Pondering Canada’s Bill C-304

On June 6 of last year, Bill c-304 – introduced by Conservative back bencher Brian Storseth – quietly passed first reading in Canadian parliament by a vote of 153 – 136. This Thursday it passed third and final reading, C-304 awaits Senate approval to make it law. Most notably, C-304 repeals Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA), banning the transmission of “hate speech” via internet or telephone.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/06/08/bill-c-304-hate-speech-tories_n_1581437.html

As sites like the FreedomSite Blog claim a victory for Canadian censorship; I can’t help but feel a little uneasy.

http://blog.freedomsite.org/2013/05/repeal-section-13-today-contact-your.html

The subject is tricky. I’m obviously against censorship of my thoughts; I value freedom of speech and loathe the thought I might lose my voice, or fall under a microscope some day. That said; I don’t wish anyone harm, using the internet as a forum for discussion rather than a tool to recruit foot soldiers, perpetuate hatred or encourage violent acts.

Then I think a little more and my pondering head starts to spin – maybe my seemingly innocent observations on guns, religion, or politics are viewed by some as equally hate fuelled. Could it be that what seems perfectly reasonable to me, smacks of hate to others?

I dissect the argument more and more – drawing just one feeble conclusion – we’re all entitled to our opinions, censorship sucks, and hate mongers are entitled to carry on despite my repulsion.

19 thoughts on “Pondering Canada’s Bill C-304

  1. I’d feel better with such a bill than without it. Canada is sensible, the law should be sound. Arguments as to “slippery slopes” are but fear mongering and do nothing but erode trust in our public officials. If you let fear dictate politics then it’ll only attract the worst possible candidates; the Michelle Bachmanns and like.

    • You’re right – bill C-304 clearly defines the freedom to say whatever you like. That said, Canada is far from “sensible” these days. Our Prime Minister is worrisome – ultra conservative, and harbouring delusions of playing with the “big kids”. I jokingly refer to him as “junior Bush” but it’s far from funny! If our current government had it’s way abortion would be illegal, guns would rest on every Canadian night stand, and our kids would all recite the Lord’s prayer in school.

      Canada and Canadians have a special identity – at least we used to. I think of peace keeping heroes like Romeo Dallaire and my blood boils (Dallaire lead the UN peacekeeping mission in Rwanda, his book Shake Hands With the Devil will break your heart) likewise Canadian efforts with the UN in Croatia. Examples of what Canada stood for, and I see that conviction melting before my eyes. Canada may have a little more sense than a lot of countries but not for long. I guess that’s why C-304 makes me uneasy – our current government has learned how to be shady, and it scares me to death. 🙂

      • I think there’s room in both Australia and Canada for a serious 3rd Party. Both countries seem to be mirroring each other (to some degree at least). The once normal Conservatives are getting a little loopy, and the once normal Labor are just confused.

    • The problem with government telling you what you can and cannot do is that they lose the big picture. The US constitution gives us the freedom OF religion. Some years back politicians took that to mean freedom FROM religion. Now God is being thrown out of everything except in cursing. Our current president denies Christians their right to prayer and worship, but give the Muslims total freedom. No matter how carefully or simply a law is written, it’s interpretation will vary as greatly as the number of people reading it.
      None of us, whether Canadian or American, should have the government making laws on freedoms of speech and religion. If they want to curtail any, I think it should be cursing, especially taking God’s name in vain. Yet there would be those that oppose that.

      • “Our current president denies Christians their right to prayer and worship”… Could you please cite some examples and laws he’s enacted which impedes worship?

        “Now God is being thrown out of everything except in cursing”…. Which god are you talking about?

      • I don’t know the bill number, but early on in his career Obama got rid of National Prayer day. He allows the Muslims to pray on NYC streets, but Christians aren’t. Prayer is a part of worship. We still can worship in our churches, but several people have said someone complained when they said grace in a restaurant. No one has ever complained to my friends and I. I have noticed looks, more questioning than hateful or annoyed.
        I doubt there is a law for his pulling press passes, but he did that in his first term when 2 press reporters said things about him he did not like–never mind that they were true. That is a means of intimidation. Others don’t want their ‘passes’ pulled so they either say nice things or don’t say anything at all.
        There’s been talk bandying about to change the name of Christmas. I’m sure when he finally does that it will require a bill or one of his little Execute Orders he’s so fond of writing, even when he’s out of order with them. (He’s not allowed to make law). When you complain about his policies you’re called racist. His color is not the issue even though it probably affects his decision-making. His color is insignificant except to Obama. He uses his color as a weapon. Again, that is intimidation to keep people in line, submissive to his wishes.
        As far as I’m concerned there is only one God in heaven. I know other religions believe in others, some don’t believe in any god, and that is their choice.
        Who do you believe in?

      • You mean the National Prayer day which Obama has attended every year since being president. Why are you just making things up? Where on earth do you get your information from, Fox (cough) News?

        “There’s been talk bandying about to change the name of Christmas”… what talk, by whom? Did you hear this from Glenn Beck? It certainly sounds like it.

        Sorry to say it, but you’re a delusional nutcase.

      • And FYI: Bush signed a total of 291 Executive Orders. Obama has signed just 154, of which nearly 70 were directly related to the Financial Crisis (left by Bush) so as to stabilize the economy under the emergency situation. To put this into perspective, Roosevelt signed 573 in his first year alone.

        And here’s a quote to leave you with:

        “We establish no religion in this country. We command no worship. We mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and State are and must remain separate.”
        -Ronald Reagan.

      • I’ve recently started to watch an HBO series called The Newsroom. (highly recommend it) There’s an episode where Obama travels to India, and an Indian newspaper incorrectly reports the trip cost $200 million, when in fact it cost $6 million. Cut to Fox news and Glen Beck is spouting venom regarding the $40 million dollars a day this trip is costing the American people, Likewise Rush Limbaugh slamming Obama’s excess – total fiction, not one checked the facts before spreading the type of nonsense that even when proven wrong – would forever be planted in Obama opponents minds as truth.

        Just thought it was relevant 🙂

      • It is. That was hilarious. They also claimed 28 Navy ships (including an aircraft carrier and a few nuclear submarines) were being diverted for his trip. Foxtards are a breed onto themselves…. sad, pathetic little conspiracy theorists who just love to HATE.

      • Oh yeah, I forgot about one quarter of the U.S. Navy as escort 🙂

        If you get a chance watch “The Newsroom” you would like it, or get so mad you turned it off. Either way – it’s really good.

      • I’ve been called a lot of things, but you’re the first with “delusional nutcase”. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Name calling is not needed. You are an Obama fan and I’m not. No matter what “facts” I present, you will have your own “facts” to counter with. Frankly, I’m not a fan of any democrat politician. They have proven throughout history that they are irresponsible with money; and either raise taxes or make a new tax.

      • I’ll start by saying your wrath is misplaced. If you take a moment, you’ll see those words were not from me, rather a response from another on this post.

        Moving forward – of course we are entitled to our own opinions and often agree to disagree. After all, isn’t that the intent of why we blog in the first place? A platform to share, discuss, and exchange our point of view?

        I’m open minded and willing to debate provided some thought has gone into the discussion. You say you’re not a fan of Democrats as they have proven throughout history to be irresponsible with money and raise taxes – excuse my impatience but why? Present an argument, explain why you think that, and be prepared to back up your point of view.

        I would welcome your take on the Bush administration, would like to hear your opinions regarding the billions of dollars spent on the war machine,wall street bail outs, and dismal state of affairs Obama inherited. Obama is a great man in my opinion – a man tethered by Washington’s “old boy” network, powerful lobby groups, and misinformation. America’s infrastructure is crumbling, another bridge collapsed a few weeks ago on I-5 near Seattle. Groups like the NRA operate under tax exempt “non profit” rules, as do religious groups such as Scientology.America is out of control. Pardon me if I take exception to statements like the ones you just made on the Democrats.

        I could go on and on; the point I’m trying to make is blanket statements come across as “delusional” unless you give facts to back them up.I did not call you any names, will overlook your mistake, and only ask that you back up your declarations with a little thought. 🙂

      • My problem with these blogs is finding the right place to answer. I apologize for the error, but I have only this slot to write in. i can’t write in below the person’s comment. I should have addressed him by name. There may be a secret to this because I can do it on other sites.
        Anyway, the one point I can remember is that Obama inherited a 5 trillion dollar debt from Bush. The other 12 trillion is all Obama’s.
        I will gather a few more points for your perusal–later. It’s 3:30 AM and I need to get to bed. My grandson is staying this week. I need all the energy I can get to keep up with him.
        You should read my “Flag Day” blog. See how much you disagree with.
        Good night.

  2. I find it interesting that the accomplishments of any government are so often attributed to one man – the leader. Harper continues to say he “will not reopen the abortion debate”, but because we live in a democracy, pro-life legislation can and will be discussed if enough people in Canada think it should be.
    Issues like this bring out strong emotions in people and it concerns me that judicial bodies are defining hate speech in such vague, open concepts that no one really knows if they are guilty of a hate speech crime or not.

    • Margie: the president, chief, or whatever the leader is called is responsible for the whole package just like when you’re the president of your local writers’ guild. It goes with the territory. The leader sets the pace. There will always be those that do things behind the leader’s back, whether they are vying for the “power chair” or simply think they need their little piece of the kingdom. However, Obama has set such a pace of lying and blame-throwing, that his whole regime is in turmoil. He is on the precipice of his career. It does cause strong emotions because most of us hate to see our country destroyed.

      • Please – I’m begging you – tell me your reasoning behind the declaration that Obama has set a pace of lying and blame throwing. Give me even one solid example to back up your statement. Your words simply make no sense. What do you base this on?

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