Even Section 13’s penalty section, under which hate propagandists can be fined $10,000, was found by the court to be “a reasonable means of imposing financial accountability for the damage caused by the vilification of targeted groups and of deterring the communication of hate speech in order to decrease discrimination against them.”
The penalty section was a key reason the law was once judged unconstitutional, on the grounds that such quasi-criminal punishment invalidates the remedial purpose of the Canadian Human Rights Act. Now, however, both Section 13 and its penalty provisions are on solid legal footing. national post
S. 13 is a long time dying.
Repealed it has been but the ninnies on the Federal Court of Appeal are happy to pretend that its penalty clause is not a penalty at all. Rather it is “a reasonable means of imposting financial accountability”. Ah, got it. Nothing more reasonable than fining someone. For, after all, there is no evidence at all that any financial harm was done to the complainant. What is basis for the assessment then?
Well, the ninnies are more than willing to provide the answer: “deterring the communication of hate speech”.
Now, wiser folk than I will think that is not a penalty. Just as they will believe a fine for speeding intended to deter speeding is not a penalty. Because they will be able to discern a difference.