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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tories give nod to freedom of speech and human rights

The Canadian Press reports that “the Conservative Party of Canada has formally adopted policy resolutions that would strip human-rights tribunals of some powers and create new charges for the killing of unborn children.”

This is great news from the Conservative policy convention and is the first time in years that I have seen a major Canadian political party actually stand up for individual freedom. I’m more accustomed to our individual rights and freedoms being chipped away at in the name of minority rights, multiculturalism and reproductive rights of women.

Prime Minister Harper will not, of course, be bound by these measures, but they were voted on by some 2,000 delegates at the policy convention—hopefully that will mean something.

One of the resolutions (carried virtually unanimously) relates to the odious Section 13 (1) of the Canadian Human Rights Act—it effectively denies the Canadian Human Rights Commission and tribunal their current investigative and adjudication powers for complaints of “hate speech.” These powers are probably the greatest threat Canadians now face to their right to free expression.

The other apparently more contentious proposal seeks to add charges to anyone who kills or injures a fetus during the commission of a crime against a pregnant mother.

Ah, we mean old Conservatives: why would anyone want to recognize in law that killing a pregnant woman deserves added charges? Only in Canada is there such strong opposition in attributing even the most meager rights to an unborn child.

I always cheer when I hear that freedom of expression and basic human rights are being championed. Hear, hear …

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