I'm going to walk on the wild side here, and take the position that I agree with Liberal MP Keith Martin:
Martin earned the dubious distinction after giving notice that he plans to introduce a private member's motion calling on the government to repeal Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.
No, I'm dead serious -- I think that what constitutes hate speech and what doesn't is sometimes just too hard a call, and I'm a big believer in free speech and I do in fact support Ezra Levant for publishing those cartoons since I, in fact, linked to them myself once upon a time.
Waiting for the other shoe to drop.
And here it comes.
So while I'm a firm believer that people should have a great deal of freedom to say what they think, I'd like to see that balanced with other people having a similar amount of freedom to fire their sorry asses for being hateful bigots.
Think about it. Many of the people who are currently espousing "hate speech" are the same ones who love to drone on and on about "accountability" and "personal responsibility" and "actions have consequences" and so on. Great. So let's kill two birds with one stone, shall we?
Let's loosen up Canada's hate speech laws to make it way easier to say derogatory, hateful, racist things. Simultaneously, let's loosen up Canada's employment laws to make it way easier to fire people for doing stuff like that.
You're a school teacher and you have a habit of publicly condemning gays? Fine. You're fired. And, no, you don't get union protection. You want to be a public hatemonger, then at least have the decency to pay the price for it.
What could be a more perfect solution? Canada's conservatives (and conservatives in general) are constantly whinging on about too much legislation, and too much regulation, and government trampling the rights of the individual, etc, etc, yadda yadda yadda. Well, fine then ... let's make it easier to diss someone, while at the same time making it easier to fire that person for dissing someone.
You want to be a loud-mouthed, public racist or homophobe? OK, fine. But then don't go whining for the protection of your civil rights when people decide they don't want anything to do with you and boot your racist ass out the door for it.
Whaddya say? Is that a reasonable compromise? Does that work for you? Because it sure as hell works for me.
BY THE WAY, if you want an example of what I'm talking about, well, here you go:
Anti-gay teacher can't claim charter protection: B.C. court
A high school teacher in British Columbia, punished for writing publicly against homosexuality, is not protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the province's Supreme Court has ruled.
Chris Kempling, a teacher and guidance counsellor in a Quesnel high school said the ruling by the B.C. Supreme Court is "a significant blow to freedom of speech and freedom of religion," denying Christian teachers the right to speak out on controversial issues. Kempling says he intends to appeal the ruling...
Kempling and his supporters took the matter to court, arguing that the charter protected his right to express his Christian beliefs outside the classroom.
Yes, it's all free speech fun and games until someone gets their pinkies slapped, then it's all about the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and being protected from the consequences of your actions.
Time for these folks to grow up, and accept that the freedom to publicly hate someone should go hand-in-hand with someone else's freedom to make you suffer for it. Anything else would be hypocritical.