Posted by Neil Hague - memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 22 April 2024

The Freedom to Hate

In 2006, at the University of Toronto, my late friend and the brilliant writer and orator Christopher Hitchens gave a speech whose eloquence I could never pretend to emulate, defending the argument that the freedom of speech includes the freedom to hate. At the time, he was castigating the Canadian Government for its legislation regarding hate speech.

Alas, once again the Government has introduced legislation to curb free speech in the name of safety, but this time in even more insidious ways. Bill C-63, the Online Harms Act, purports to keep Canadians safe online, but does so by regulating speech that “foments hatred” via civil penalties within a human rights framework that invites abuse.

Under the proposed legislation the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal could fine defendants accused of online hate speech violation up to $50,000, and they could be made to pay up to $20,000 to complainants. Journalist Christine Van Geyn cogently described in the National Post last month the many worrisome features of this aspect of Bill C-63, which resurrects previously repealed attempts to allow hate speech to be penalised via civil rights penalties.

Effectively, complainants bear no financial risks while having large financial incentives to make complaints, while those accused will be responsible for paying thousands of dollars to defend themselves even against frivolous complaints. And complaints can be against anything you have ever written, going back as far as records might exist. As Van Geyn put it: “The process becomes the punishment even if the case does not proceed past an investigation.”

Read more: The Freedom to Hate

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