By Brian Lilley
Tory Crime Bill – An Attack on Our Liberty
The Conservatives plan on introducing an omnibus crime bill when the House resumes that wraps all of their earlier legislation into one.
The bill is promoted as allowing police to track and prosecute the perverts passing around child pornography and allows them to update their monitoring techniques to deal with the ever-changing computerized world we live in.
Sounds fine. What could be wrong with that?
In fact, there’s nothing wrong with that part, but there is plenty to worry about in what they propose to do regarding “hate” crimes.
The bill plans to make it a crime to link to any website that promotes hatred.
Here’s what the Library of Parliament says about the bill on its website:
“Clause 5 of the bill provides that the offences of public incitement of hatred and wilful promotion of hatred may be committed by any means of communication and include making hate material available, by creating a hyperlink that directs web surfers to a website where hate material is posted, for example.”
For simply posting a link to a website that has material someone else deems hateful, you could go to jail for two years and be branded a criminal.
The Internet police. Only in Canada.
This isn’t about protecting people from genocide or even threats of death, the way the law is written now is much broader.
“Everyone who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, wilfully promotes hatred against an identifiable group is guilty.”
There’s also the sticky question of who decides what is hateful?
Will websites promoting Israeli Apartheid Week, now a staple on university campuses across Canada, land someone in jail? What about web postings on the Armenian genocide which the Armenians blame the Turks for but which the Turks dispute?
This is a ridiculous proposal that has no place in a country that claims to cherish freedom of expression.
We used to say: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Now it seems like Canadian society believes “I disapprove of what you say and I’ll prosecute you.”
The Harper Conservatives won a majority on May 2nd, so they can pass this bill without relying on any other party for support. But they still need your support and your donations and the Canadian public should tell them they will get neither if they put forward bills like this that attack (our) liberty. -Toronto Sun Newspaper
To voice your disapproval, some contact emails are:
You can also address regular mail to them…. and, to your local Member of Parliament as follows:
Parliament of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario- K1A 0A9. No postage is necessary!
The link for the government MP listings when updated, is here.
“Bloggers are in an entirely different position: They tend to be mavericks who work for free, and operate far from the sources of power. Feeling no need to ingratiate themselves with the movers and shakers of industry and government, they simply tell it like it is from where they sit as concerned, informed citizens with diverse areas of expertise. Though they don’t often have professional training as journalists, many of them exceed professional journalistic standards, because they answer to their consciences alone rather than to corporate honchos and fund managers. We need to hear from such people, and the fact that there are more blogs out there worth reading than anyone has time to read, is a hopeful sign.”
“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell
- Will anonymity and hyperlinks be illegal in Canada? (macleans.ca)
- The Lawful Access Legislation: Does it Really Criminalize Linking & Anonymity? (michaelgeist.ca)