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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Moon over Ottawa

Last spring, at the height of the anger over Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act's censorious effects, the CHRC made an announcement that appeared timed to answer some of the criticism directed towards it.

Specifically, it announced that Prof. Richard Moon would "conduct legal and policy research and analysis and make recommendations on the most appropriate mechanisms for addressing hate messages (and more particularly those on the Internet), with specific emphasis on section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act and the role of the Commission." The commission gave him until Oct. 17 to present his final report.

A CHRC spokesperson tells me today that Moon's report is now in the commission's hands, that it is currently being translated (presumably into French) and will be posted on the commission's website on November 7 for all to see.

Of course, the real answer to the problem is the elimination, by way of legislative amendment, of Section 13, and only Parliament can do this. Better yet, of course, would be the complete trashing of the entire commission structure, which has repeatedly been revealed to be fundamentally unjust.

I suppose that the best we can hope for from Moon's report is that it ends up putting some sort of political pressure on the Conservative government to launch a review, this one with the potential to lead to actual changes, of the act and the commission.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on October 21, 2008 in Freedom of expression | Permalink


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Thanks for the update, Terry.

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-10-21 2:14:41 PM

Indeed when politicians do not want to act the best out is to establish a royal commission or a review. The politicians are the ones who created this run-away monster in the first place and the only solution is to destroy it (the HR Act and all the HRCs) rather than a bit of tinkering. The odd private member's bill means nothing when not one of the political parties sitting in Parliament is willing to address the problem.

Perhaps as a people we deserve to lose our freedom and liberty, because there have been no massive demonstrations or out-cry from the public over the loss of freedom of speech and of the press. Suggest logging or developing a given area and you can expect bus load after bus load of activists and demonstrators to say nothing of the public out-cry to save the whatever. Sad state of affairs indeed.

Posted by: Alain | 2008-10-21 2:24:19 PM

Let's see if the Moon report goes forward to the press/CHRC website just as in the original report. Apparently the CHRC people have been known to vet/censure/redact portions of info sent to them before passing the information forward if it wasn't/isn't to their liking.

More needless support for the translation industry because of Official Bilingualism - both in terms of money spent and time taken to move things ahead.

Posted by: Calgary Clippper | 2008-10-21 3:17:36 PM

Letter writing campaign. Full steam ahead.

Posted by: Louise | 2008-10-21 6:24:28 PM

Moon has stated (in personal emails) that his mandate is severely limited, and therefore his report probably will not even touch on any of the matters of interest to the people here. He made these statements in particular reference to Ezra. So don't get your hopes up.

Posted by: bigcitylib | 2008-10-23 4:59:55 AM

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