Canada’s Bill C-75 (Watering Down Penalties for Terrorism, Rioting, Weapons)

(The Canadian Criminal Code, which typically gets amended every year)

Criminal offences in Canada are categorized like this

SUMMARY OFFENCE: more minor, lesser penalties (misdemeanor)
INDICTABLE OFFENCE: more serious, harsher penalties (felony)
HYBRID OFFENCE: Prosecutor has discretion as to proceed “summarily” or “by indictment”

For a good video on this subject, Julie Mora posted a video seen here. It had 2 parts: (a) an expanded gun registry, Bill C-71, and (b) changes to the Canadian Criminal Code, Bill C-75. Julie is a fine blogger, and her videos are well worth a watch by all Canadians. She claims in this video that the bill will “hybridize” many serious charges, meaning that they may now be tried summarily. And she is right. Below are the major points.

This is not trivial at all. Terrorism and rioting offence should be treated seriously. Yet, if this bill were actually to pass, the penalties for serious crimes may be gutted. True, for hybrid offences, Prosecutors could still choose to try the case by indictment. However, most people would agree that the option should not exist

Relevant links are below:
CLICK HERE for the Criminal Code as it currently exists.
CLICK HERE for the Liberal Bill C-75.


ORIGINAL

Marginal note:
Punishment of rioter
65 (1) Every one who takes part in a riot is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.
Marginal note:
Concealment of identity
(2) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) while wearing a mask or other disguise to conceal their identity without lawful excuse is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years.

REPLACEMENT

Punishment of rioter
65 (1) Every person who takes part in a riot is guilty of
(a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.
Concealment of identity
(2) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) while wearing a mask or other disguise to conceal their identity without lawful excuse is guilty of
(a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.


ORIGINAL

Neglect by peace officer
69 A peace officer who receives notice that there is a riot within his jurisdiction and, without reasonable excuse, fails to take all reasonable steps to suppress the riot is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

REPLACEMENT

Neglect by peace officer
69 A peace officer who receives notice that there is a riot within their jurisdiction and, without reasonable excuse, fails to take all reasonable steps to suppress the riot is guilty of
(a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.


ORIGINAL

Possession without lawful excuse
82 (1) Every person who, without lawful excuse, the proof of which lies on the person, makes or has in the possession or under the care or control of the person any explosive substance is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

REPLACEMENT

14 Subsection 82(1) of the Act is replaced by the following:

Possession of explosive
82 (1) Every person who, without lawful excuse, makes or has in their possession or under their care or control any explosive substance is guilty of
(a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.


ORIGINAL

Financing of Terrorism
Marginal note:
Providing or collecting property for certain activities
83.02 Every one who, directly or indirectly, wilfully and without lawful justification or excuse, provides or collects property intending that it be used or knowing that it will be used, in whole or in part, in order to carry out
(a) an act or omission that constitutes an offence referred to in subparagraphs (a)(i) to (ix) of the definition of terrorist activity in subsection 83.01(1), or
(b) any other act or omission intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to a civilian or to any other person not taking an active part in the hostilities in a situation of armed conflict, if the purpose of that act or omission, by its nature or context, is to intimidate the public, or to compel a government or an international organization to do or refrain from doing any act,
is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years.

REPLACEMENT

Providing or collecting property for certain activities
83.‍02 Every person is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years or is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction who, directly or indirectly, wilfully and without lawful justification or excuse, provides or collects property intending that it be used or knowing that it will be used, in whole or in part, in order to carry out
(a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.


ORIGINAL

Providing, making available, etc., property or services for terrorist purposes
83.03 Every one who, directly or indirectly, collects property, provides or invites a person to provide, or makes available property or financial or other related services
(a) intending that they be used, or knowing that they will be used, in whole or in part, for the purpose of facilitating or carrying out any terrorist activity, or for the purpose of benefiting any person who is facilitating or carrying out such an activity, or
(b) knowing that, in whole or part, they will be used by or will benefit a terrorist group,
is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years.

REPLACEMENT

Providing, making available, etc.‍, property or services for terrorist purposes
83.‍03 Every person is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years or is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction who, directly or indirectly, collects property, provides or invites a person to provide, or makes available property or financial or other related services
(a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.


ORIGINAL

Using or possessing property for terrorist purposes
83.04 Every one who
(a) uses property, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, for the purpose of facilitating or carrying out a terrorist activity, or
(b) possesses property intending that it be used or knowing that it will be used, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, for the purpose of facilitating or carrying out a terrorist activity,
is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years.

REPLACEMENT

Using or possessing property for terrorist purposes

83.‍04 Every person is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years or is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction


ORIGINAL

Offences — freezing of property, disclosure or audit
83.12 (1) Every one who contravenes any of sections 83.08, 83.1 and 83.11 is guilty of an offence and liable
(a) on summary conviction, to a fine of not more than $100,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or to both; or
(b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years.

REPLACEMENT

Paragraphs 83.‍12(1)‍(a) and (b) of the Act are replaced by the following:

(a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years; or
(b) on summary conviction, to a fine of not more than $100,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years less a day, or to both.


ORIGINAL

Participation in activity of terrorist group
83.18 (1) Every one who knowingly participates in or contributes to, directly or indirectly, any activity of a terrorist group for the purpose of enhancing the ability of any terrorist group to facilitate or carry out a terrorist activity is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years.

REPLACEMENT

Participation in activity of terrorist group
83.‍18 (1) Every person who knowingly participates in or contributes to, directly or indirectly, any activity of a terrorist group for the purpose of enhancing the ability of any terrorist group to facilitate or carry out a terrorist activity is guilty of
(a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than10 years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.


ORIGINAL

Leaving Canada to participate in activity of terrorist group
83.181 Everyone who leaves or attempts to leave Canada, or goes or attempts to go on board a conveyance with the intent to leave Canada, for the purpose of committing an act or omission outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would be an offence under subsection 83.18(1) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years

REPLACEMENT

21 Section 83.‍181 of the Act is replaced by the following:

Leaving Canada to participate in activity of terrorist group
83.‍181 Every person who leaves or attempts to leave Canada, or goes or attempts to go on board a conveyance with the intent to leave Canada, for the purpose of committing an act or omission outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would be an offence under subsection 83.‍18(1) is guilty of
(a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.


ORIGINAL

Advocating or promoting commission of terrorism offences
83.221 (1) Every person who, by communicating statements, knowingly advocates or promotes the commission of terrorism offences in general — other than an offence under this section — while knowing that any of those offences will be committed or being reckless as to whether any of those offences may be committed, as a result of such communication, is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years.

REPLACEMENT

22 Subsection 83.‍221(1) of the Act is replaced by the following:

Advocating or promoting commission of terrorism offences
83.‍221 (1) Every person who, by communicating statements, knowingly advocates or promotes the commission of terrorism offences in general — other than an offence under this section — while knowing that any of those offences will be committed or being reckless as to whether any of those offences may be committed, as a result of such communication, is guilty of
(a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction


ORIGINAL

Concealing person who carried out terrorist activity
83.23 (1) Everyone who knowingly harbours or conceals any person whom they know to be a person who has carried out a terrorist activity, for the purpose of enabling the person to facilitate or carry out any terrorist activity, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment
(a) for a term of not more than 14 years, if the person who is harboured or concealed carried out a terrorist activity that is a terrorism offence for which that person is liable to imprisonment for life; and
(b) for a term of not more than 10 years, if the person who is harboured or concealed carried out a terrorist activity that is a terrorism offence for which that person is liable to any other punishment.

REPLACEMENT

Concealing person who carried out terrorist activity
83.‍23 (1) Every person who knowingly harbours or conceals another person whom they know to be a person who has carried out a terrorist activity, for the purpose of enabling that other person to facilitate or carry out any terrorist activity, is guilty of
(a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 14 years, if the person who is harboured or concealed carried out a terrorist activity that is a terrorism offence for which that person is liable to imprisonment for life; and
(b) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years or an offence punishable on summary conviction, if the person who is harboured or concealed carried out a terrorist activity that is a terrorism offence for which that person is liable to any other punishment.


ORIGINAL

Concealing person who is likely to carry out terrorist activity
(2) Everyone who knowingly harbours or conceals any person whom they know to be a person who is likely to carry out a terrorist activity, for the purpose of enabling the person to facilitate or carry out any terrorist activity, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years.

REPLACEMENT

Concealing person who is likely to carry out terrorist activity
(2) Every person who knowingly harbours or conceals another person whom they know to be a person who is likely to carry out a terrorist activity, for the purpose of enabling that other person to facilitate or carry out any terrorist activity, is guilty of
(a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction


ORIGINAL

Person to be brought before judge
(3) A peace officer who arrests a person in the execution of the warrant shall, without delay, bring the person, or cause them to be brought, before the judge who issued the warrant or another judge of the same court. The judge in question may, to ensure compliance with the order, order that the person be detained in custody or released on recognizance, with or without sureties.

REPLACEMENT

25 Subsection 83.‍29(3) of the Act is replaced by the following:

Person to be brought before judge
(3) A peace officer who arrests a person in the execution of a warrant shall, without delay, bring the person, or cause the person to be brought, before the judge who issued the warrant or another judge of the same court. The judge in question may, to ensure compliance with the order, order that the person be detained in custody or make a release order, the form of which may be adapted to suit the circumstances

[Note: the new wording is such that is seems intended to make it easier to release suspected terrorists]


ORIGINAL

Possession of prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition

Punishment
(2) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1)
(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of
(i) in the case of a first offence, three years, and
(ii) in the case of a second or subsequent offence, five years; or
(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year.

REPLACEMENT

27 Paragraph 95(2)‍(b) of the Act is replaced by the following:

(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.


ORIGINAL

Possession of weapon obtained by commission of offence

96 (1) Subject to subsection (3), every person commits an offence who possesses a firearm, a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device or any prohibited ammunition that the person knows was obtained by the commission in Canada of an offence or by an act or omission anywhere that, if it had occurred in Canada, would have constituted an offence.
Marginal note:
Punishment
(2) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1)
(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of one year; or
(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year.

REPLACEMENT

28 Paragraph 96(2)‍(b) of the Act is replaced by the following:

(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.


As absurd as it sounds, here is the “SUMMARY” of Bill C-75.

SUMMARY

This enactment amends the Criminal Code to, among other things,
(a) modernize and clarify interim release provisions to simplify the forms of release that may be imposed on an accused, incorporate a principle of restraint and require that particular attention be given to the circumstances of Aboriginal accused and accused from vulnerable populations when making interim release decisions, and provide more onerous interim release requirements for offences involving violence against an intimate partner;
(b) provide for a judicial referral hearing to deal with administration of justice offences involving a failure to comply with conditions of release or failure to appear as required;
(c) abolish peremptory challenges of jurors, modify the process of challenging a juror for cause so that a judge makes the determination of whether a ground of challenge is true, and allow a judge to direct that a juror stand by for reasons of maintaining public confidence in the administration of justice;
(d) increase the maximum term of imprisonment for repeat offences involving intimate partner violence and provide that abuse of an intimate partner is an aggravating factor on sentencing;
(e) restrict the availability of a preliminary inquiry to offences punishable by imprisonment for life and strengthen the justice’s powers to limit the issues explored and witnesses to be heard at the inquiry;
(f) hybridize most indictable offences punishable by a maximum penalty of 10 years or less, increase the default maximum penalty to two years less a day of imprisonment for summary conviction offences and extend the limitation period for summary conviction offences to 12 months;
(g) remove the requirement for judicial endorsement for the execution of certain out-of-province warrants and authorizations, expand judicial case management powers, allow receiving routine police evidence in writing, consolidate provisions relating to the powers of the Attorney General and allow increased use of technology to facilitate remote attendance by any person in a proceeding;
(h) allow the court to exempt an offender from the requirement to pay a victim surcharge if the offender satisfies the court that the payment would cause the offender undue hardship, provide the court with guidance as to what constitutes undue hardship, provide that a victim surcharge is to be paid for each offence, with an exception for certain administration of justice offences if the total amount of surcharges imposed on an offender for those types of offences would be disproportionate in the circumstances, require courts to provide reasons for granting any exception for certain administration of justice offences or any exemption from the requirement to pay a victim surcharge and clarify that the amendments described in this paragraph apply to any offender who is sentenced after the day on which they come into force, regardless of whether or not the offence was committed before that day; and
(i) remove passages and repeal provisions that have been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Canada, repeal section 159 of the Act and provide that no person shall be convicted of any historical offence of a sexual nature unless the act that constitutes the offence would constitute an offence under the Criminal Code if it were committed on the day on which the charge was laid.

The enactment also amends the Youth Criminal Justice Act in order to reduce delays within the youth criminal justice system and enhance the effectiveness of that system with respect to administration of justice offences. For those purposes, the enactment amends that Act to, among other things,
(a) set out principles intended to encourage the use of extrajudicial measures and judicial reviews as alternatives to the laying of charges for administration of justice offences;
(b) set out requirements for imposing conditions on a young person’s release order or as part of a sentence;
(c) limit the circumstances in which a custodial sentence may be imposed for an administration of justice offence;
(d) remove the requirement for the Attorney General to determine whether to seek an adult sentence in certain circumstances; and
(e) remove the power of a youth justice court to make an order to lift the ban on publication in the case of a young person who receives a youth sentence for a violent offence, as well as the requirement to determine whether to make such an order.

Finally, the enactment amends among other Acts An Act to amend the Criminal Code (exploitation and trafficking in persons) so that certain sections of that Act can come into force on different days and also makes consequential amendments to other Acts.
Bill C-75 is too long to possibly cover entirely in one article, though this is the most serious of it.


Having much smaller bills introduced would certainly be preferable. Far too often, governments ram through much unrelated material into a bill, called “omnibus bills”, such that proper debate never actually happens.

A more thorough debate could be had if this were broken up into 6-8 separate bills

And just reiterate, terrorism and other major crimes should always be tried by indictment.

Ontario Gov’t Using Notwithstanding Clause to Shrink Toronto City Council (Bill 5)

Ontario Premier Doug Ford. (Source: HuffPost)

Ontario’s new Conservative Premier Doug Ford is attempting to shrink the Toronto City Council almost in half (from 47 to 25 members).  The main argument is that the ever expanding size of the council does nothing to actually improve representation and effectiveness.  Rather, it just leads to increased staff and costs for taxpayers.

Faith Goldy, currently running for Mayor of Toronto in October 22 election posted a YouTube video seen HERE, commenting on it.  An amusing video.

On July 30, 2018, Bill 5, the “Better Local Government Act” got its first reading.  August 14 saw it receive 2nd and 3rd readings and be passed.  However, the Toronto City Council voted to proceed with a legal challenge against it in court.

The Council claimed that the bill violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  See HERE for a link to the text of the Charter.

On September 10, an Ontario Superior Court Judge ruled that the Provincial Government’s decision violated Section 2(b) of the Charter, which states:  Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: …… (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;”.  Specifically, the Judge ruled that the Bill violated Torontonians’ right to “freedom of expression”.

To put it in more detail, because of the ongoing Mayoral and Council elections, cutting the Council size, it substantially interfered with municipal voters’ freedom of expression and the “right to cast a vote that can result in effective representation”.

However, the Ontario Government has decided to re-introduce the Bill, and instead rely on a different part of the Canadian Charter, Section 33, which is the “Notwithstanding Clause”.  In short, this provision allows a Provincial or Federal Government to pass laws even though a Court considers them unconstitutional.  33(1) reads as follows:

 (1) Parliament or the legislature of a province may expressly declare in an Act of Parliament or of the legislature, as the case may be, that the Act or a provision thereof shall operate notwithstanding a provision included in section 2 or sections 7 to 15 of this Charter.”

To be fair, Section 33(3) of the Charter states that legislation passed this way will cease to have effect after 5 years.

The “Notwithstanding Clause” has been a part of the Charter since its inception, but has very rarely been used.

Application of Charter
32. (1) This Charter applies

(a) to the Parliament and government of Canada in respect of all matters within the authority of Parliament including all matters relating to the Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories; and

(b) to the legislature and government of each province in respect of all matters within the authority of the legislature of each province.

There is an interesting twist to this story: The Charter effects both the Federal Government, and the Provinces and Territories. (See above for Section 32). However, Canada is also governed by the Principle of Paramouncy. In short, in the cases of competing laws, the highest power will succeed. Put plainly, Federal law tops Provincial law, and Provincial law tops Municipal law. There is a good deal of logic to this, as Federal law would mean nothing if cities and Provinces could simply legislate their way aroung it.

An exception to this of course: is that the various levels of power cannot legislate if doing so steps outside their legal boundaries. Sections 91 and 92 of the Constitution spell out exactly whose powers are whose.

Hypothetically, the Federal Government could invoke “their” Notwithstanding Clause in order to override “Ontario’s” Notwithstanding Clause. But that doesn’t seem to be happening, at least for now.

A very interesting use of the Notwithstanding Clause. Shows at least the Ontario Government is serious about cutting the size of government. We shall keep an eye on it.

AN UPDATE TO THE STORY: On, September 19, 2018, the Ontario Court of Appeals stayed the order of the Ontario Superior Court, effectively giving Premier Ford the go ahead to shrink Toronto City Council. An interesting note here — while the Court of Appeals did say that shrinking the Council in the middle of a municipal election was unfair, unfairness by itself is not a reason to stop Bill 5.

Canada’s Bill C-16: Adding Gender Identity to Human Rights Code and Criminal Code

(Jordan Peterson before the Canadian Senate on Bill C-16)

June 19, 2017, Bill C-16 received royal assent, becoming law. In a nutshell, amended both the Canadian Criminal Code and the Canadian Human Rights Code to include “gender identity or expression” to the books.

For the Criminal Code, it added “gender identity or expression” to the list of protected groups which violence against would be viewed as a hate crime (if that were the motivation for the offence.

For the Human Rights Code, “gender identity or expression” would be added to the list of protected grounds which discrimination against would be illegal.

In the above video, Professor Jordan Peterson (University of Toronto), claims that this bill will lead to “compelled speech”, and that the wording leaves the possibility that it will be abused. There are obvious flaws with the bill (more on that later). But here are the quotes from the HRC and CC, both before and after.

***********************************************************

ORIGINAL

2 The purpose of this Act is to extend the laws in Canada to give effect, within the purview of matters coming within the legislative authority of Parliament, to the principle that all individuals should have an opportunity equal with other individuals to make for themselves the lives that they are able and wish to have and to have their needs accommodated, consistent with their duties and obligations as members of society, without being hindered in or prevented from doing so by discriminatory practices based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, genetic characteristics, disability or conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted or in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered.

R.S., 1985, c. H-6, s. 2; 1996, c. 14, s. 1; 1998, c. 9, s. 9; 2012, c. 1, s. 137(E); 2017, c. 3, ss. 9, 11, c. 13, s. 1.

REPLACEMENT
Canadian Human Rights Act

1998, c. 9, s. 9; 2012, c. 1, s. 137(E)

1 Section 2 of the Canadian Human Rights Act is replaced by the following:

Purpose

2 The purpose of this Act is to extend the laws in Canada to give effect, within the purview of matters coming within the legislative authority of Parliament, to the principle that all individuals should have an opportunity equal with other individuals to make for themselves the lives that they are able and wish to have and to have their needs accommodated, consistent with their duties and obligations as members of society, without being hindered in or prevented from doing so by discriminatory practices based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, disability or conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted or in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered.

1996, c. 14, s. 2; 2012, c. 1, s. 138(E)

***********************************************************

ORIGINAL

3 (1) For all purposes of this Act, the prohibited grounds of discrimination are race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, genetic characteristics, disability and conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted or in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered.

REPLACEMENT

2 Subsection 3(1) of the Act is replaced by the following:

Prohibited grounds of discrimination

3 (1) For all purposes of this Act, the prohibited grounds of discrimination are race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, disability and conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted or in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered.

R.‍S.‍, c. C-46

***********************************************************
Criminal Code

ORIGINAL

(4) In this section, identifiable group means any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, or mental or physical disability.

R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 318; 2004, c. 14, s. 1; 2014, c. 31, s. 12.

REPLACEMENT

3 Subsection 318(4) of the Criminal Code is replaced by the following:

Definition of identifiable group

(4) In this section, identifiable group means any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or mental or physical disability.

1995, c. 22, s. 6

***********************************************************

ORIGINAL

(i) evidence that the offence was motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or any other similar factor,

REPLACEMENT

4 Subparagraph 718.‍2(a)‍(i) of the Act is replaced by the following:

(i) evidence that the offence was motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression, or on any other similar factor,

***********************************************************

Now for the problems:

First, what exactly is “gender identity”? On the surface, it seems to imply transgendered/transsexual people, who are actually “transitioning” from one sex to another. However, the bill fails to define or clarify this. Is it a transitioning person? Do they have to have completed it? Is there a certain standard?

Second, what exactly is “expression”, in the context it is being used? Would drag kings/queens or performers fall into this category? Is it someone who just dresses or acts in a less than usual manner? For this to be included into human rights and criminal code legislation, the wording needs to far more clear?

Third, if a person chooses to identify as anything other than male or female, are others obligated to address them as such?

Fourth, in terms of “having their needs accommodated” (with respect to the human rights code), what does this mean? Again, without specifying whether a person is actually transgender or just doing this temporarily, how would any employer or school be expected to be able to comply? Likewise, when looking at the wording “… without being hindered in or prevented from”, this is impossible to comply with, without more information.

Fifth, and regarding the Criminal Code, this seems incredibly dangerous to add. Hate crime laws are often not a good idea (as identity seems to be more important than the actual offence). But here, adding the vague wording “gender identity or expression” as a means of increasing a sentence does not seem wise.

Sixth, will these laws stifle legitimate concern and debate on the issue of transgenderism? The health and societal considerations — not to mention high suicide rates — are of a public concern to discuss. The science of “gender dysphoria“, the underlying medical condition, is still far from settled. If open discussion and debate can be viewed as “hate speech” or as “discrimination”, will this have a chilling effect on free speech?

Seventh, and referring to the above Peterson video, is gender supposed to be viewed from a biological or sociological perspective? (See the video).

Again, if this were specifically meant to protect individuals transitioning, and/or those with gender dysphoria, it would be a lot easier to support. However, the wording seems vague, and open to misinterpretation.

The public at large seems apprehensive about these changes, and with good reason.

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