Russell Turpin
Thu, 06 Mar 2003 15:08:46 +0000

Owen Byrne:
>We have this: "(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression." It 
>would be better without this: "Parliament or the legislature of a province 
>may expressly declare in an Act
>.. shall operate notwithstanding a provision included in section 2 .. of 
>this Charter."

Those fundamental rights sound good, and the
exception IS unfortunate.

>but the "notwithstanding" clause has not been invoked yet.

How, then, does Canada have a hate speech law?
Here in the US, such laws are unconstitutional,
since hate speech pretty clearly is a form of

(The US hate laws typically are predicated on an
underlying crime, resulting in increased penalties
when the crime is motivated by racial or other
group hatred. Texas passed a hate crime bill
after the vicious and racially motivated murder of
James Byrd. The law then existing put two of his
murderers on death row, and put the third in jail
for life, leaving some people wondering how it was
thought that the state dealt too lightly with such

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