June 27, 2007

Adding "women" to hate crimes law?

Someone sent me this today. Anyone got additional developments/info/suggestions? Time for another blogburst, perhaps...?

Extract from Hansard Debates of a Members' Statement made in the House of Commons Ottawa on June 20, 2007:

Ms. Nicole Demers (Laval, BQ): "Mr. Speaker, on April 22, a motion put forward by the Hon. member for Etobicoke Centre to add the word “woman” to the Criminal Code with respect to hate propaganda was adopted by everyone except the Conservative Party. The government and its Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women do not seem to be too concerned about the prevalence of hate propaganda, yet it can be found in ads, in songs, on television, everywhere. It is high time to give the justice system tools to eradicate this scourge. That does not mean encroaching on freedom of expression, but when freedom of expression is used to perpetrate gratuitous violence against women, it has to be censured. The Conservative government has to implement this April 22 motion. It is a matter of political integrity and, above all, dignity and respect for women".

Posted by KShaidle at June 27, 2007 8:14 AM

Hey, once you have hate speech legislation its very convenient to add whatever you want in there.

We can have women as a protected group, then we can have Indians (no more reporting on Caledonia!), Muslims, or what have you.

Only a matter of time before the Liberal Party is a protected group, eh?

Posted by: The Phantom at June 27, 2007 8:32 AM

I'm for it, but only if we add "men" at the same time.

Posted by: M4-10 at June 27, 2007 8:33 AM

Hedy Fry reporting burning bras on the lawns of Prince George.

Posted by: cal2 at June 27, 2007 8:40 AM

Is this related to the whole SoW funding cut? I.e. suddenly it's a crime to not sponsor a leftist, feminist group out of the public purse, type thing?

People need to read yesterday's post referencing Mark Steyn's post at NRO's The Corner. Hate speech laws are designed to proscribe only speech that the intellectual Left disagree with, and the goalposts shift like Sahara sand.

Finally, why isn't this front and center in the G&M?

Posted by: mark peters at June 27, 2007 8:42 AM

Well, we're finally getting to the nuts and bolts of the two things I have always hated about "hate crime" legislation.

One: Establishing "hate" as a state of mind (as opposed to simply establishing levels of premeditation) means that we have to go beyond finding the simple empirical facts of the crime and find out what the offender was actually thinking. So, we need Thought Police. Until the age of "hate crimes" and "sexual harrassment", we only needed to establish the intent of the accused and the level of premeditation. Motive was only ever evidence to show why the accused might have committed the crime - but it was not an element in gauging the severity of the crime charged. And with "sexual harrassment", we don't even need to prove intent - we now only talk about what the "victim" claims that they felt.

Two: I am a white hetero-sexual male. That means that someone who murders me because of an argument I had with them has committed a lesser crime than someone who murders another person because that person is black. Makes you wonder what the accused would be charged with if the victim were black, Muslim, and homosexual. So, officially under our laws - the taking of my life can NEVER be seen as being as serious a crime as someone who is murdered because they are part of a "minority" group.

It's funny to say it...but I can actually get behind Ms. Demers on this one. This is actually a case where the issue is about "equality" for women. Now, if (as M4-10 says) we add "men" to the list of groups who can be targetted under "hate crime" legislation, we will truly have equality...and then these stupid classifications of law can go away since they will be nullified anyway.

Posted by: bryceman at June 27, 2007 8:58 AM

I don't like the idea of regulating hate speech in the first place, it's too arbitrary to be safe.

Posted by: Vox Mentis at June 27, 2007 9:07 AM

"in ads, in songs, on television"

"In our cities, on our streets, we're not kidding"

Screeching hysterical french nag; what is Ms. Demers bitching about?
Every TV show I've seen the woman is far more intelligent, much more level headed, twice as tough, and physically stronger than any man.
According to my TV, all women are able to put an asswhoppin on a whole bar full of bikers, without breaking a nail.
The father is always a dumb dufus, the male neighbour next door is an even dumber dufus and the wives always save the day.
HA! snort.
Whew; Man that stuff never get's old.

Probably just in french Canadian programming, women are portrayed as a "scourge" to be "hated."

Posted by: richfisher at June 27, 2007 9:12 AM

M4-10, bryceman:

Here's the proposed amendment to s.385(4):

(4) In this section, “identifiable group” means any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, ethnic origin, sex or sexual orientation.

So, no worries, "men" as an identifiable group would be equally covered by the law.

Posted by: A'dam at June 27, 2007 9:31 AM

We've certainly come a long way from the days of the BNA Act, when our Rights were inherent. Now, as the Government doles them out piecemeal, one had better get in line, lest he be left with no Rights at all.

Posted by: dmorris at June 27, 2007 9:31 AM

Controlling your speech has a stench of fascism. If there be any control on speech, it should be controlling stupid talk of politicians. They should be fined thousands of dollars for every stupid idea they pronounce and ‘three strikes you’re out’ rule should apply.
I do understand that we would fast run out of politicians though that may not be bad.
Perhaps engineers should engineer a better legislations than the bottom feeders.

Posted by: Bolshevik at June 27, 2007 9:38 AM

April 22?


Seems she is a little disorganized and about 21 days late.

Posted by: Paul at June 28, 2007 10:11 PM

bryceman: "...someone who murders me because of an argument I had with them has committed a lesser crime than someone who murders another person because that person is black..."

Yes, but it's also true that someone who murders a black person over an argument has committed a "lesser crime" than someone who murders you specifically because you're white. The notion that one is a "lesser crime" than the other is valid insofar as we as a society agree that certain offensive behaviours are especially egregious. We do this all the time, when we decide, for example, that a terrorist bombing is an especially egregious form of murder, or that pedophilia or incest are especially egregious forms of sexual assault.

"Makes you wonder what the accused would be charged with if the victim were black, Muslim, and homosexual."

That would depend on why the victim was killed. Not all killers of blacks, Muslims, and/or homosexuals are tried under the "hate crime" legislation. In fact, most aren't, in large part because its heavy burden of proof demands discretionary and cautious application. But the Criminal Code as a whole is as much as symbolic articulation of societal values and limits as a practical document that informs police and judicial practise, and the "hate propaganda" portion is a reflection of that.

"So, officially under our laws - the taking of my life can NEVER be seen as being as serious a crime as someone who is murdered because they are part of a "minority" group."

Not so. The criteria for inclusion as an "identifiable group" includes "colour," "race," or "ethnic origin," none of which are equivalent to "minority group." So, if a white Canadian (or a Canadian of, say, Scottish ethnicity) were killed specifically because s/he were white (or Scottish), then his/her killer could indeed be tried under the "hate crimes" legislation.

Posted by: A'dam at June 29, 2007 4:40 AM

To A'dam:

Your posts are well reasoned and articulate. Thank you.

Posted by: Brian in Calgary at June 29, 2007 3:11 PM