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The Liberal government’s new online hate speech legislation, Bill C-36, will likely lead to “many unfair witch hunts” according to Independent MP Derek Sloan. Shortly before the parliamentary session ended for the summer, Liberal Justice Minister David Lammetti tabled Bill C-36 in the House of Commons. The bill seeks to expand powers to prosecute individuals involved in “hate propaganda” or so-called “online hate” by amending the Criminal Code, the Youth Criminal Justice Act and the Canadian Human Rights Act. The law will revive section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which was struck down by the Harper government in 2014 for infringing on the free speech rights of Canadians. The bill would give the Canadian Human Rights Commission the power to compel citizens to cease online communication or pay a monetary fine. Violations of the Canadian Human Rights Act are subject to complaints which can then be taken to the Canadian Human Rights Commission and eventually make their way into a tribunal hearing. Unlikely ordinary courts, Canadians do not have the same protections such as knowing the identity of their accuser at a tribunal.

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