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