The Pros And Cons Of The Canadian Charter Of Rights And Freedoms

830 Words 4 Pages
Freedom of expression is one of Canada’s fundamental freedoms, as laid out by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This freedom is highly valued in most democratic countries and as such is very highly protected. The Ontario Human Right Code grants everyone freedom from discrimination on multiple different grounds. Recently, conflicts have occurred between these two rights when the freedom of expression is used to discriminate against a person or group of persons. Often, these groups are discriminated against very harshly. Recently, several Canadian newspapers republished a Danish comic that portrays people of the Islamic faith as extremist terrorists. People of Islamic faith have filed complaints on the basis of discrimination.
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(A) Constitutional Provision
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms directly applies to the issues concerning freedom of expression, specifically section 2(b). Section 2(b) outlines that everyone has freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication.

(B) Federal Statute The Canadian Human Rights Act, up until 2013, contained section 13(1), which has since been repealed. The repealed section disallowed people from communicating telephonically if the communication was likely to expose people to hatred or contempt on the grounds of discrimination. Although this specific section is no longer, the spirit of this statute is still applicable. The notion that people should be free from hatred and contempt on the grounds of discrimination is still recognized in many forms of Canadian legislature.
(C) British Columbia
The British Columbia Human Rights code is a provincial law that guarantees people equal rights and freedom from discrimination. Section 7.1(b) of this applies to discriminatory publication and prohibits the production of material that is discriminatory and/or would expose people to hatred or contempt.

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Beginning in British Columbia in 2008, two Muslim doctors each filed a complaint with the Tribunal, against the well-known Roger’s Publishing . The article published through Roger’s describes all Muslims as having serious ambitions for world religious domination, and that they will use violence to achieve this supposed goal. The Tribunal’s decision was to dismiss this complaint and I agree with their decision. Although I strongly believe there exists situations where freedom of expression must be limited, this is not of these situations. In this case, the article was merely expressing an opinion in a way that was not hateful or filled with contempt. This case is so critically important because it demonstrates how carefully and precisely legal systems must evaluate complaints involving this specific conflict of

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