Last week, Canada’s Liberal Party headed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau proposed new legislation to criminalize “hate speech” online, punishable by a $50,000 fine (roughly $40,000 U.S.D.), paid to the government. Government officials, including the attorney general and the minister of public safety, announced the new bill on Wednesday.
“Canadians expect their government to take action against hate speech and hate crimes. These legislative changes would improve the remedies available to victims of hate speech and hate crimes, and would hold individuals accountable. The actions we are taking today will help protect the vulnerable, empower those who are victimized and hold individuals to account for the hatred they spread online,” David Lametti, minister of justice and attorney general, said in a statement.
Lametti introduced amendments to Canada’s Criminal Code, the Canadian Human Rights Act, and the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Lametti and his allies justified their Orwellian move by claiming that “hate speech” online can turn into “offline hate.”
“Too many people and communities in Canada are harmed and victimized by hate speech, which is often amplified and spread online. Online hate can turn into offline hate with devastating impacts on communities and families. We have a responsibility to victims to take action to combat hate online and continue to build a more inclusive Canada,” the Justice Department explained in a statement.
According to the Canadian Justice Department, the bill aims to:
- amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to define a new discriminatory practice of communicating hate speech online, and to provide individuals with additional remedies to address hate speech;
- add a definition of “hatred” to section 319 of the Criminal Code based on Supreme Court of Canada decisions; and
- create a new peace bond in the Criminal Code designed to prevent hate propaganda offences and hate crimes from being committed, and make related amendments to the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
The law, Bill C-36, would enable citizens to bring legal claims against people who engage in “hate speech” online, and if a member or panel of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal finds the accused guilty, the tribunal can either: order the accused to “cease the discriminatory practice” and take steps to prevent it from happening again; order the accused to pay compensation of up to $20,000 “to any victim personally identified in the communication that constituted the discriminatory practice,” or order the accused to “pay a penalty of not more than $50,000 to the Receiver General” if the tribunal “considers it appropriate” considering “the nature, circumstances, extent and gravity of the discriminatory practice.”
The “Canadian Human Rights Tribunal” seems similar to bodies like the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which discriminated against Christian baker Jack Phillips. Phillips refused to bake a custom cake celebrating a same-sex wedding, and the commission found him guilty of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, even though the same commission defended another baker’s right to refuse to create cakes that stated a message with which she disagreed.
Claims about “hate speech” are arguably even more slippery than claims about discrimination, and it seems extremely likely that Canada’s government will use this law to silence dissent from the government’s preferred ideologies — from transgender orthodoxy to COVID-19 (the border between the U.S. and Canada is still closed to those filthy Americans).