BPC Bulletin: Federal Government Committee Considers Hateful Expression on the Internet

News Reports and Commentary Selected by Franklin Carter of the Book and Periodical Council’s Freedom of Expression Committee

 

In Ottawa, a federal government committee is considering ways to stem the tide of hate propaganda and incitement to hatred on the Internet.

The House Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights is chaired and dominated by Liberal MPs. However, Conservative MPs and one New Democratic MP also sit on the committee.

The committee began holding meetings about online hatred on April 11, 2019, and could recommend changes to Canadian law.

Of the many witnesses who have appeared before the committee, some support greater censorship while others oppose it.

 

REPORTAGE

Kathleen Harris of CBC News reports:
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/justice-committee-online-hate-steyn-1.5161259

In the Law Times, Gabrielle Giroday reports:
https://www.lawtimesnews.com/author/gabrielle-giroday/combating-online-hate-could-mean-legal-change-17280/

Marc Montgomery of Radio Canada International reports:
http://www.rcinet.ca/en/2019/05/16/hate-speech-or-freedom-of-expression-interview/

In the National Post, Stuart Thomson reports.

May 16:

https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/as-canadian-mps-weigh-how-to-police-online-hate-one-proposes-new-body-to-give-tickets-or-warnings-to-offenders

May 2:

https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/people-need-to-be-told-that-expressing-hate-online-is-illegal-justice-committee-hears

Wallis Snowdon of CBC News reports:
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/white-power-music-internet-youtube-1.5138731

 

COMMENTARY

In The London Free Press, Anthony Furey comments:
https://lfpress.com/opinion/columnists/furey-a-decade-later-canadas-free-speech-debate-is-back-with-a-vengeance/wcm/39381f00-25da-41f7-b9f2-ed8e5dd0eabb

An editorial writer at Postmedia comments:

https://lfpress.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-free-speech-matters/wcm/b9f97565-9112-4ce9-a6ff-0b7c31c03f1c

In The Post Millennial, Libby Emmons and Barrett Wilson comment:
https://www.thepostmillennial.com/no-theres-no-rise-in-hate-theres-a-rise-in-panic/

In The Nelson Daily, David V. Johnson comments:
https://thenelsondaily.com/news/opinion-how-do-we-pry-apart-true-and-compelling-false-and-toxic

 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The official website of Canada’s Parliament provides basic facts about the committee and its work.

This page shows photos of the committee members and displays their party affiliations:

https://www.ourcommons.ca/Committees/en/JUST

This news release (dated April 11) announces the committee’s intention to investigate online hatred:

https://www.ourcommons.ca/DocumentViewer/en/42-1/JUST/news-release/10418091

This page lists all past committee meetings that were devoted to the discussion of online hatred:
https://www.ourcommons.ca/Committees/en/JUST/Meetings

This page displays the 20 written briefs that the committee received from witnesses and the names of all witnesses who appeared before the committee. Scroll down to Information. Click Briefs to gain access to PDF files of the written briefs; click Witnesses to read the names of the witnesses and transcripts of their remarks.

https://www.ourcommons.ca/Committees/en/JUST/StudyActivity?studyActivityId=10543157

 

The Book and Periodical Council was formed in 1975 as the Book and Periodical Development Council to provide a venue for members to discuss industry issues, address mutual concerns and undertake projects for the benefit of Canadian writing and publishing.

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