and disseminating hate speech still remains a crime in Canada, but regulating it will now fall to the courts instead of human rights tribunals. Under the Criminal Code, spreading hate against identifiable groups can still carry up to a two-year prison sentence. The advantage is that while any butthurt citizen with an ideological axe to grind could lodge a complaint with a tribunal, only the attorney general can approve criminal charges for hate speech. This restores due process.
The text of Fromm's email:
Dear Free Speech Supporter:
Late this afternoon [June 26th], an ugly piece of tyranny bit the dust. Section 13 (Internet censorship) of the Canadian Human Rights Act was repealed. Bill C-304, introduced by the courageous Brian Storseth of Alberta, won approval of the House of Commons in June, 2012. It received Third and final Reading in the Senate today and, then, Royal Assent.
Thanks to all the MPs, Senators and, most of all, the many free speech letter writers across this country. It has been a long fight. Marc Lemire deserves special credit for his ferocious fight which, on September 2, 2009, resulted in a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling Sec. 13, essentially, unconstitutional.
However, we cannot rest on our laurels.
We usually don't quote or acknowledge the anonymous smear artists at Anti-Racist Canada. After all, who goes around trying to answer graffiti on a washroom wall? ["Call Susie for a good time -- 403 -777-7777" "No, Susie is no fun."]
However, in their sour report on the partial defeat of censorship, ARC, which, we know, has sinister connections in Ottawa observes:
"And it is of note that while it is the current government who passed the legislation, there's nothing that says a future government might not reinstate Section 13 given that it had been deemed constitutional both in 1990 and more recently in the Whatcott case.
Time will tell and we are very patient. In the meantime, we'll see how things play out."
The Federal Court overturned most of the decision in the Lemire case and upheld the constitutionality -- minus the financial penalties -- of Sec. 13. This ruling is now being appealed to the Federal Court and CAFE is in the thick of the fray as an intervener. Note the threat that a future government -- NDP, Liberal? -- might reintroduce Sec. 13. Don't kid yourself, having read some of the Senate speeches on the repeal of Sec. 13, I can assure you censorship and thought control still have some powerful pals in Ottawa.
CANADIAN ASSOCIATION FOR FREE EXPRESSION
Alberta Conservative MP Brian Storseth was ecstatic. He said it repealed a flawed piece of legislation, and called Canada’s human rights tribunal “a quasi-judicial, secretive body that takes away your natural rights as a Canadian.” Cara Zwibel, director of the fundamental freedoms program at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) was also pleased, noting that Section 13 had some serious problems from a freedom of expression perspective. She also took a shot at notorious civil rights troll Richard Warman, explaining that there’s not a lot of good evidence that marginalized groups have used the statute to curb discrimination and that a large majority of the tribunal cases were brought by a single individual. The latter was, of course, a reference to Warman, who brought 16 successful Section 13 complaints before the human rights tribunal against those he considered "neo-Nazis" and "white supremacists" since 2001.
Mark Steyn, who had been a victim of Section 13 due to his writings against Islamism and terrorism, said "So victories against the state’s encroachments on free speech are protracted and difficult, but still just about possible. I am honored to have played a small role in a modest victory for liberty in Canada, and I hope my friends in London, ashamed by what their government has done, will take heart."
As for Richard Warman, he expressed disappointment, saying that Section 13 had helped sideline neo-Nazis from the Internet because of its power to obtain cease-and-desist orders from Canada’s human rights tribunal and enforce them through the courts. “Virtually every other Western democracy has these kinds of civil law controls on hate speech,” Warman said. “Now, Canada just moves one large step further out of line from realizing that these kinds of controls are necessary and imperative".