New Democrat M.P.P. Kristyn Wong-Tam, the Critic for the Attorney General, Small Business and 2SLGBTQI Issues, has introduced Bill 94, Keeping 2SLGBTQI+ Communities Safe Act, 2023. This would apply throughout the Province of Ontario, if passed and implemented.
This could be expensive, with violations of this resulting in fines up to $25,000.
Looking through Wong-Tam’s Twitter account, it’s full of social justice content, and she comes across as a Communist. Not surprising, given her party affiliation.
Granted, the N.D.P. is in opposition, and has no real power in Parliament. However, that’s no guarantee that it won’t be passed eventually. Now, what’s in the Bill?
The Bill would give the Attorney General of Ontario the power to declare any place a “community safety zone”, for a period of time. Of course, the time limits are not defined, nor are the sizes or locations of these zones.
The Attorney General would have the power to go to the courts in order to get an injunction against any person who might violate these. Now, that raises the concern that these would be politically motivated.
The term “community safety zone” is also undefined, and open to interpretation.
Now, on the surface, it appears like there is a safety mechanism to protect free speech and free expression. However, this is rather misleading.
By claiming that the content of a protest or demonstration is offensive, it can be shut down. Similarly, legitimate concerns can be smeared as homophobic or transphobic. Moreover, mere offence is enough to shut down public discourse, and that can be weaponized.
And what about things like child drag shows? Would the public be banned from protesting those, under the guise of safety and tolerance? What about transitioning children into the opposite sex?
The Bill also calls for a 2SLGBTQI+ Safety Advisory Committee to be created. Financial support to implement recommendations is included, which means it will cost taxpayers.
Again, this legislation could very well go nowhere, but nothing is assured.