Friday, August 30, 2013

Surprising Canadian double standards

Hate speech against Jews and queers and blacks is bad but hate speech against individuals is OK?

It’s being called a crime of ignorance. But is it a hate crime?

Durham police have ruled out hate crime charges against the still-anonymous author of a vitriolic letter telling an Oshawa family they should “euthanize” their autistic son.

Experts, advocates and politicians say it’s the right call – and they don’t anticipate changing the law anytime soon.  “This is a crime of ignorance and a crime of stupidity, and I think it’s an exception rather than the rule,” said Liberal Sen. Jim Munson, an autism advocate.  “If we go out and have a vigilant group and circle the wagons and condemn somebody, I think it gets you nowhere.”

The criminal code includes the crime of hate propaganda, which is defined as advocating genocide, inciting hatred and promoting hatred.  But it only applies to hatred against “identifiable groups,” not individuals.

Toronto criminal lawyer Mark Sandler says the law is crafted in such a way that it applies to the most narrow kind of conduct.

He worries that broadening the scope to include individuals would lead to numerous court challenges threatening freedom of speech.


Apparently the kid makes disturbing noises that can be heard in nearby houses.  That would probably get on my nerves too. It seems that actual nuisances can't be prosecuted in Canada  -- only theoretical nuisances. The letter concerned is here.  What it suggests is extreme but underlying it may be a lack of available more moderate remedies.


Anonymous said...

I would bet that government employees and officials aren't allowed to use the word retarded because they might offend a group of people.

Anonymous said...

"the crime of hate propaganda"

What is seen as hate propaganda to one is simply opinion to another. It seems like just another way for the Left to criminalize anything they dislike or disagree with.

Anonymous said...

"Political correctness is a far greater threat to our freedom and liberty than is terrorism..."

Anonymous said...

Surely this site and all who frequent it should be applauding this decision.
As the father of a child with autism I find the letter abhorrent but wouldn't support criminalising ignorant and intolerant views such as this.