A long battle but section 13 is dead

- June 26th, 2013

As I write this I am still only being updated by text message on the proceedings in the Senate chamber but I am told Bill C-304 has passed third reading and will receive Royal Assent tonight making it law.

What does this bill do?

There are a number of amendments to the act that help limit abuse but the main one is this:

2. Section 13 of the Act is repealed.

To put it bluntly, the means you can’t take someone through the federal human rights apparatus over hurt feelings via a blog post or a Facebook comment.

Now the bill is passed and will become law but like many acts of Parliament it will not come into force for a year.

Still after a long hard battle to restore free speech in Canada, this is a victory.

Here is the section of the act as it now stands, soon to be just a memory.

  • 13. (1) It is a discriminatory practice for a person or a group of persons acting in concert to communicate telephonically or to cause to be so communicated, repeatedly, in whole or in part by means of the facilities of a telecommunication undertaking within the legislative authority of Parliament, any matter that is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt by reason of the fact that that person or those persons are identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.
  • Marginal note:Interpretation

    (2) For greater certainty, subsection (1) applies in respect of a matter that is communicated by means of a computer or a group of interconnected or related computers, including the Internet, or any similar means of communication, but does not apply in respect of a matter that is communicated in whole or in part by means of the facilities of a broadcasting undertaking.

  • Marginal note:Interpretation

    (3) For the purposes of this section, no owner or operator of a telecommunication undertaking communicates or causes to be communicated any matter described in subsection (1) by reason only that the facilities of a telecommunication undertaking owned or operated by that person are used by other persons for the transmission of that matter.

Categories: Politics

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13 comments

  1. Vardit says:

    Victories the right of centre has so few of them these days so we can really appreciate this one! In a year from now if one’s feelings are hurt… tough luck baby! Such is life.

  2. Jake Stinson says:

    But what about the comedian in BC. I think he got screwed by the HRC.

  3. Barbara Smith says:

    WoooHoooo. It is about damn time. There are a lot of things that offend me, but I don’t run screaming to the courts to seek redress. Guess there are a lot of PO’d people unhappy today, but hey, they this have a year to get their licks in.

  4. Ron Mitchinson says:

    Thank God for Commonsense! Now if they could just continue doing what has to be done.

  5. Ted High says:

    The whole human rights legislation needs to be cancelled. If it is to be rewritten it should have more input from the people, but if that happens, I think we will be back in the same situation, or worse, as the special interest groups will make sure the legislation covers every perceived injustice.

  6. Ian says:

    Little by little, common sense is prevailing.

  7. Ken Petkau says:

    Great news!

  8. Gerry Gagnon says:

    The federal Conservative governmment has undone another bad piece of Liberal legislation. Long live freedom of speech…

  9. Foon Der says:

    Finally getting rid of a useless law. What ever happened to “sticks and stones break my bones but not a word can hurt me”? Islam is a man made religion and some of the fanatical followers are to frail psychologically to take criticism of their religion.

  10. the bear says:

    Gov’t has been busy replacing Section 13 with anti-bullying laws for the last 3 years! Now lets have fun fixing that mess and deconstructing the victim industry that’s attached to it.

  11. Rick says:

    This is a step forward. It’s about time this was dealt with.

    There is still more that can be done to fix this act though like abolishing the Human Rights Tribunals and providing a real court that operates under real court rules to settle this sort of thing if necessary.

    Free speech won one today though.

  12. TeamAmerica says:

    As an American, I congratulate and commend Canada for restoring the bedrock human right of freedom of speech. Sadly, the US is still going in the opposite direction.

  13. Marianne Jollineau says:

    I am relieved reason has still a chance in this country. I just kept asking about this, unable to understand how it came to be in the first place. If this had been allowed to stand, what would have been allowed next? Time to re-educate the public of our histories…of those who fought before us for this right and what life we would have or not have without it. Thank you for the energy and determination given to preserve this freedom!

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