The sad state of freedom of speech in Canada

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by dolf250, Jul 24, 2007.

  1. dolf250

    dolf250 New Member

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    I just thought that I would put this out there for a reaction. I remember when I first joined this site that almost every member was for free speech. I would assume that right now a poll on free speech would reveal that almost everybody believes that freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of the press are necessary. What about the freedom of speech of conservatives?

    Here in Canada we have the human rights commission. They are defenders of minorities and lovers of equality. They stand for all that is good in our country. They have the power to order fines if you are discriminating and the power to demand that you hire a certain individual if you fired them (guess what; alcoholism in Canada is a disability- you can not fire an employee for being drunk at work so long as they seek help.)

    Anyhow, the benevolent HRC has decided to drag a conservative board into their kangaroo court. You see, up here we have a law that deals with “hate speech.” Now before you go applauding and dancing in the isles (after all, you should not incite hatred towards others) just remember how many people have said on this board that fundies should die (a threat to be sure) or even spoken out against religion. Being as the moderators did not remove the offending statements it is assumed in Canada that that is the official position of this board. Now there is a case against Rob (and likely the moderators) for hatred in Canada. Ah, land of acceptance.

    Yes it is a conservative board and many views there are nearly the polar opposite of commonly held views here. Every now and then I read a thread or two there and they are the conservative LPSG. If you want to post that God is a farce and prayes should be outlawed you are free to do so, but you would deal with the backlash. Yes they have members who hate homosexuals and yes they have a large percentage of the Christian right and yes, I disagree with many of the nutjobs who post there and no I have never posted there and no, I am not registered. Oh, and yes, you may find hatred there if you look just as many of them would perceive hatred here.

    Pulled from that board;
    Criminal Code section 319(1) makes it an offence to incite hatred by communicating a statement in a public place; Criminal Code section 319(2) outlaws willfully promoting hatred "other than in private conversation"; and the purpose of Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) section 13 was recently articulated by Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) member Dr. Paul Groarke to be "to remove dangerous elements of speech from the public discourse."1 Since only publicly communicated hate content is illegal in Canada, courts and the CHRT must evaluate new and evolving communications technologies and applications used to convey hate content for whether the resulting communication is public enough to be offside the Criminal Code or the CHRA.

    Blog postings have been subject to prosecution as hate speech in several jurisdictions, including France and Singapore. Further, blog hosts may be liable if they refuse to remove offending postings, since libel law indicates that blog hosts are publishers, not just intermediaries.


    While the hatred of fundies is not a target of the HRC (yet) it may be in the future when the kangaroo courts realize that people who hate another for the religion that they hold do not fit in with their Utopian, harmonious vision of our country.

    Done ranting now. If you want to read one of the best posts I have read about freedom of speech on the net read Free Dominion :: View topic - Human Rights attack on Free Dominion
    and scroll down to a post by adonick and yes, that is the link to the thread related to the charges against the website.
     
  2. wingnut84

    wingnut84 New Member

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    You can't legislate against stupidity and bigotry. The best thing to do is to let them talk and ignore them, countering what they say with the truth when necessary. Persecuting them for their beliefs only makes them stronger.
     
  3. dolf250

    dolf250 New Member

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    Well, I finally found a thread with the offending statements.

    Here they are.

    03/09/06 "To see the original hitting Edmonton mailboxes tonight.

    04/24/06 "I can't figure out why the homosexuals I ran into are on the side of the Muslims. After all, Muslims who practice Sharia law tend to advocate beheading homosexuals."

    03/09/06 "I defy Islamic censorship and speak about what I believe is the truth about violent Islamism and its threat to religious liberty in Canada."

    Gentes also claims she was discriminated against due to the appearance of the following posts which she claims appeared at Free Dominion.

    "How many of us pay nothing but lip service to the Muslim threat here in Canada?"
    "Probably everyone want to jail a Muslim."
    "I have to ask why we are importing them here?"
    "Islamic fundamentalism and its threat to Canada's religious and civil liberties."

    While not loving and squishy as we Canadians are supposed to be are they worth dragging an entire board through a tribunal? Have there been similar posts here that would endanger LPSG if it had Canadian owners (or perhaps just Canadian moderators?) A side note; the woman who complained is apparently not a Muslim. So this means that she is just standing up for others who she believes SHOULD be upset over the comments. How Canadian.:rolleyes:
     
  4. dukey

    dukey New Member

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    CANADA ROCKS!
    You know damned well why this law was put in place. For far too long minorities have been given a raw deal. The pendulum has swung far to the other side. In the next 50 years things will settle down to a normal state.

    In the mean time I suggest you suck it up.
    Use some empathy here and imagine you were a German, Japanese, or Italian during WW2. Or a Jew in the leadup to it. Or an Indian (East and Native). Or Black. Or French. Or... The list goes on.

    This law isn't in place to stifle your right to say whatever you want. It's to increase courtesy.

    To quote a great patriot, Stompin' Tom Connors, "If you don't believe your country/ should come before yourself,/ You can better serve your country/ by living somewhere else."

    dukey, eh

    PS -- Add Canada-bashing to my pet peeves, please.
     
  5. DC_DEEP

    Gold Member

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    That is sad indeed, Dolf.

    As much as I am villified for my "liberal" leanings, I support the right of free speech without government interference. Even from idiot left/radicals or idiot right/reactionaries.

    I oppose "hate-speech" legislation.
     
  6. B_big dirigible

    B_big dirigible New Member

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    Yes, I'm afraid that grim trend has been noticed down here. The slow strangulation of freedom of speech is a high price to pay for a bit of political correctness. It's one of those things which, once lost, may be difficult to regain.

    We have the same problem on far too many college campuses, and in a very few municipalities, like Berkeley, CA. And at federal level it appeared in a strange mutant form, disguised as campaign finance reform, in the 2002 McCain-Feingold Act. But it hasn't really infected the fundamentals of American law yet.
     
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