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The controversial piece of legislation will “see more things through to charges,” said Corporal Anthony Statham of RCMP’s British Columbia Hate Crimes Team: “Law enforcement has to have the ability to use the law effectively.” Bill C-36 An Act To Amend The Criminal Code threatens house arrest or $70,000 fines for any internet publisher, blogger or social media user suspected of posting hateful content without incitement of any crime. Cabinet introduced the bill June 23 just minutes before Parliament adjourned for a three-month recess. “In Canada we don’t have anything regulating speech,” said Statham, who adds that “Under section two of our Charter Of Rights our freedom of expression is protected.” He said there is no such thing as free speech in Canada, “only freedom of expression.” Speaking in a webinar sponsored by the federally-funded Canadian Anti-Hate Network, Statham noted the current section 319 of the Criminal Code forbids “public incitement of hatred” by “communicating statements in any public place (that) incite hatred against any identifiable group.” The term “hatred” is not defined.

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