Proposed Canadian “Hate Speech” Law Includes Life Sentences

The proposed law further threatens free expression in Canada.

What’s happening: Newly proposed Canadian legislation would impose draconian measures to combat online “hate speech” — including life-in-prison sentences — exponentially increasing government control over free expression.

Bill C-63: The “Online Harms Act” proposed by the Liberal government establishes a regulatory body to oversee online conduct, amends the Criminal Code to increase existing penalties for hate speech, and creates a standalone “hate crime” defined as committing an act “motivated by hatred.”

Defining harmful content: Content eligible for restriction includes incitement of “violent extremism” and material that inspires hatred towards a protected group.

  • Recall: The Trudeau government justified its unconstitutional use of emergency measures by citing the need to protect against extremism — a rationale proven to be ideologically motivated and based upon false intelligence.

Potential life sentences: The bill substantially toughens penalties for “advocating genocide” by including the possibility of a life sentence — a departure from the previous punishment of up to five years in prison.

Why it matters: Statutes open to subjective interpretation are a dangerous tool that grants Canada’s bureaucracy the authority to prosecute legitimate expression; the Liberal government already has a track record of doing so to fulfill an ideological agenda.

  • Vague definitions: Some proposed “hate speech” categories are incredibly vague and subject to partisan interpretation.

  • A political weapon: According to the bill, an example of content that “foments hatred” is speech that is likely to “vilify” a group based on gender expression and sexuality. Conceivably, this definition could be broadened to include parents who peaceably marched last September in protest of gender ideology in schools.