Monday, February 22, 2010

Section 13 "Contextualized"

Internet rendered hate law 'outdated'
"Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which prohibits online messages that expose identifiable groups to hatred or contempt, was designed in the 1970s for telephone hate hotlines. In 1990, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled it a justifiable limit on freedom of expression, in part because a telephone hate message "gives the listener the impression of direct, personal, almost private, contact by the speaker, provides no realistic means of questioning the information or views presented and is subject to no counter-argument within that particular communications context."

The Internet "radically changed" that context, by allowing for instant rebuttal and discussion, according to lawyer Barbara Kulaszka.

Parliament's decision in 2001 to expand Section 13 to include the Internet -- and therefore almost every word published in Canada, whether by a blogger or a media conglomerate -- is "such a fundamental change" that Federal Court is "not only justified but required" to revisit the question of Section 13's constitutionality, especially because it does not allow for the traditional legal defenses of truth or fair comment."
This is an excellent article giving solid legal arguments in favour of scrapping Section 13, but, I would go even further than that. The whole telecommunications field has rendered not just our Human Rights laws, but a whole whack of stuff, such as the CBC and the CRTC, outdated. Can we please stop throwing money down these anachronistic bottomless pits, too!


Blogger erik.larsen said...

I used to love the CBC. Really, I did. But then I got older. And they became more juvenile.

So much of what passes at humour at the CBC is composed of cheap shots, character assassination, anti-Americanism (there's something we can all stand for!), and unfunny "jokes".

I'm done thanks.

February 22, 2010 10:58 pm  
Blogger Louise said...

I don't know when it first dawned on me that CBC was so blatantly biased. I do remember watching CBC TV as a kid, but then that was just about the only option we had. I remember my parents listening to the noon hour agriculture report on CBC radio, so there was some useful stuff.

To me, the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back was their coverage of the Iraq war, but the same can be said of all the major networks on both sides of the border. If it wasn't for Iraqi blogs we would never have known anything but the most negative crap.

Not only is their leftist-capital "L"-Liberal slant so obvious, but their strident anti-Americanism is waaaay over the top.

This morning I was surfing the net and happened to come across this article about the Trudeau era. I remember being swept up in Trudeaumania. I was a naive 18 year old farm girl. I had no defense against it. In fact, it's only in the last decade or so that I've come to understand how different the country was before Trudeau. Back then, I had no idea that the social policies he introduced hadn't been in place forever, but then again, maybe that's because I grew up in the socialist la-la-land where the NDP was the natural governing party.

Two things that stick out clearly in my mind from that era. One was Alan Blakeney's nationalization of major American resource extraction companies, and what a disaster that was for Saskatchewan. We're just now getting over the image that created of us in the international arena. The other was interest rates (a result of Trudeau's policies) on bank loans being 21%. Ouch!!!

Anyway, I await with bated breath the soon to be announced budget to see if CBC will get a hit. I sure hope they do. Let those who want to lap up their crap be the ones who pay for it. It would sooo annoy them for so many reasons.

February 23, 2010 7:12 am  
Blogger Louise said...

In fact, I think I'm going to suggest to the folks in the CPC that they institute a "matching dollar for dollar" policy with respect to CBC funding. For every dollar CBC raises through its own efforts in year one (through selling advertizing or through fundraising drives like the PBS does in the US, or both), the feds will match in year 2, and on and on. That should force them to actually make an attempt to represent all points of view, not just those who support the Liberal Party.

In fact, maybe the matching dollars could be targeted at specific locales, too. If Western Canadians don't watch or listen enough, then we get to shut them down out here because they have failed to properly serve us.

Hmmm. I'm thinking I like that idea. In my old age, I've become a letter writer. I've written several snail mail and email missives to my MP and to the CPC in the last few years. So far, no payoff, but you never know.

February 23, 2010 7:23 am  

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