(OPINION) – Canada’s Liberal Party headed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has proposed new legislation to criminalize “hate speech” online, punishable by a $50,000 fine (roughly $40,000 U.S.D.), paid to the government.
“Canadians expect their government to take action against hate speech and hate crimes. These legislative changes would improve the remedies available to victims of hate speech and hate crimes and would hold individuals accountable. The actions we are taking today will help protect the vulnerable, empower those who are victimized and hold individuals to account for the hatred they spread online,” David Lametti, minister of justice and attorney general, said in a statement.
Lametti introduced amendments to Canada’s Criminal Code, the Canadian Human Rights Act, and the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Lametti and his allies justified their Orwellian move by claiming that “hate speech” online can turn into “offline hate.” “Too many people and communities in Canada are harmed and victimized by hate speech, which is often amplified and spread online. Online hate can turn into offline hate with devastating impacts on communities and families.
We have a responsibility to victims to take action to combat hate online and continue to build a more inclusive Canada,” the Justice Department explained in a statement. According to the Canadian Justice Department, the bill aims to: amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to define a new discriminatory practice of communicating hate speech online, and to provide individuals with additional remedies to address hate speech;
add a definition of “hatred” to section 319 of the Criminal Code based on Supreme Court of Canada decisions; and create a new peace bond in the Criminal Code designed to prevent hate propaganda offenses and hate crimes from being committed, and make related amendments to the Youth Criminal Justice Act. READ MORE