Canadian Human Rights Commission

Canadian Human Rights Commission

November 24, 2008 11:00 ET

Canadian Human Rights Commission Releases Independent Report on Hate Messaging on the Internet

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 24, 2008) - The Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) today released the "Report Concerning s. 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Regulation of Hate Speech on the Internet". Prepared by leading constitutional law expert Richard Moon of the University of Windsor, this report is the first step in a comprehensive policy review initiated by the CHRC.

"The debate on how to ensure that Canadians are protected against hate, while preserving freedom of expression, demanded fresh thinking. We commissioned the Moon report as an important step in our analysis," CHRC Chief Commissioner Jennifer Lynch, Q.C. said upon releasing the report. "Professor Moon has now provided us with an excellent and thoughtful report. Today, I am pleased to share his findings and invite comments on the report's conclusions, in order to further our review process."

The CHRC, to ensure interested Canadians are heard, is seeking submissions on the issues and recommendations contained in the Moon Report. These consultations will help guide the CHRC in the formulation of a Special Report to Parliament on the issue of hate speech on the Internet and s. 13. This Report will be tabled in Parliament by mid-2009.

The CHRC will continue to apply relevant jurisprudence, which provides a narrow definition of hate messaging as currently recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada and the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. The CHRC will continue to participate in public interest cases before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

"The Commission is working hard to find the right balance. One thing will remain vital: the CHRC exists to protect Canadians from discrimination. I will fervently uphold this core principle and strive to find more effective means to prevent Canadians from exposure to hate on the Internet," said Ms. Lynch. "Professor Moon points to the Criminal Code and revisions to s. 13. Those are legitimate suggestions. Now what is important is that Canadians have their say."

The report is now available on the Commission's website, at www.chrc-ccdp.gc.ca

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