“Happily, Keith Martin, the member of parliament for Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca, a riding on Vancouver Island, has introduced into the House of Commons a private member’s motion, M-446, to delete s. 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. Unhappily, the matter of s. 13 hasn’t yet become a political issue. Unless a political party takes it up, M-446 will languish, and unless Canadians make s. 13 a political issue, no party will take up M-446. We need to communicate to politicians our support for M-446.
“Keep in mind that s. 13 is peripheral to the Human Rights Act. Removing s. 13 will in no way prevent federal or provincial human rights commissions from effectively addressing discrimination in jobs, housing, and the rest. Harmful hate propaganda will remain criminal, a matter for the police and the courts, as will public mischief (shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theatre), incitement to violence, and conspiracy to commit a crime. Civil courts will continue to provide remedies for libel. Nothing that matters would be lost to us should human rights commissions no longer be able to censor, suppress, or punish speech.
“Let us thaw the chilly climate in which we presently live so that we may speak candidly with each other about whatever is important to us. Support publicly Dr. Martin’s motion so that our politicians will come to do so, too.