Liberals introduce bill to combat online hate speech as Commons adjourns for summer

·1 min read

OTTAWA — The Liberal government has introduced a bill it says will protect Canadians from online hate speech.

It would amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to reinstate an amended version of a controversial section that was repealed in 2013 amid widespread criticism that if violated freedom of speech rights.

It would more narrowly define hatred to mean "the emotion that involves detestation or vilification" that is "stronger than dislike or disdain."

And it would specify that a statement would not be considered hate speech "solely because it discredits, humiliates or offends."

The bill would allow individuals or groups to file hate speech complaints with the Canadian Human Rights Commission, which would be empowered to order perpetrators to cease communications or, in some cases, to pay monetary compensation and penalties.

The bill has little chance of becoming law any time soon; it is being introduced just as the House of Commons adjourns for the summer and, if an election is called as many expect before September, it will die.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 23, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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