Never Again: NDP MP Leah Gazan’s Rationale Behind Banning Residential School “Denialism”

A year ago, NDP Member of Parliament for Winnipeg Centre, Leah Gazan, made the news with calls to formally make illegal so-called residential school “denialism”.

October 2022, she got a Motion passed unanimously to formally recognize that genocide had taken place at residential schools in Canada.

In any event, recent tweets, here and here, shine light on her rationale for doing this. She draws a parallel between Holocaust denial, and this. And her solution is exactly the same: to make it illegal to publicly deny that it happened.

This Canadian Jewish Heritage Month, I commemorate my grandfather, David Gazan, who served in the Dutch Army during WWII, my grandmother, Gina Gazan, a concentration camp survivor, and my father, Albert Gazan, a Holocaust survivor and lifelong peace activist. (1/2)

We must stand together against rising antisemitic rhetoric and hate groups. We must remember the lessons of the Holocaust and the legacy of hate and discrimination that allowed it to happen. Never again means never again for anyone. (2/2)

However, Gazan posts this on her website, which really throws things for a loop.

Urgent Action Needed on the Humanitarian Crisis in Palestine

Israel’s devastating bombardment of Gaza following the horrific Oct. 7 attack by Hamas on Israeli civilians has led to a humanitarian crisis that requires immediate action. At the time of writing, more than 22,000 people are confirmed killed in Gaza, more than 58,000 injured, and another 7,000 are missing under the rubble. Nearly half of those killed in Gaza were children, and 79 journalists and media workers have been killed. 1.9 million have been displaced by the destruction of critical infrastructure.

The Israeli blockade on fuel, food, water, and medicine is causing dehydration, starvation, and the unmitigated spread of disease among civilian populations. Women are being forced to give birth without electricity or medication, and surgeries are being performed without anesthesia.

For decades, Palestinians have been subjected to occupation, eviction from their homes, the annexation of their land, and the expansion of illegal settlements.

Even though Gazan supports criminalizing the act of “Residential School denialism”, and presumably “Holocaust denial” as well, she openly calls out what’s been going on for decades by Israel.

It’s also interesting that Gazan repeatedly denounces antisemitism. Such comments about Israel and the Middle East lead to similar accusations about her. She’s often labelled a Hamas sympathizer.

April 30th, Gazan retweeted António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations. Concerning the Middle East, he stated: “Independent investigators must be allowed immediate access. The families of the dead have a right to know what happened”. That certainly sounds reasonable, but by Gazan’s own standards, such comments would be hate speech if said in Canada.

She calls out genocide, but wants to make it illegal to question?!

Gazan also promotes her own Bill C-223, which would establish a framework for U.B.I., or universal basic income. Seems a bit odd that she wants a country that she alleges committed genocide to provide everyone with free money.

Last year, Gazan publicly called for the Federal Government to “protect and uphold the right to travel for refugees and former refugees”. Bearing in mind that they’re already free to move within Canada, this presumably means the freedom to visit other countries. Or to return to where they’re being persecuted. She also references 2020/2021, when Canadians weren’t free to travel.

Gazan is an enthusiastic supporter of abortion and women’s rights. While supporting social programs for children, it’s also a human right to terminate pregnancies at will.

Gazan is definitely a hard one to figure out.

Will “conservatives” take a principled stand on free speech? Doubtful. In 2022, Kevin Waugh introduced Bill C-250 to JAIL Holocaust deniers. It was also proudly displayed on the CPC website, but later removed. See the archive. But because of Division 21 in Bill C-19, Waugh’s version soon became redundant. As for these specific efforts:

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre’s spokesman Sebastian Skamski has not yet responded to a request about whether the Tories would support a push to criminalize residential school denialism.

When asked specifically about criminalizing “residential school denialism”, Poilievre hasn’t given a straight answer. There was no indignation at such an attack on free speech. But if he were logically consistent, he’d support such legislation.

We’ll have to see if it ever actually emerges. For now, it’s just talk. However, that can change quite quickly, and can always be buried in an omnibus bill.

(1) https://twitter.com/LeahGazan/status/1585726302044229632
(2) https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/should-residential-school-denialism-declared-hate-speech-1.6744100
(3) https://twitter.com/LeahGazan/status/1786107789196288306
(4) https://twitter.com/LeahGazan/status/1786107791511601274
(5) https://www.leahgazan.ca/palestine_feedback
(6) https://twitter.com/antonioguterres/status/1785394742391402660
(7) https://www.leahgazan.ca/support223
(8) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bill/44-1/c-223
(9) https://www.leahgazan.ca/right_to_travel
(10) https://www.leahgazan.ca/statement-fredericton-abortion-clinic-closure
(11) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bill/44-1/c-250
(12) https://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/44-1/bill/C-19/royal-assent
(13) https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/special-interlocutor-waiting-for-mp-bill-criminalizing-residential-school-denialism-1.6661615

Private Member’s Bill C-373: (Again) Removing Religious Protections For Antisemitic Expression

On February 5th, 2024, Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe, Member of Parliament for the Bloc Québécois in Lac-Saint-Jean, introduced Private Member’s Bill C-373. The goal is to remove religious exemptions for the hate crime of antisemitism.

If this sounds familiar, it should. It’s identical to Bill C-367, which was introduced by Yves-François Blanchet, the leader of the Bloc Québécois on November 28th, 2023.

Both Bills C-367 and C-373 would repeal Sections 319(3)‍(b) and 319(3.‍1)‍(b) of the Criminal Code. These would provide defences in Court if the expression were based on religious beliefs. Interestingly, neither Bill lists what faith(s) this would apply to, although Christianity is an obvious suspect.

Defences
.
(3) No person shall be convicted of an offence under subsection (2)
(a) if he establishes that the statements communicated were true;
(b) if, in good faith, the person expressed or attempted to establish by an argument an opinion on a religious subject or an opinion based on a belief in a religious text;
(c) if the statements were relevant to any subject of public interest, the discussion of which was for the public benefit, and if on reasonable grounds he believed them to be true; or
(d) if, in good faith, he intended to point out, for the purpose of removal, matters producing or tending to produce feelings of hatred toward an identifiable group in Canada.

Defences — subsection (2.1)
.
(3.1) No person shall be convicted of an offence under subsection (2.1)
(a) if they establish that the statements communicated were true;
(b) if, in good faith, they expressed or attempted to establish by an argument an opinion on a religious subject or an opinion based on a belief in a religious text;
(c) if the statements were relevant to any subject of public interest, the discussion of which was for the public benefit, and if on reasonable grounds they believed them to be true; or
(d) if, in good faith, they intended to point out, for the purpose of removal, matters producing or tending to produce feelings of antisemitism toward Jews.

Some clarity would be nice. These Bills (C-367 and C-373) didn’t just happen. There are obviously some written texts which are apparently offensive.

Brunel-Duceppe is also involved in foreign affairs. He and Blanchet are both part of CAIL, the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group.

  • (CAAF) Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association
  • (CACN Canada-China Legislative Association
  • (CADE) Canada-Germany Interparliamentary Group
  • (CAEU) Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association
  • (CAFR) Canada-France Inter-Parliamentary Association
  • (CAIE) Canada-Ireland Interparliamentary Group
  • (CAIL) Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group
  • (CAIT) Canada-Italy Interparliamentary Group
  • (CAJP) Canada-Japan Inter-Parliamentary Group
  • (CANA) Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association
  • (CAPF) Canadian Branch of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie
  • (CCOM)Canadian Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
  • (CEUS) Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group
  • (CPAM) Canadian Section of ParlAmericas
  • (RUUK) Canada-United Kingdom Inter-Parliamentary Association
  • (SECOC) anadian Delegation to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly
  • (UIPU) Canadian Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union

Here’s where the story take a turn, as it usually does. Brunelle-Duceppe didn’t come up with this on his own. It looks as if he has been meeting with CIJA, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.

Brunelle-Duceppe appears to have been contacted by the Israeli Lobby about this. There’s a meeting which took place on January 19th, 2024. Just 2 weeks later, he’s introducing this Bill. That seems unlikely to be a coincidence.

CIJA is very involved in Canadian politics, and has regularly lobbied politicians for decades. A large part of their agenda focuses on amending the Criminal Code and Human Rights Codes to combat what they call hate speech and antisemitism.

Bills C-367 and C-373 are hardly the only ones introduced in recent times to limit Canadians’ expression and speech. Here are some others.

Bill C-63 (the Online Harms Act) was recently introduced. This would impose strict criminal penalties for people suspected — not even charged or convicted — of causing harms. Like so many pieces of legislation, it’s both vague, and has real consequences.

Bill C-229 sought to ban “symbols of hate”, but without defining what the criteria would be. It can be difficult to distinguish between hate, history, and simple expression.

Bill C-250 would have put Holocaust deniers in prison for up to 2 years. This came from a “Conservative” MP named Kevin Waugh. The Bill is moot at this point, since the equivalent provisions were slipped into Bill C-19, a budget that passed.

Bill C-261 would create “red flag laws” for hate speech, but without defining what it is. Without a person even being charged or convicted, a Judge could order them to be subjected to the kinds of restrictions that felons on probation or parole would face. This is virtually identical to Bill C-36, which was introduced, but didn’t pass in the previous session.

Who can forget Iqra Khalid’s M-103 (Islamophobia Motion), or Bills C-6 and later C-4 (to criminalize anything that would be considered conversion therapy?

British Columbia Bill 23 gets an honourable mention. This would establish a Provincial Committee to establish and advance an “anti-racism” agenda, and embed it in everything. Whites are specifically excluded from being on having any leadership role.

Not only do these Bills erode freedom, and particularly freedom of speech, the details are always worked out behind closed doors. It’s typically an NGO, often a foreign one, who has elected officials try to implement them. This shouldn’t be allowed, regardless of who’s behind it.

But you won’t hear either the mainstream or alternative media talk about this.

One other point of interest is this: Blanchet’s Bill C-367 was introduced at the end of November, 2023. Brunelle-Duceppe’s Bill C-373 was in early February, 2024. This was just a few months later. Why was this introduced twice?

(1) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/overview
(2) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bill/44-1/c-373
(3) https://www.ourcommons.ca/Members/en/alexis-brunelle-duceppe(104786)
(4) https://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/44-1/bill/C-373/first-reading
(5) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/cmmLgPblcVw?comlogId=592585

Private Member Bills In Current Session:
(A) Bill C-206: Decriminalizing Self Maiming To Avoid Military Service
(B) Bill C-207: Creating The “Right” To Affordable Housing
(C) Bill C-219: Creating Environmental Bill Of Rights
(D) Bill C-226: Creating A Strategy For Environmental Racism/Justice
(E) Bill C-229: Banning Symbols Of Hate, Without Defining Them
(F) Bill C-235: Building Of A Green Economy In The Prairies
(G) Bill C-245: Entrenching Climate Change Into Canada Infrastructure Bank
(H) Bill C-250: Imposing Prison Time For Holocaust Denial
(I) Bill C-261: Red Flag Laws For “Hate Speech”
(J) Bill C-293: Domestic Implementation Of Int’l Pandemic Treaty
(K) Bill C-312: Development Of National Renewable Energy Strategy
(L) Bill C-315: Amending CPPIB Act Over “Human, Labour, Environmental Rights”
(M) Bill C-367: Removing Religious Exemptions Protecting Against Antisemitism
(N) Bill S-215: Protecting Financial Stability Of Post-Secondary Institutions
(O) Bill S-243: Climate Related Finance Act, Banking Acts
(P) Bill S-248: Removing Final Consent For Euthanasia
(Q) Bill S-257: Protecting Political Belief Or Activity As Human Rights

Bill C-63 (Online Harms Act): Who’s Really Pushing This Agenda?

Bill C-63, the Online Harms Act, has been introduced in Parliament by Arif Virani, the Justice Minister. First Reading happened on February 26th, 2024. There’s a lot of it to go through

To begin with, there are actually some worthwhile provisions in the Bill, such as the mandatory reporting of child pornography. No sensible reason would reject that. And there are instances where being able to quickly remove certain content would be in the best interests of society.

Ottawa gives its own summary of the Bill.

However, Bill C-63 seems to blend together straightforward and legitimate issues with ones that are much more vague and impractical. Consequently, it’s harder to simply accept or reject.

There’s also the question of who has been influencing the drafting of this content. That will be addressed a bit later.

The Bill would create a Digital Safety Office of Canada, and an Ombudsman to oversee it. In essence, it would add a new layer of bureaucracy to specifically monitor “digital safety”.

Content that foments hatred is “defined” in this Bill, but is still vague. Additionally, it seeks to be able to attribute specific motivations to expression. What may be valid discourse to some will be considered hate speech to others.

There is a disclaimer that this wouldn’t apply to content solely because it expresses “disdain or dislike or it discredits, humiliates, hurts or offends”. Sounds great, but that also is subjective as well, depending on the views of whoever is interpreting it.

Harmful content in fact lists 7 different categories, and all of them at least somewhat open to interpretation. What can easily happen is that these new laws will be selectively applied, depending on the politics of the people involved.

The Bill would create a new section of the Criminal Code. This is one which a person could lay an information on another, and with the Attorney General’s consent, it could be brought before a Judge. If ordered by that Judge a person may be forced to enter into a recognizance, if a Judge is convinced that hate crime may be committed.

Fear of hate propaganda offence or hate crime
.
810.‍012 (1) A person may, with the Attorney General’s consent, lay an information before a provincial court judge if the person fears on reasonable grounds that another person will commit
(a) an offence under section 318 or any of subsections 319(1) to (2.‍1); or
(b) an offence under section 320.‍1001.

A person could be forced into this recognizance for up to 2 years, or would face 12 months in prison if they refuse. This is similar to being out on bail or on a peace bond, but with no actual crime committed.

Terms of the “recognizance” could include:

(a) Wearing an electronic monitoring device
(b) Return to and remain at their place of residence at specified times, a.k.a. a curfew
(c) Abstaining from drugs and alcohol
(d) Submitting to drug and alcohol testing
(e) No contact orders
(f) Weapons prohibitions

The topper on this one is that a Judge isn’t required to give reasons for this, but is supposed to say why written reasons aren’t included. Again, this is for when some is suspected that they may commit a crime. No actual charges are necessary.

Other changes to the Criminal Code involve Section 318 and 319, which raise the potential imprisonment for incitement to hatred from 2 years to 5 years.

Advocating genocide will also expose a person to a potential life sentence.

The Canadian Human Rights Act would also be amended to include “communication of hate speech”, which is defined as: to communicate or cause to be communicated hate speech by means of the Internet or any other means of telecommunication in a context in which the hate speech is likely to foment detestation or vilification of an individual or group of individuals on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.

But it also is poorly defined, which will likely lead to it being applied in an uneven manner, depending on the politics of those involved.

Section 140 of the Online Harms Act is the “Regulations” part. This is where unnamed and unelected bureaucrats are able to change or interpret provisions of the legislation without any real oversight. Nearly all Acts have such a backdoor, which allows changes to be done behind the scenes.

There is more to Bill C-63, but those are some of the major points.

Now, where did this come from?

Lobbying is a reality in politics. Special interests groups lobby money to get certain agendas pushed, and to get money for their causes. This is hardly news. Searching the Federal Lobbyist Registry, the following names come up:

  • Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA)
  • National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM)
  • Women’s Legal Education & Action Fund (LEAF)
  • YWCA Canada
  • Friends of Canadian Broadcasting

Are there others involved in this? Probably, but these are the names that come up, which appear to be relevant to regulating speech and expression.

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, CIJA, has been prolific in lobbying Ottawa for changes to the Human Rights Act, and to the Criminal Code. This group has pushed for stricter definitions around so-called hate crimes and antisemitism. Their recent efforts include making Holocaust denial punishable by prison time, and removing religious protections. See here and here.

The National Council of Canadian Muslims, NCCM, specifically lists Section 13 of the Canadian Rights Act. They want laws against Islamophobia, and condemn “white supremacy”. Other efforts include anti-racism initiatives, such as Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Women’s Legal Education & Action Fund, LEAF, had pressured Ottawa to take action against online harassment and gendered violence. The recent lobbying specifically relates to new technologies used to do this.

YWCA Canada supports regulations against online hate, which is taken from a feminist and “gendered violence” perspective.

Friends of Canadian Broadcasting is a bit of an outlier. It wants more financial support for smaller, independent media, while opposing the funding of the CBC. It also pushes for regulations around online hate. Presumably, this would lead to many (much smaller) anti-racist outlets.

And to search online hate more generally, click on this link.

While it’s always important to read upcoming legislation, this piece often gets left out. The groups pushing for changes need to be considered as well. This is especially true if our interests don’t align.

(1) https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/services/online-harms.html
(2) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bill/44-1/c-63
(3) https://www.ourcommons.ca/Members/en/arif-virani(88910)
(4) https://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/44-1/bill/C-63/first-reading
(5) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/advSrch?searchCommand=navigate&time=1709098767406
(6) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/cmmLgPblcVw?comlogId=584229
(7) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/vwRg?cno=111&regId=937469
(8) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/cmmLgPblcVw?comlogId=594289
(9) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/vwRg?cno=358918&regId=946132
(10) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/vwRg?cno=362688&regId=941750
(11) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/vwRg?cno=377298&regId=947241
(12) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/vwRg?cno=375749&regId=944913

Private Member Bills In Current Session:
(A) Bill C-206: Decriminalizing Self Maiming To Avoid Military Service
(B) Bill C-207: Creating The “Right” To Affordable Housing
(C) Bill C-219: Creating Environmental Bill Of Rights
(D) Bill C-226: Creating A Strategy For Environmental Racism/Justice
(E) Bill C-229: Banning Symbols Of Hate, Without Defining Them
(F) Bill C-235: Building Of A Green Economy In The Prairies
(G) Bill C-245: Entrenching Climate Change Into Canada Infrastructure Bank
(H) Bill C-250: Imposing Prison Time For Holocaust Denial
(I) Bill C-261: Red Flag Laws For “Hate Speech”
(J) Bill C-293: Domestic Implementation Of Int’l Pandemic Treaty
(K) Bill C-312: Development Of National Renewable Energy Strategy
(L) Bill C-315: Amending CPPIB Act Over “Human, Labour, Environmental Rights”
(M) Bill C-367: Removing Religious Exemptions Protecting Against Antisemitism
(N) Bill S-215: Protecting Financial Stability Of Post-Secondary Institutions
(O) Bill S-243: Climate Related Finance Act, Banking Acts
(P) Bill S-248: Removing Final Consent For Euthanasia
(Q) Bill S-257: Protecting Political Belief Or Activity As Human Rights

Private Member’s Bill C-367: Removing Religious Protections For Antisemitic Expression

A Private Member’s Bill is getting renewed expression for the potential impact it may have. Bill C-367 would remove “belief based on a religious text” as a defence to certain criminal charges.

The text of the Bill would remove both sections 319(3)‍(b) and 319(3.‍1)‍(b) from the Criminal Code of Canada. Those provisions provide legal defences to people charged with the willful promotion of antisemitism, if it’s done in the context of religious expression. Truth is still allowed, for now.

Of course, the vagueness of these hate speech laws is already an issue. Nothing is properly defined, which makes it very subjective. But remove a potential justification? That’s worth a closer look.

Defences
.
(3) No person shall be convicted of an offence under subsection (2)
(a) if he establishes that the statements communicated were true;
(b) if, in good faith, the person expressed or attempted to establish by an argument an opinion on a religious subject or an opinion based on a belief in a religious text;
(c) if the statements were relevant to any subject of public interest, the discussion of which was for the public benefit, and if on reasonable grounds he believed them to be true; or
(d) if, in good faith, he intended to point out, for the purpose of removal, matters producing or tending to produce feelings of hatred toward an identifiable group in Canada.

Defences — subsection (2.1)
.
(3.1) No person shall be convicted of an offence under subsection (2.1)
(a) if they establish that the statements communicated were true;
(b) if, in good faith, they expressed or attempted to establish by an argument an opinion on a religious subject or an opinion based on a belief in a religious text;
(c) if the statements were relevant to any subject of public interest, the discussion of which was for the public benefit, and if on reasonable grounds they believed them to be true; or
(d) if, in good faith, they intended to point out, for the purpose of removal, matters producing or tending to produce feelings of antisemitism toward Jews.

This came from Yves-François Blanchet, the leader of the Bloc Québécois.

Blanchet is also on a large number of international associations in Parliament. This is rather strange, considering his stated goal of breaking up Canada. These people larp as if Quebec were an independent country, and it’s taken seriously.

  • (CAAF) Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association
  • (CACN) Canada-China Legislative Association
  • (CADE) Canada-Germany Interparliamentary Group
  • (CAEU) Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association
  • (CAFR) Canada-France Inter-Parliamentary Association
  • (CAIE) Canada-Ireland Interparliamentary Group
  • (CAIL) Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group
  • (CAIT) Canada-Italy Interparliamentary Group
  • (CAJP) Canada-Japan Inter-Parliamentary Group
  • (CANA) Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association
  • (CAPF) Canadian Branch of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie
  • (CCOM) Canadian Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
  • (CEUS) Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group
  • (CPAM) Canadian Section of ParlAmericas
  • (RUUK) Canada-United Kingdom Inter-Parliamentary Association
  • (SECO) Canadian Delegation to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly
  • (UIPU) Canadian Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union

Considering Blanchet’s position, it’s not really that surprising who paid him a visit recently.

October 20th, 2023, Blanchet gets lobbied by CIJA, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs. November 28th, he introduces Bill C-367 in Parliament. That’s less than 6 weeks later.

Quebec is largely a Catholic province — although immigration is replacing that — so it’s really odd that Blanchet would introduce this Bill. His own constituents could be impacted by this, depending on how it’s interpreted and enforced.

Interestingly, even those who cover the Bill omit the CIJA angle. The Christian Heritage Party, CHP, has commented on Bill C-367 being introduced in late 2023, but no mention of the lobbying behind the scenes. Lifesite ignores it as well. So does at least one pastor.

CIJA is very prolific in Canadian politics.

Their profile lists the following:

  • Digital Citizen Contribution Program (DCCP): The objective of the project is to combat online disinformation and hate, specifically, antisemitism and antisemitic conspiracy theories related to COVID-19 where it is spreading: online via social media. Antisemitism cannot be allowed to permeate civil discourse and become mainstream
  • A civil remedy based in human rights law, included in the Canadian Human Rights Act, with respect to combating hate speech, including antisemitism. Training for provincial attorneys general, prosecutors, and police to enforce Criminal Code hate speech provisions. Training and parameters should cite the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism.
  • Civil remedy included in the Canadian Human Rights Act with respect to combating antisemitism.
  • Equip police departments to counter hate crimes and support targeted communities by providing additional resources to bolster existing police hate crime and community liaison units. Where such units do not exist, funding should be provided to establish them.
  • Update the Criminal Code of Canada with respect to combating antisemitism and online hate. Create a national strategy to tackle online hate and radicalization using the 2019 Justice Committee report, “Taking Action to End Online Hate”, as a foundation. A strategy should draw upon the Christchurch Call, and use the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism.
  • Hate speech and internet-based hate: For Canada to adopt policies – either/and through legislation or policies adjustments that will provide measurable standards for internet-based dissemination of hate speech, including explicit provisions within the Crimical Code and/or the Human Rights Act.

There are, of course, many other areas CIJA advocates for, such as ending the blood ban for gays. However, a large portion of the focus seems to be around speech and expression.

Don’t expect so-called “Conservatives” to come to the aid of principled free speech. They quite enthusiastically introduced Bill C-250, to jail people for questioning the official version of WWII.

Bill C-250 became moot when the equivalent provisions passed, slipped into Bill C-19, a budget Bill. Nonetheless, there was no pushback or resistance from the political right in Canada. And this highlights the hypocrisy they engage in.

Conservatives were outraged — or at least they pretended to be — over M-103, which was Iqra Khalid’s Motion to “study Islamophobia”. They railed that it was a waste of money, and an attack on free speech. And it was. That being said, they’re supportive of other attempts to imprison Canadians for having incorrect views on history.

News of Bill C-250 was announced on the CPC website, but has since been taken down. However, it has been archived and saved.

This new Bill aims to remove a protection that had previously been embedded in the last one. Incrementalism seems to be the way in politics.

(1) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bill/44-1/c-367
(2) https://www.ourcommons.ca/Members/en/yves-francois-blanchet(104669)
(3) https://www.parl.ca/diplomacy/en/groups/cail
(4) https://www.parl.ca/documentviewer/en/IIA/constitution/8385503
(5) https://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/44-1/bill/C-367/first-reading
(6) https://twitter.com/CHPCanada/status/1760773690902401300/
(7) https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/proposed-canadian-law-could-see-christians-jailed-for-quoting-the-bible/
(8) https://twitter.com/aylmerpastor/status/1760787350496395632
(9) https://www.conservative.ca/mp-waugh-introduces-legislation-to-prohibit-holocaust-denial/
(10) https://archive.ph/fCnNn
(11) MP Waugh introduces legislation to prohibit Holocaust denial – Conservative Party of Canada
(12) Wayback Machine On Bill C-250

Private Member Bills In Current Session:
(A) Bill C-206: Decriminalizing Self Maiming To Avoid Military Service
(B) Bill C-207: Creating The “Right” To Affordable Housing
(C) Bill C-219: Creating Environmental Bill Of Rights
(D) Bill C-226: Creating A Strategy For Environmental Racism/Justice
(E) Bill C-229: Banning Symbols Of Hate, Without Defining Them
(F) Bill C-235: Building Of A Green Economy In The Prairies
(G) Bill C-245: Entrenching Climate Change Into Canada Infrastructure Bank
(H) Bill C-250: Imposing Prison Time For Holocaust Denial
(I) Bill C-261: Red Flag Laws For “Hate Speech”
(J) Bill C-293: Domestic Implementation Of Int’l Pandemic Treaty
(K) Bill C-312: Development Of National Renewable Energy Strategy
(L) Bill C-315: Amending CPPIB Act Over “Human, Labour, Environmental Rights”
(M) Bill S-215: Protecting Financial Stability Of Post-Secondary Institutions
(N) Bill S-243: Climate Related Finance Act, Banking Acts
(O) Bill S-248: Removing Final Consent For Euthanasia
(P) Bill S-257: Protecting Political Belief Or Activity As Human Rights

Private Member’s Bill C-206: Decriminalizing Self-Injury Done To Avoid Active Military Service

This is another one that’s a bit of a head scratcher.

New Democrat M.P. Randall Garrison introduced Bill C-206 back in December 2021. This would have removed section 98(c) of the National Defence Act. It would mean that it was no longer an offence to injure or main oneself or another for the purpose of avoiding active service.

Although not specified in the Bill, presumably it would be okay to injure another for this purpose if it was done with the person’s consent.

The timing is also interesting. First Reading was at the end of 2021, when vaccine passports were in full swing. A cynic may wonder if this was part of some coordinated effort to help gut the military, by making it easier for people to get out.

Malingering, aggravating disease or infirmity or injuring self or another
.
98 Every person who
(a) malingers or feigns or produces disease or infirmity,
(b) aggravates, or delays the cure of, disease or infirmity by misconduct or wilful disobedience of orders, or
(c) willfully maims or injures himself or any other person who is a member of any of Her Majesty’s Forces or of any forces cooperating therewith, whether at the instance of that person or not, with intent thereby to render himself or that other person unfit for service, or causes himself to be maimed or injured by any person with intent thereby to render himself unfit for service,
.
is guilty of an offence and on conviction, if he commits the offence on active service or when under orders for active service or in respect of a person on active service or under orders for active service, is liable to imprisonment for life or to less punishment and, in any other case, is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to less punishment.

It would be interesting whether Garrison came up with this Bill himself, or whether someone else (and who) is really behind it. Somehow, it seems doubtful that it was his idea.

So far, it hasn’t gone past First Reading, but we’ll have to see how it plays out.

Sources:
(1) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bills?page=2
(2) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bill/44-1/c-206
(3) https://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/44-1/bill/C-206/first-reading
(4) https://www.ourcommons.ca/Members/en/randall-garrison(71995)
(5) https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/N-5/index.html

Private Member Bills In Current Session:
(A) Bill C-207: Creating The “Right” To Affordable Housing
(B) Bill C-219: Creating Environmental Bill Of Rights
(C) Bill C-226: Creating A Strategy For Environmental Racism/Justice
(D) Bill C-229: Banning Symbols Of Hate, Without Defining Them
(E) Bill C-230: Protecting HCW From MAiD Compulsion DEFEATED
(F) Bill C-235: Building Of A Green Economy In The Prairies
(G) Bill C-250: Imposing Prison Time For Holocaust Denial
(H) Bill C-261: Red Flag Laws For “Hate Speech”
(I) Bill C-293: Domestic Implementation Of Int’l Pandemic Treaty
(J) Bill C-312: Development Of National Renewable Energy Strategy
(K) Bill C-315: Amending CPPIB Act Over “Human, Labour, Environmental Rights”
(L) Bill S-215: Protecting Financial Stability Of Post-Secondary Institutions
(M) Bill S-243: Climate Related Finance Act, Banking Acts
(N) Bill S-248: Removing Final Consent For Euthanasia
(O) Bill S-257: Protecting Political Belief Or Activity As Human Rights

Joanne Person Speaks Out Following Charges Being Withdrawn Over Coutts Arrest

Joanne Person has finally spoken out out about an arrest last year which caused nationwide attention. She was charged with 1 count of Firearms Possession and 1 count of Mischief Over $5,000.00 for allegedly aiding and abetting protesters in Coutts on Feb 14, 2022. On January 16, 2023, the charges were officially withdrawn.

This stems from the a section of the Canada/U.S. border being blocked last winter during nationwide protests over martial law measures.

While there was brief coverage of her case being dropped, it was quite limited. The version told by Person in the livestream paints a very different story to what has been officially reported. This includes the conduct of, and treatment by the RCMP.

Person wasn’t actually a part of any alleged plot, but had merely been hosting protesters in Coutts at her residence.

Although released on bail, it took nearly a year to have the case withdrawn. While news of the charges being dropped is a relief, it doesn’t undo the stress and hardship which came with the arrest. Her name made national news, and no public apology has yet been offered.

Chris Carbert, Christopher Lysak, Anthony Olienick and Jerry Morin remain charged with conspiracy to murder RCMP officers. Police allege that there had been a cache of weapons found in the area. They are scheduled to go on Trial in June.

The stream was hosted by Stand4THEE, and is worth a watch.

(1) https://rumble.com/v29uldy-stand4thee-live-5-press-conference-with-joanne-person.html
(2) https://stand4thee.com/
(3) https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/joanne-person-coutts-charges-court-prelim-mischief-1.6715505
(4) https://calgaryherald.com/news/crime/crown-withdraws-charges-against-coutts-protester-who-hosted-others-on-her-property
(5) https://calgaryherald.com/news/crime/another-one-of-the-coutts-blockade-suspects-granted-bail-pending-trial