CANADA: WHAT HAPPENED TO FREEDOM OF SPEECH?

What happened to Canada?  Didn’t it used to be a country that was proud of its freedoms?  How did it turn into a country that censors freedom of speech – more compatible with places like Saudi Arabia and North Korea than the United States?  I am sickened by what Canada has become.

Let me start by pointing out that this is nothing new.  Canada as been transitioning from a bastion of free speech to a narrow, PC-ridden shadow of its former self for a long time.

Want proof, read the following paragraphs from Tom Kott’s article at huffingtonpost.com:

Section 1 of the Constitution Act 1982 gives Canadians the right to free speech, but with “reasonable limits.” This ensures that almost anything one says can be considered unconstitutional and subject to legal prosecution. You have a right to speak your mind, but be careful of what you say.

Then there’s section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. This prohibits the “communication of hate messages.” Though a bill to repeal section 13 is currently passing through the Senate, Human Rights courts all over the country are littered with cases that are best characterized by an insane hypersensitivity to what other people have to say. Section 319.2 of the Criminal Code outlaws the willful promotion of hatred “against an identifiable group,” and section 319.1 bans any incitements that “lead to a breach of peace.”

All these terms — reasonable limits, hate messages, breach of peace — are subjective terms that are utilized by those who feel it is their duty to enforce political correctness and prosecute anyone who offends them. Yet we have to be careful about legislating offensiveness. Nothing anyone says in inherently offensive. It is not an objective matter. Rather, if someone is offended by anything, it is their own fault. The values they hold, the standards they live by, or the beliefs they hold dearly have been violated, but it was not necessarily the intention of the speaker and they are not necessarily communal values. What insults one person might not even be noticed by another.

FYI:  what you just read was published on December 19, 2012, almost 6 1/2 years ago.

And in case you’re wondering what direction things have turned since then, read these paragraphs from Jeremiah Keenan’s just-published article at thefederalist.com:

Last Wednesday, The Federalist reported that the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Canada, declared a father guilty of family violence for his polite refusal to refer to his daughter as a boy in private, and his repeated choice to affirm in media interviews that she is a girl.

At about the same time that story was published, the Supreme Court issued an additional, more heavy-handed “protection order” from the same ruling. The three-page document declares that the father, Clark*, will henceforth be subject to arrest, immediately and “without warrant” if any police officer has “reasonable” grounds to believe that he has in any way referred to his daughter as a girl in public or in private.

The new order further stipulated not only that Clark must not discuss his daughter’s sex or gender identity in public, but also that he cannot share court documents describing his own gag order.

A father referring to his transgendered biological son as a boy is a legal offense. punishable by arrest?  And he is legally enjoined from discussing his child’s sex or gender identity in public?

I don’t care what you think about transgendered people or which side of this issue you are on.  These are not – repeat, NOT – the laws of a free country.

But they, apparently, are Canada’s laws.

I will end this blog as I began it:

What happened to Canada?  Didn’t it used to be a country that was proud of its freedoms?  How did it turn into a country that censors freedom of speech – more compatible with places like Saudi Arabia and North Korea than the United States?  I am sickened by what Canada has become.

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