Sunday, June 17, 2012

Salim Mansur on section 13

Prof Mansur is quite pleased that the Canadian thoughts police will be losing section 13a. I will be happier when the hrs are entirely abolished.
In voting 153-to-136 in support of amendments removing sections 13 and 54 from the Canadian Human Rights Act, the Conservatives in Ottawa under Stephen Harper’s leadership took a historic step in defending free speech. Section 13 has the Orwellian clause of the human rights act, which reads “any matter that is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt” is prohibited. The weasel word here is “likely” and, by invoking it, authorities have shut down freedom of expression, as the University of Ottawa did when it cancelled the appearance of Ann Coulter, an American conservative author and political commentator, in March 2010. In times to come, historians might likely note that with this vote Canada turned a corner in its long downward slide into the bog of multiculturalism and political correctness, and began its climb back to once again becoming a robust liberal democracy. The idea of protecting free speech by placing limits on it, as Section 13 did, in a democracy such as ours, was retrogressive. Yet this idea was sold to the public by the country’s political-intellectual elite as a policy indicative of Canadian exceptionalism.

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