Let's get behind brave backbencher as he stands up to an Orwellian law
Special to The Province
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Back in 1972, Pierre Trudeau infamously referred to opposition backbenchers as "nobodies" once they were more than a few yards from Parliament Hill.
In more recent times, backbenchers, even on the government side, are commonly portrayed as pawns, puppets and potted palms. They're told how to vote and publicly speak their mind at their own peril.
It is refreshing therefore to see Dr. Keith
This is the subsection typically referred to as the "thought crime" or "pre-crime" component of the law.
Subsection 13(1) makes it an offence to electronically communicate anything "likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt." Like something out of a science-fiction novel, the section gives human-rights commissioners the authority to gaze into the future and convict people based on what "might" happen.
No acts of hatred or contempt need take place. No intent to incite hatred or contempt need exist. All that's required is a vague notion of what might cause hatred or contempt somewhere down the line.
For the past 20 years, I've been telling my first-year criminology students that, in
In three decades, not a single person who has been charged under this section has been acquitted. After all, how does one defend oneself against what might happen in the future? Truth is not a defence, and there is no due process or obligation to follow the rule of law under the human- rights legislation.
The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal
Active and Past cases: 46 | Cases the tribunal ruled on: 37
· NOT A SINGLE respondent have ever won a section 13 case
· 98% of cases have poor or working class respondents
· 90.7% of respondents are not represented by lawyers
· $99,000 has been awarded in fines and special compensation since 2003.
· 35 respondents have lifetime speech bans (Cease and Desist) orders and if not followed the victims could face up to 5 years in prison.
Groups and Writers that Support Repeal of Section 13: http://www.stopsection13.com/repeal_sec13.html
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (Rex
CDN Association of Journalists
B'nai Brith Jewish Tribune
David Warren (Ottawa Citizen)