OTTAWA - Senator Douglas Finley warns the passage of Bill C-304 to eliminate the anti-free speech Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act is “not a done deal.”
Conservative MP Brian Storseth’s private member’s bill to eliminate the vaguely worded Section 13 clause that deems communication “likely” to expose a protected group to hatred or contempt discrimination under the act passed the House of Commons last June.
Finley, the Conservative senator who is shepherding the bill’s passage through the Senate, said many pundits assumed the fight had been won then, leaving “a false impression.”
“This will receive opposition in the Senate, although we have a pretty large majority,” Finley said, noting that even some Conservative senators have spoken against it.
Bill C-304 is expected to go to a vote on second reading soon. Finley expects the bill to pass and go on to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs committee, which will receive witnesses.
“How long this will take is very largely a matter of the interest shown by outside witnesses to attend the hearings,” he said.
“The process can take anywhere from a matter of days to several months. It’s difficult to predict,” but the “issue provokes passion on both sides of the argument.”
Finley said he “would really like to see the passion warm up again, especially among those who are passionate against Section 13.”
Opponents of Bill C-304 “are rallying their side,” he said. “They know the battle’s not over with.”...I say we stick a wooden stake into state censorship--and the useless Senate. ("Sober second thought"--ha! Airheads intoxicated by their own self-importance, more like.)