Liberals to reintroduce anti-hostile bill ‘as soon as possible,’ minister says – National

The government is ready to push through with a law against racial and religious hatred, including hate onlineAccording to Diversity Minister Ahmed Hussen.

In an interview, the Minister condemned the demonstrations outside the National Assembly flying Nazi and Union flags as “disgusting” and “reproachable”, saying that such symbols have no place in the world. Canadian society.

“To see these symbols of hate on the doorstep of our Congress is unbelievable and needs to be condemned,” he said.

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Hussen said the government will soon reintroduce a new version of Measure C-36, an anti-hostility law that died by the time the election was held.

The bill would include creating a peace bond to prevent people from continuing to make racist comments or make hateful threats. The court order will be designed to prevent hate crimes from happening and will include penalties if violated, including up to four years in prison.

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Hussen said the anti-hostility bill would be introduced “as soon as possible” and fully supplemented in committees and in debates.

Critics of its predecessor, the C-36, say it is fraught with problems and threatens to impede freedom of speech or be difficult to enforce.

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The bill, introduced in June last year, hours before the House of Commons was due for summer recess, sparked speculation at the time that the Trudeau government was trying to raise its record ahead of an election.

Hussen said an anti-hate bill is a priority for the government, which wants to address “confronting” the rise of anti-Semitism, anti-Asian hatred, Islamophobia and racism race against blacks.

“We know too many people in Canada have fallen victim to hate speech and hate crimes and we have to make sure we’re addressing this,” he said. “One of the ways we are doing this is to formally define hate in the Penal Code and also to improve the complaint process for victims of hate speech.”

Bill-36, as introduced before the election, would amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to restore a narrower version of a controversial section that was repealed in 2013 following criticism that it violated human rights. freedom of speech.

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The repeal defined hate speech as anything “capable of causing hatred or contempt for one or more persons” on the basis of race, sex, religion, or other discriminatory reasons. other prohibited discrimination.

On the other hand, Bill C-36 has defined hate to mean “emotions associated with detestation or disparagement” that are “stronger than hate or contempt”. And it will make clear that a statement will not be considered hate speech “just because it is discrediting, humiliating, or offensive.”

The bill would also amend the Penal Code and the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Hussen said the upcoming bill would also introduce a new definition of hate in the Criminal Code, the Youth Criminal Justice Act and the Canadian Human Rights Act, and that definition would be based on recent decisions here of the Supreme Court of Canada.

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The bill would “further protect people against hate both online and offline,” he said.

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From July to September last year, Heritage Canada consulted with various interested parties, including social media platforms, to learn how to develop new laws and regulations to address the dissemination of harmful content online.

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez and other ministers this week released a report on the consultations, which said “a majority of respondents agree that the Canadian government needs to take action to deal with the crisis.” with harmful content”.

But the consultations also found that there were concerns about “undesired consequences of not taking a thoughtful approach.”

Mark Buell, North America vice president of the Internet Association, a global nonprofit focused on keeping the Internet open and secure, said the report sent a “strong message that The Canadian government is wrong.”

“It is clear that the law needs to be completely restarted and I hope that this time they work with experts who understand how the internet works if they want to do it right,” he said.

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Heritage Canada plans in the next few weeks to solicit experts to advise the government on how to tailor the proposal and to quickly propose a revised framework.

Proponents believe that upcoming legislation addressing hate, including online hate, will be far more sweeping than Prop 36.

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Richard Marceau, Vice-President of the Center for Jewish and Israeli Affairs, said any anti-hostility bill should be broader in scope than C-36 and include measures to force internet platforms to act. to remove racist and anti-racist posts.

The federal government also plans to appoint a special representative to combat Islamophobia. The Prime Minister last year reappointed Irwin Cotler, the former justice minister, as special envoy against anti-Semitism.

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Hussen said the government has committed to a fund to assist victims of hate. It will provide financial and other assistance to victims of hate violence, including covering uninsured costs for property damage or medical supplies.

On Friday, the Black Parliament issued a statement condemning the flying of Nazi and Union flags by protesters in Ottawa and calling for action to ban the public display of “symbols of hatred and terrorism”.

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Peter Julian, the NDP’s legacy critic, introduced a private members bill this week that would ban the sale or display of “symbols of hate” in Canada, including flags with a swastika , Nazi memorabilia and uniforms, Confederate flags and Ku Klux Klan costumes.

Julian said he taped the bill “in response to the appalling, disgusting Nazi flag on Parliament Hill.” The NDP MP said there was a lot of support from all sides for the measure and he hoped that it could be passed unanimously.

“I am getting approval from MPs from all parties,” he said.

© 2022 Canadian Press Liberals to reintroduce anti-hostile bill ‘as soon as possible,’ minister says – National


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