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Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights
House of Commons / Chambre des communes
Comité permanent de la justice et des droits de la personne

For immediate release


Justice Committee Invites the Public to Participate in its Study on Online Hate

Ottawa, April 11, 2019 -

Today, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights embarked on its study regarding online hate.

Important considerations underlie the Committee’s study:

• Statistics Canada reported a 47% increase in police-reported hate crimes between 2016 and 2017;

• hate crimes motived by race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity and expression, and sexual orientation have all increased;

• non-violent crimes, such as public incitement of hatred, played a greater role in the increase than violent hate crimes;

• the Canadian Human Rights Act does not include any mention of telecommunications and the internet since section 13 of the Act was repealed in 2013. Section 13 made it a discriminatory practice for a person or a group of persons to communicate by telephone, by a telecommunication undertaking, or by means of a computer, including the Internet, any matter that is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt by reason of the fact that that person or those persons are identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination;

• Statistics Canada estimates that nearly all Canadians under the age of 45 use the internet everyday;

• there continues to be worldwide discussions on how to better mitigate the incitement of hatred through online platforms.

Canadian individuals and organizations are invited to submit briefs to the Committee to express their views on online hate. Particularly, the Committee is seeking Canadians’ views on how potential amendments to the Canadian Human Rights Act, the Criminal Code, or any other act, could help stem the propagation of hateful acts and the enticement of hatred through racism, sexism, antisemitism, islamophobia, or homophobia in online platforms.

Please note that written submissions are to be no more than 10 pages and submitted to the Committee Clerk no later than May 10, 2019. Those preparing briefs may wish to consult the Guide for Submitting Briefs to House of Commons Committees.

The Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights is composed of 11 Members of Parliament. It is chaired by Anthony Housefather, MP for Mount Royal.

For more information on the Committee’s members, meetings and work, please consult the Committee's website.

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For more information, please contact:
Marc-Olivier Girard, Clerk of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights
Tel: 613-996-1553