Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bill C-51 and an open letter to my MP

Well, we have the majority Conservative government in power. Just one small problem at the moment. Bill C-51 which is in reading in the House of Commons has a few sections that are going to be a Sword of Damocles over any blogger out there if it goes through.

Here's the link to the bill.

Here's the sections in question:

6. (1) The portion of subsection 320.1(1) of the Act before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

320.1 (1) If a judge is satisfied by information on oath that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there is material that is hate propaganda within the meaning of subsection 320(8) or computer data within the meaning of subsection 342.1(2) that makes hate propaganda available, that is stored on and made available to the public through a computer system within the meaning of subsection 342.1(2) that is within the jurisdiction of the court, the judge may order the custodian of the computer system to

(2) Subsection 320.1(5) of the Act is replaced by the following:
(5) If the court is satisfied, on a balance of probabilities, that the material is available to the public and is hate propaganda within the meaning of subsection 320(8) or computer data within the meaning of subsection 342.1(2) that makes hate propaganda available, it may order the custodian of the computer system to delete the material.

My open letter to my MP:

Good Morning *Redacted*:

I would first like to congratulate you on your win in *redacted* riding last Monday. I am thankful that the Conservative party has finally won a majority and we can put to rest the worry of another unneccessary election for the next 4 to 5 years.

I am writing this today because I am concerned about a piece of legislation that is making it's way through the house of commons at this time. I am referring to Bill C-51 and some of it's subsections in regards to speech, or more specifically "Hate Speech". The label of hate speech is a frightening label. Who decides what hate speech is? When is a normal discussion labeled a verbotten topic? The typical answer is not to restrict speech or discussions, the answer is to remove restrictions. Open up the floor and let everything be said.

To clean the air you need more light and more openness. You don't want to restrict things. The more you restrict something the deeper it crawls and wiggles it's way around avoiding and morphing it's shell into something more "acceptable" in the public eye.

The problem with having quasi-judicial bodies like the Canadian Human Rights Commission and all their provincial associates, is that they are the ones that decides what is and isn't hate speech. Most of the people on these panels have axes to grind and tend to punish harshly any little infraction according to their ever changing code.

Section 13 of Bill C-51 makes it a crime to even link to anything declared hate speech. Once again, as decided by some mandarin in charge of what they want to be hate speech. Sunlight and air is the best disinfectant, and showing or linking to these attitudes is a good way of doing so. For example, I may write a blog and discover some example of vile speech and link to it and quote some of it to discuss and dissect it in an attempt to refute it. According to the new bill, I could be charged for doing so.

I have read through some of the changes in this bill, and some of them are needed.

All the clauses dealing with hate speech are further restricting all Canadians rights and liberties. Is this what the Conservatives stand for?

Remember all speech can be offensive to somebody. We don't need to legislate what we say and how we say it.

Please discuss this with your party and please don't further restrict our rights as Canadians

Thank you for your time.
PaladinPhil (real name used instead of internet handle)

Who watches the watchers? We need more freedom and less regulations. I hope that more and more people contact their MP's and call for the relevant sections to be changed if not removed. I know the Canadian Human Rights Commission and their provincial lackeys would love to get their mitts on this and start restricting internet bloggers that they feel don't agree with their views and beliefs.

Keep defending our rights people. Just because the Conservatives are in power doesn't mean it's time for us all to slack off.

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