Justice and Freedom

27 Feb 2013 Video and Analysis: Supreme Court upholds Canada’s hate speech laws

A brief legal analysis has been added as an attachment to this article (below). In short, the Court has tightly reigned in the hate speech prohibitions in Human Rights Codes but has ruled that, as long as they are carefully and strictly applied, they are justifiable and constitutional limits on freedom of expression. The entire decision is 98 pages long, so there is more to this case than that. Check out the analysis for more. Update: Watch ARPA's Legal Counsel on Global News discussing the case here....

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26 Feb 2013 Supreme Court Ruling on Free Speech tomorrow!

The Supreme Court of Canada will release the long-awaited decision on the Bill Whatcott case. We reported on that case when it was heard 16 months ago (click here here to read up on the case). We will post the results as soon as we know what they are. In the meantime, you are on notice that whatever the decision is, we must work to eliminate the censorship powers of the so-called human rights professionals.
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25 Feb 2013 At last! Supreme Court to release free speech decision

The Bill Whatcott case is back in the news. Many years ago, Whatcott delivered hundreds of flyers to his neighbourhood. Using those flyers, he argued forcefully, even offensively, against the promotion of homosexuality by the government in schools. Four individuals complained to the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission. The Commission prosecuted Mr. Whatcott at the Human Rights Tribunal and he was found guilty of hate speech, fined $17,500 and ordered never to distribute such flyers again.After three appeals, on October 12, 2011 the Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments from Mr....

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21 Feb 2013 Free Speech on Hold in the Senate

As reported by Brian Lilley Brian Lilley , Brian Storseth's Bill C-304 is being held up in the Senate, and by none other than Conservative appointees! The Hon. Senator Nolin and the Hon. Senator Ruth have reservations about the bill which would see the censorship provisions in Section 13 eliminated.
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21 Feb 2013 Established: A Canadian Office of Religious Freedom

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the establishment of a Canadian Office of Religious Freedom, appointing as our first Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Dr. Andrew Bennett.  This announcement took a long time in coming; the Office is both humanitarian and political and the appointment of an ambassador took nearly two years to finalize. ARPA participated in the initial consultations by providing a short statement on what the office should look like. You can see a PDF copy of that linked below.
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31 Jan 2013 Abbotsford should allow citizen-initiated displays

Two days ago, Joyce Arthur, Executive Director of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, published an open letter to Abbotsford City Council demanding the retraction of a permit. The permit allowed a pro-life group in the area to set up a memorial displaying the number of abortions in Canada every week. ARPA's legal counsel responded today with a two-page open letter, drawing attention to Ms. Arthur's mischaracterization of the law and encouraging the City Council to continue to stand up for freedom of expression. The letter is attached below.  ARPA...

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23 Jan 2013 Manitoba Take Action: Bill 18 Needs to Be Challenged

Update: Legal talking points are attached. Please use these when meeting with your MLA. Three EasyMail letters are linked below. Let your MLA, the Education Minister, and the Premier know your concerns in minutes. Manitoba is attempting to implement an anti-bullying law that is similar to Ontario's infamous Bill 13. The Education Minister, Ms. Nancy Allan, has presented Bill 18 in the Manitoba Legislature. Such legislation is top-down, one-size-fits-all, heavy-handed law and has little regard for local initiatives. Bill 18 also includes a requirement that all schools must accept 'gay-straight' alliance clubs and lacks any protection for religious students. It's definition of bullying is so broad that it would include policing students when they are at home and even defines the possibility of accidentally hurting someones feelings as "bullying". This approach is the wrong approach to making schools safer. The better approach is to allow local initiatives to flourish by encouraging parental involvement and school-level responsibility. To read the actual language of Bill 18, click here. 
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