Hate Law Illogical

Re “Repeal of section 13” (Alan Shanoff, July 7): I have always been greatly disturbed at Section 13 – the hate speech section of the Canadian Human Rights Act – which is the kind of thing we expect to see in dictatorships and banana republics, not an advanced first-world country with a long history of commitment to individual freedom and the rule of law.

Truth and intent were not considered to be defences, and “hurt feelings” alone could result in a guilty finding; it’s no wonder this appalling legislation had a 100% conviction rate.

Particularly chilling is Mr. Shanoff’s comment: “Any item thought to be hate speech can be the subject of a human rights complaint in Saskatchewan, British Columbia or Alberta provided that the item is accessible on the Internet in one of those provinces.”

Does this mean that a person in, say, New Brunswick, could be the subject of a complaint in Alberta, over comments made about people anywhere else in Canada, or even outside Canada?

This is illogical and nonsensical, and could be considered a challenge to federal authority.

The “age of the Internet” requires that there be uniformity across the country, and this issue is crying out for rationalization.

Jeff Goodall


(It certainly is)

See Toronto Sun “Letters to the Editor, July 14th” here.