TORONTO, Feb. 27, 2013 /CNW/ - In response to the ruling of the Supreme
Court of Canada regarding hate speech in the case of William Whatcott,
David Koschitzky, Chair of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs,
made the following statement:
"The Jewish community of Canada understands all too well the corrosive
impact of hate speech on vulnerable minorities, such as the LGBT
community, who are fully entitled to protection. We hope that today's
decision will help to clarify Canada's hate speech provisions which,
due to their inherent ambiguity, have been prone to abuse.
Canada's hate speech protections need significant overhaul in terms of
both content and process to ensure a proper balance between freedom of
speech and protection from hate. This can be accomplished either
through reform of the relevant civil procedures or through their repeal
coupled with a more robust application of the Criminal Code provisions
covering hate speech.
If the Criminal Code is to be relied upon, federal and provincial
justice ministers should determine uniform guidelines and training
programs for prosecutors and police to ensure that combating hate
speech is made a priority. Furthermore, each province should establish
its own Hate Crime Team, as has been done in British Columbia, and
embark on an education campaign to ensure that Canadians understand
what constitutes hate speech.
In the coming weeks, The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs will be
communicating this position to the RCMP and Attorneys General across
the country to ensure that police and prosecutors are afforded all the
necessary tools and training to effectively offer protection to those
groups targeted by hate speech in Canada."
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs is a non-partisan organization
that serves as the advocacy arm of the Jewish Federations of Canada.
SOURCE: Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
For further information:
Deputy Director, Communications
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs/Centre consultative des relations juives et israeliénnes
cell: 416 317-9517