Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Canadian Human Rights Commision: Section 13 Still Constitutional, Will Still Pursue Hate Messaging Cases

An email from CHRC attorney Daniel Poulin, expanding on this earlier email:

Dear Tribunal and Parties,

We write further to the correspondence that has been exchanged by the parties in regards to the impact of the Warman v Lemire decision recently rendered by the Tribunal.

It is the position of the Commission submits that the Tribunal should proceed on hearing the matter pending before it in the present case. Consequently, the matter should neither be adjourned sine die or simply dismissed.

In Warman v. Lemire, the Tribunal found that the penalty provision in s. 54(1)(c) was not a reasonable limit on freedom of expression under the Charter. In the instant case, the Commission will no longer be seeking a penalty under 54(1)(c) of the Act as was originally included in its Statement of Particulars. The Commission therefore respectfully submits that the Tribunal ought to proceed with a hearing of the Complaint to determine if section 13 has been infringed, and if so, to exercise its discretion under s. 54(1)(a).

Yours truly, Daniel Poulin

Legal Counsel

Canadian Human Rights Commission

..which tells us what the CHRC wants to do in Abrams V. Topham, and may do in future S 13 cases, at least until Warman V. Lemire issues are hashed out: simply drop all requests for penalties under section 54 and continue to ask for a determination as to whether S13 has been infringed.

S.13 being the hate messages provision in the CHRA.

So: the CHRC will still (for the time being) process complaints re hate messaging. It will treat section 13 as constitutionally okay, and drop appeals to section 54. Which is what most people, including me, expected. The core of the law is 13; 54 is a frill.


Mitka said...

And tomorrow or Friday we will see a statement from the CHRC that it will seek a judicial review of Hadjid's bizarre decision. This letter from Poulin tells us all we need to know.

My prediction when all is said and done, Section 13 will be upheld and Ezra will have a knipshin.

roblaw said...

Well, that's probably good, otherwise, they wouldn't be able to pursue their prosecution of Richard Warren.

bigcitylib said...

Deep Down, as a lwayer, Roblaw understands the difference between a frivolous complaint and not.

As a Conservative, he must suppress this knowledge and pretend to be dumb.

S'okay. We still love him.

tagskie said...

hi.. just dropping by here... have a nice day!

Mitka said...

In the midst of all this, I once recall that EGALE, the LGBT lobby group was once heralded by Ezra for its fee speech stand.

I guess it must have changed its mind!!!