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14 August 2014


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The beaver


This gives you a description of the Bill:

I can't find what was written in the print media (will do it later on) since it was buried in the Bill C-13 about cyber bullying law.


Canada offers a more limited form of freedom of speech than in the USA. In particular, we have fairly strong anti-hate speech laws ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_speech_laws_in_Canada )

Actual hate speech against Jews is clearly illegal.

Criticism of Israel is often confounded with antisemitism.

Determining whether a particular speech act criticizing Israel is also a antisemitic hate speech act is up to the prosecutor and (ultimately) a judge.

Clearly, this confound can place a chill on criticism of Israel.

Norbert M Salamon

Sorry can not paste, you can find some info in Wikipedia under HATE SPEECH IN CANADA


On Canadian political thought...



The Canadian public feels different.


The US needs to follow what is being done in Bolivia, South Africa and elsewhere...no more visas and no more citizens can join the IDF without consequence. Some just left the US and I feel that their passports should be revoked. They probably haven't served in the US forces. Shut the door on them when they try to come back!!

My question is how do we shake off Israeli influence in the US? I'm now calling Hillary Clinton 'Zillary.'

Off topic a bit...I'm fuming about the militarization of the US police and have discovered that many departments sought and received training from THE IDF. Now some reporters are complaining that they have been arrested and tear gassed. Boo-hoo! Where were they when people like me were tear gassed at the WTO, IMF and protests?

Years ago when I used to hear the skin head types use the phase ZOG, I was really offended. Not now. We are occupied!!

Medicine Man

Col.: Others have linked to some relevant articles. As I understand it there is grey area in Canada to criminalize criticism of Israel under our hate speech laws. This state of affairs may be intentional as the relevant legislation was promoted by our current --visibly Zionophile-- government.


Thank you Michael Chertoff


nick b


I was under the impression that a portion of the hate speech laws in Canada were recently repealed. Something to the effect of certain speech no longer falling under the jurisdiction of human rights tribunals.

I think the dust up regarding criticism of Israel was related to a change in the Bill C-13 that adds 'national origin' to the 'identifiable groups' protected by the criminal code. See sub section 318.

Critics of the change pointed to a speech given by PM Harper to the Israeli Knesset where he sought to redefine what is considered anti-semitic. This could signal that certain speech and actions against Israel, such as boycotts, etc., could thus be considered illegal under the changed law. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/stephen-harper-s-speech-to-the-israeli-knesset-1.2503902

I believe the changes to Bill C-13 are currently in the 'report stage' in parliament and have not as yet come into force. http://openparliament.ca/bills/41-2/C-13/

Medicine Man

Off-topic: Col., I took at look at the painting (banner) on your FB profile, the one you mentioned in a thread recently. I think it would make a good tapestry. Have you ever thought of having one made? I don't understand the significance of the chickadee, though I do enjoy feeding them.


I read the C-13 bill. It passed on March 26, 2014 and will come into force "three months after the day on which it receives royal assent."

A Canadian lawyer may help us out here. I presume that it is in force by now, considering that the text of the codified version of the Canadian criminal code reflects the changes made by C-13.

Also, apparently there has been a push since at least 2004 to get the 'ethnic origin' on the criminal code in 318.

Anyway, it it was somewhat difficult to figure out at first read. The key issue seems to be the change of section 318 (4):

"Subsection 318(4) of the Act is replaced by the following:

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


Section 318 is about advotating genocide.

The definition under (4) however is being referended in later seections, namely 319, and that's carrying some pretty steep consequences - imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

"Public incitement of hatred

(1) Every one who, by communicating statements in any public place, incites hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace is guilty of

(a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or

(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Wilful promotion of hatred

(2) Every one who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, wilfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group is guilty of

(a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or

(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.


(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.


(4) Where a person is convicted of an offence under section 318 or subsection (1) or (2) of this section, anything by means of or in relation to which the offence was committed, on such conviction, may, in addition to any other punishment imposed, be ordered by the presiding provincial court judge or judge to be forfeited to Her Majesty in right of the province in which that person is convicted, for disposal as the Attorney General may direct."


The problem quite clearly is that the problem to free speech would be in 319, and not 318.

the "communicating" offence in subsection 319(1) will be resorted to with much greater frequency than the "promotes hatred" offence in subsection 319(2), as the latter is an unlikely charge to result from a religious or educational discussion about Israel.

What strikes me as unusual is the wording in 319 (3)(a) Defenses. It appears to put the onus ("if he establishes that the statements communicated were true") on the accused to disprove the charges and justify themselves.

The threat of forfeiture also is, as far as the substantial harassment value goes, also rather stingy.

It is fairly clear why people would be perceived this aimed at targeting the BDS movement. Irrespective of whether it was the actual intent, it is easy to see how it can be used that way.

It puts them on the defensive and if they want to avoid charges they need to tone it down and word their statements carefully. A jail term usually ruins a life.

It is entirely probable that Israeli partisans, who often consider any criticism of Israel, let alone the BDS movement, as anti-Semitic, may feel prompted to file charges under 319 (1) or (2) against the BDS movement.

It will be interesting to see what the prosecutors make out of it, but even so - with the new wording around there is a latent risk involved in criticizing Israel in Canada.

The key phrase to describe the problem would be 'chilling effect'.



I am the subject of the painting. I own it and do not need a tapestry. Bob Sawyer put the chickadee in as a reminder of my New England roots. pl


In reply to turcopolier 14 August 2014 at 01:49 PM

It's a wonderful painting from what I can see. Colonel, you may not need it but I have to agree with Medicine Man it would make a stunning tapestry.



nick b:

You are correct about these pending changes to the law. By adding national origin to the list of identifiable groups it means that you could not direct hate propaganda at "Israelis" in general.

However, criticism of the Israeli government is still fair game. If you directed your ire towards Israeli "settlers" I don't know where that would fall. I expect it would be up to the judge to draw the line.



Thanks. It was a labor of love that he did for me and Marguerite and a wonderful training vehicle for him. He worked on it all one long New Hampshire winter. His mastery of oils still astonishes me. It is not that I don't "need" it but I want to find a home for it. pl


Would the law also protect Muslims and Arabs from hate speech?

nick b


Please forgive my ignorance of the Canadian parliament, but once the bil is in the 'report stage' is there still a chance it could not be brought to Royal Assent as it stands?

On a lighter note, could Newfie jokes become illegal? ;)


The most blatant restrictions on speech falls towards how the government may use Customs and Immigration to deny entry to a critic of Israeli policy, as occurred with George Galloway. Once you are in Canada, you can say almost anything.

I don't think there are any meaningful restrictions on criticizing Israel in Canada. There are criminal hate speech laws, but they have a rather high bar: advocacy of direct harm, hatred, genocide and the like.

There are also human rights tribunals. These are to enforce the human rights act and Provincial laws. They can cover hate speech. I suppose their existence has a chilling effect.

The restrictions on hate speech in the criminal code and human rights act have to be balanced against the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which is part of the Constitution of Canada (the highest law of the land). Freedom of Speech and Thought is one of those rights. So the exact legal parameters of what is covered by law is an ongoing process, depending on how courts rule in particular cases, and how the government interprets or alters the law.


What about an appropriate place at VMI in Lexington?

different clue


Surely one could make the argument that the settlers are active carry-outers of a policy and not merely passive members of a national group.


nick b

Every bill has to pass 3 "readings" in the House of Commons. Report stage happens before the third vote and amendments are possible. Furthermore, it has to pass a similar process in our Senate. If the bills from the Senate and the House of Commons differ, then one or both have to pass amendments to make them identical.

Only then is the bill available for Royal Assent.

If the session ends or if the House and Senate can't pass an identical bill, it is lost.


I have asked recently but I do not want it to end residing in someone's closet. pl


AEL, Do you know if a Canadian citizen is legally permitted to join the IDF? If the person were to return to Canada after this fact was discovered would they be subject to arrest/imprisonment?

nick b


Thank you for the education. I appreciate it.



Yes, with no consequences. They need to close that revolving door.

Each year, 15 to 20 Canadians — men aged 18-23, women aged 18-22 — visit Israel on the Garin Tzabar program, which prepares them for active duty. Many others arrive on their own.

The woman said she now feels a “deeper connection” with Israel than Canada. “It’s my home and I have to protect my home.”


dilbert dogbert

MMMMM? Could a preamble to any critical comments about Israel say: The following is a criticism of the policies and actions of the Israel government. Could this be a defensive shield against prosecution? It would need another sentence to protect the BDS movement that proposes actions harmful to the Israel government.


That's a very helpful summary. Cheers, from BC.

Seems to me that the greatest limitation in the definition of identifiable group is "any section of the public." That has to mean the people who are the objects of the targeted speech are members of the Canadian public.

Criticism of what Zionist, apartheid Israelis are doing in Israel would not appear to include "any section of the Canadian public." Similarly, criticizing the bloodthirsty Salafist Sunnis for beheading a Yazidi woman for adultery in Iraq would not seem to include "any section of the Canadian public" either.

The problem arises in Harper's conflation of all Canadian Jews with Israelis because all Jews have a so-called "right of return," which is in itself a term that sickens any fair minded person in view of Nakba. But Harper's point is, I believe, that to trash-talk the Israelis is to trash-talk Canadian Jews and trigger prosecution under Section 13.

I'll keep talkin' just the same. Until they come for me. The pricks. Next thing you know, they'll write into the law that Rob Ford is an honorary Israeli and any criticism of him will be deemed a violation of Section 13.

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