MPs vote to drop some hate-speech sections of Human Rights Act
By Jason Fekete, Postmedia News June 7, 2012 8:48 AM
OTTAWA — The federal Conservatives voted late Wednesday to repeal controversial sections of the Canadian Human Rights Act that ban hate speech over the telephone or Internet.
In a free vote of 153 to 136, the Tory caucus supported a private member's bill from Alberta Conservative MP Brian Storseth that would scrap Section 13 of the human rights code, which deals with complaints regarding "the communication of hate messages by telephone or on the Internet."
Storseth argues the current human rights code fails to protect freedom of speech, which is guaranteed under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and believes Canadians are better off if the government repeals sections 13 and 54 — the latter section dealing with associated penalties.
"At every stage, the Conservative caucus has voted for it," Storseth, a backbencher, said Wednesday in an interview before the vote on third and final reading in the House of Commons.
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