Canada Intends To Make Online Hate Speech A Crime Punishable by $16,000 Fine

Arhama AltafWeb Editor

24th Jun, 2021. 04:36 pm
Canadian Govt Hate Crime Punishable

The ruling Liberal government in Canada on Wednesday announced to take action to protect Canadians against hate speech and hate crimes.

The government has announced that it plans to make online hate speech a crime in Canada punishable by as much as $20,000 (roughly $16,250 US) for the first offence and $50,000 ($40,600 US) for the second.

The proposal would penalize social media users who violated the law but excluded social media companies that host such content from fines.

According to media reports, this new development came after a 20-year-old man recently rammed his truck into a Muslim family of five in Ontario, killing everyone, in what Canadian police say was an anti-Muslim terror attack.

Canada’s Attorney General David Lametti assured Canadians that the proposed law would not target “simple expressions of dislike or disdain” during a virtual press conference.

Instead, Lametti said, the law is only designed to punish the most extreme forms of hatred that “expresses detestation or vilification of a person or group on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.”

The government, headed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, released a statement on Wednesday outlining the goals of the proposed legislation, known as Bill C-36, as well as other steps being taken to defend against online racial abuse:

  1. amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to define a new discriminatory practice of communicating hate speech online, and to provide individuals with additional remedies to address hate speech;
  2. add a definition of “hatred” to section 319 of the Criminal Code based on Supreme Court of Canada decisions; and
  3. create a new peace bond in the Criminal Code designed to prevent hate propaganda offences and hate crimes from being committed, and make related amendments to the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Earlier, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had offered his sincere condolences to the victims of the terror attack and called it an “act of evil.”

Several government dignitaries, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, London Mayor Ed Holder and other politicians had attended the two-hour vigil that was broadcasted on Facebook to express their solidarity after the killing of four members of a Muslim family due to hate crime.

“You are not alone. All Canadians mourn with you and stand with you, tonight and always,” Trudeau had said.

“Islamophobia is real. Racism is real. You should not have to face hate in your communities, in your country. We can and we will act. We can and we will choose a better way,” he had added.

Trudeau had further said, “It was an act of terrorism against a family targeted for their religion. This type of racism and terrorism cannot and will not be tolerated.”

“They were all targeted because of their Muslim faith,” Trudeau had said, promising to step up the country’s fight against far-right racist groups. “This is happening here, in Canada. And it has to stop.”

Party leaders in the House of Commons condemned the violence as an act of “Islamophobia,” which have multiplied in recent years in the country long known for its tolerance.

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