Wow, I guess this makes everybody at the BCCLU is a “racist” then, eh lefty losers…?
Via Marc Lemire (with complete set of PDF documents):
On February 25, 2010, Canada’s largest Civil Liberties Association has filed at the Federal Court of Canada to intervene in the Marc Lemire Constitutional Challenge to the internet censorship of the Canadian “Human Rights” Commission and Section 13 of the “Human Rights” Act.
The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association have made some very good submissions to the Federal Court of Canada on why the power to censor the internet should — and MUST — be removed from the ambit of the fanatical Canadian “Human Rights” Commission.
The BCCLA submits that:
* Freedom of expression is a fundamental democratic right. The BCCLA’s mandate is to preserve, defend, maintain and extend civil liberties and human rights across Canada
* Section 13 and 54 of the Canadian Human Rights Act infringe s. 2(b) of the Charter of Rights And Freedoms and that the infringements cannot be justified under s. 1 of the Charter
* The context has changed since the Taylor decision in 1990 (which found s. 13 constitutional). The main change is the law is now punitive and penal in nature. And that sec. 13 has been expended to the Internet
* The digital era changes everything, and sec. 13 should not restrict expression on the internet.
* The Internet is par excellence a democratic “marketplace of ideas”, which provides its own self-corrective solution to problems of inaccurate, offensive and hurtful content.
* The potential for “psychological injury” to members of society (which formed the basis for the Taylor decision) is lessened by user control over content, and provides individuals with a high degree of control over viewing of information
* Severing S. 54 (fines) from the Human Rights Act, does not make s. 13 constitutional. (As the CHRC claims). It does not address 1) strict liability and the absence of defences. 2) the extension of the hate speech provision to the internet.