OTTAWA -- Free speech advocates are troubled by a House of Commons Justice Committee recommendation to reinstate a controversial section of the Canadian Human Rights Act dealing with hate speech.

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OTTAWA – Gender theory is making inroads not only on Parliament Hill but also at the United Nations, to the detriment of the biological family, say Campaign Life Coalition officials.

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OTTAWA – Despite calls for a “thorough and vigorous vetting,” Canada’s Transgender Bill C-16 was given high praise as debate began on the legislation in the Senate on Nov. 28.

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Senate is next obstacle for end to anti-free speech clause in rights act

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Correction: This story has been updated as incorrect details were included in its first printing. The Register apologizes for its error.

OTTAWA - A private member's bill that would axe the controversial Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act has passed second reading and will now go to committee for further study.

Conservative MP Brian Storseth's Bill C-304, which would repeal the so-called hate speech provision act, passed second reading by a 158-131 vote Feb. 15.

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Predictions are always a risky business, but since the new year infects many of us with a “crystal ball bug” I will venture that  changes are coming in free-speech legislation and in the rights of parents in public education. One private members’ bill and two court cases are well worth watching in this regard, and may even bring good news to Catholics involved with public advocacy.

A private members’ bill introduced by MP Brian Storseth last fall will, if enacted, revoke Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which deems discriminatory any action “likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt” if they are “identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of  discrimination.” This section gives the federal human rights commission significant powers to penalize those publishing opinion online, including opinion based on religious belief.

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OTTAWA - A Conservative MP’s private member’s bill to repeal the controversial hate crimes section of the Canadian Human Rights Act is facing opposition in the House of Commons.

Though Justice Minister Rob Nicholson recently threw his support behind Brian Storseth’s private member’s Bill C-304, when it came up for second reading Nov. 22 Storseth was unable to find anyone from the NDP or the Liberal Party to speak in its favour. Members of both parties spoke against the bill, with NDP Associate Justice Critic Francoise Boivin accusing the government of scaring people and “leading them to believe that good citizens will be cheerfully brought before the courts to have their right to freedom of expression challenged and that it will cost them a fortune.”

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OTTAWA - Catholic human rights advocates welcome federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson's support for a bill that would repeal Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Nicholson announced his support for Conservative MP Brian Storseth’s private member’s Bill C-304 during question period Nov. 16, when Storseth asked what the government’s position would be.

“Canadians across the country are increasingly concerned that Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act infringes upon our most important human right, namely the freedom of expression,” Storseth told the House.

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November 22, 2011

Toss Section 13

Bills introduced from the backbenches of Parliament are typically cast adrift unless the government opts to throw them a life preserver. So we applaud Justice Minister Rob Nicholson for tossing a lifeline to a private member’s bill that seeks repeal of Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Section 13 comprises the paragraphs of an otherwise worthwhile act that makes hate speech a punishable offence. Hateful language, however transmitted, is abhorrent and society has an obligation to combat it robustly. But Section 13, which evolved from legislation in the 1960s to silence racist telephone hotlines, is manifestly flawed and its repeal is long overdue.

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OTTAWA - Calgary Bishop Fred Henry has come out in support of a bill introduced by a Conservative MP that would strike the controversial Section 13 from the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Henry, who faced human rights complaints in 2005 for writing a pastoral letter defending traditional marriage, said Section 13 and its provincial counterparts “need to either be eliminated or subjected to an extensive re-write.”

Section 13 deems discriminatory any action “likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt” if they are “identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.”

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OTTAWA - An independent consultant has recommended Parliament repeal the hate crimes section of the Canadian Human Rights Act.

“The use of censorship should be confined to a narrow category of extreme expression — that which threatens or justifies violence against the members of an identifiable group, even if the violence that is supported or threatened is not imminent,” wrote University of Windsor law professor Richard Moon in a $50,000 report the Canadian Human Rights Commission commissioned five months ago.

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