OTTAWA, On November 23, 2011 – The Catholic Civil Rights League encourages all MPs to support Bill C-304, “An Act to Amend the Human Rights Act”, which was read and debated last night in the House of Commons. The private member’s bill, introduced in September by MP Brian Storseth (CPC-Westlock-St. Paul), seeks to repeal Section 13 of the federal Human Rights Code banning hate speech over the Internet.
Because Section 13 has been used to penalize the peaceable expression of opinion based on religious belief, the League has a long record of support for efforts to rescind or significantly rewrite it to protect religious freedom. The League was pleased to learn that Justice Minister Rob Nicholson expressed support for Bill C-304 during parliamentary debate.
“Given that freedom of speech and freedom of religion are guaranteed in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the League believes that provisions in the Criminal Code provide the most effective way to address harm that may arise from public expression,” says Joanne McGarry, League executive director. “Among other things, courts provide a more level playing field for the complainant and the accused. Human rights tribunals were designed to address complaints of discrimination in the workplace and the provision of goods and services; decisions that could involve the limitation of a Charter right should be left to the courts.”
The League is encouraging its members to express support for Bill C-304 to their MPs.
– Saskatchewan hate speech provision must be struck, says League, August 11, 2011
– Review of Section 13 greatly needed, says League. February 13, 2009
Catholic Civil Rights League (www.ccrl.ca) assists in creating conditions within which Catholic teachings can be better understood, cooperates with other organizations in defending civil rights in Canada, and opposes defamation and discrimination against Catholics on the basis of their beliefs. CCRL was founded in 1985 as an independent lay organization and has chapters across Canada. The Catholic Civil Rights League is a Canadian non-profit organization entirely supported by the generosity of its members.
For further information:
Joanne McGarry, Executive Director, 416-466-8244; firstname.lastname@example.org