The Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) today released the “Report Concerning Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Regulation of Hate Speech on the Internet,” which recommends that Section 13, the “hate speech” provision in the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA), should be repealed.
The report, which was commissioned by the CHRC in June 2008, was prepared by law professor Richard Moon of the University of Windsor.
Section 13 of the CHRA was initially written because of telephone hate lines, but was expanded in 2001 to include the Internet and other forms of media. It prohibits messages that are likely to expose an identifiable group to hatred or contempt.
Prof. Moon writes:
The first recommendation is that section 13 of the CHRA be repealed, so that the CHRC and
the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) no longer deal with hate speech, and in particular
hate speech on the Internet. Hate speech should continue to be prohibited under the Criminal
This is about the best outcome we could have hoped for and Prof. Moon should be commended. The repeal of Section 13 has also been proposed by Liberal MP Keith Martin and by the Conservative Party at its recent policy convention.