In 2013, Stephen Harper’s Conservatives voted to repeal Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.
But now the Liberals are looking to bring it back, and Andrew Scheer is letting them.
Section 13 was the censorship provision that made it an offence to hurt someone’s feelings — or actually, even worse, it make it an offence to potentially cause one person to have hard feelings about another person.
Here’s the text that was removed. It was illegal to publish anything:
“...that is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt.”
Mark Steyn recently warned a Standing Committee against bringing this provision back on the strength of his failed prosecution in three different Canadian jurisdictions under that law.
To my horror, Andrew Scheer's Conservatives haven't lifted a finger against it. The party isn't publicly cheering it on, but they have made a party-wide decision specifically not to champion freedom of speech.
Freedom of speech should be a more important issue for conservatives than taxes, immigration, terrorism or respecting our military. Free speech is more important than any trade deal, or criminal justice. If you don’t have free speech, you can’t talk meaningfully about any of those other issues.
Bringing back Section 13 won't just silence conservatives. It will expose anyone with conservative beliefs to tens of thousands of dollars in fines and legal costs.
When I appeared in front of the non-judge activists at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in 2008, they demanded that I pay cash to a radical Muslim offended by my decision to publish the Danish Mohammed cartoons in my Western Standard magazine. And they demanded that I give him two full, unedited pages in my magazine to let him say whatever he wanted!
No normal courts can do that. But Humans Rights Commissions — empowered by Section 13 — don't operate like normal courts.
And Andrew Scheer's Conservatives are passively allowing the Liberals to bring all this back. The same party under Harper that struck this odious law from the books is doing nothing to prevent its revival.
But what you about, reader? What can we do?
I've drafted a petition. Not to the ruling Liberals, but to Andrew Scheer. I know he and his party can't stop Section 13 from coming back on their own, but if he pulls out all the stops just maybe the awful decision to ram censorship through Parliament right before an election could be stopped.
So sign our petition now. You can see it at StopSection13.com. It simply says,
“We call upon Andrew Scheer to stand up for freedom of speech by opposing the revival of section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.”
And I’ll personally deliver it to Andrew Scheer myself.
NEXT: Andrew Lawton of True North Initiative joined me to talk about Liberal Minister for Democratic Institutions Karina Gould, who is openly discussing cracking down on social media websites in order to control content (just in time for the federal election.)
FINALLY: Your messages to me!