Freedom of Speech and Hate Speech in Canada: A Delicate Balance

Jan 2, 2012 | Community Partners

Is the right to free speech absolute?  Where do we draw the line between speech that is merely offensive and speech that is worthy of prosecution?

Questions such as these will form the subject of an upcoming Town Hall debate between Nathalie Des Rosiers and Richard Warman regarding Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, the controversial hate speech provision.  The Town Hall, hosted by the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), will take place on January 10, 2012 from 7:00-8:30pm at the George Ignatieff Theatre in Toronto.

Section 13 labels as a discriminatory practice, worthy of prosecution, for a person to communicate messages using telephone or Internet that may expose others “to hatred or contempt” because of their race, religion, ethnic group or other similar category.

At the Town Hall, Nathalie Des Rosiers, General Counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, will argue for the repeal of Section 13 and Richard Warman, one of Canada’s foremost human rights lawyers, will argue for its retention.   Community members are encouraged to attend this lively debate, question the experts, and help to shape policy on this important issue.

To view the webcast, click HERE.

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