Section 13 censorship takes another step towards oblivion. http://www.StopSection13.com
Canada.com has the breaking story….
By Jason Fekete
OTTAWA — The Conservative government voted late Wednesday to repeal controversial sections of the Canadian Human Rights Act banning hate speech over the telephone or Internet.
In a vote of 153 to 136, the majority Harper government supported a private member’s bill from Alberta Conservative MP Brian Storseth that would scrap Section 13 of the human rights code, which deals with complaints regarding “the communication of hate messages by telephone or on the Internet.”
Storseth argues the current human rights code fails to protect freedom of speech, which is guaranteed under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and believes Canadians are better off if the government repeals sections 13 and 54 — the latter section dealing with associated penalties.
“At every stage, the Conservative caucus has voted for it,” Storseth, a backbencher, said Wednesday in an interview before the vote on third and final reading in the House of Commons.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to have Conservative caucus support.”
Senior cabinet ministers supported the bill during the free vote and the results generated loud applause from Conservative MPs. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is overseas and wasn’t present for the vote. Most opposition politicians voted against the bill, although Newfoundland and Labrador Liberal MP Scott Simms supported it.
Storseth said the current human rights code allows too many frivolous cases to proceed against citizens, when the Criminal Code already covers hate speech that could generate harm against an individual or group.
Acts of hate speech are serious crimes that should be investigated by police officers, not civil servants, he said, and the cases should be handled by “real judges and real lawyers,” instead of a quasi-judicial body like the human rights commission.
Storseth said he has also been speaking with colleagues in the Conservative-dominated Senate in hopes of it quickly receiving royal assent. The bill contains a one-year implementation period.
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