Bernie has a nice piece in the Citizen:
Recently there has been a debate raging here in Canada regarding the necessity of antihate laws. There are those who believe that any restriction on speech whatsoever is an infringement on our valued right to free-speech. In 1990 the Supreme Court of Canada upheld our anti-hate laws by a slim margin. While it found that such laws were a limitation on speech, given the serious need to ensure protection of vulnerable minorities such an infringement, it argued, was justified.
I agree. We are a democracy based on justice and law. We understand that human beings are far from perfect, hence we created laws to protect society. Anti-hate laws are a kind of insurance for the future. Such laws help define us as a tolerant society. To be sure we must find the correct balance between freedom of expression and the right to equality that we all share.
Obviously, a sentiment I agree with.
And let me mention again that Richard Warman will be debating Nathalie Des Rosiers of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association re Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act on Tuesday, January 10th, at the George Ignatieff Theatre in Toronto. The event begins at 7:00 pm. It would be nice to see a few progressives in attendance, as you know the loonies will be out in force.
Now, the clowns that attacked the Gatineau Mosque, and the ones that keyed the car of mixed-race couple Rita Brown and Seun Oyinsan, probably have never heard of section 13. In fact, I doubt they can count that high between them. However, those within the more organized racist community have heard of it, and should it be repealed this Spring, they will treat the occasion as a great victory and a license. I expect we will see more and broader attempts to organize later this year. And I'm not the only one who thinks that.