Tag Archives: Hate Speech

Will Bill C-63 jail those who ever posted hate speech online?!

Will Bill C-63 give police the power to arrest people who posted hate speech, even if the offence occurred before the law existed?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!


Claim : Bill C-63 Will Jail Those Who Ever Posted Hate Speech Online In The Past!

People are sharing an article (archive) by The People’s Voice (formerly NewsPunch), which claimed that the Trudeau government in Canada has introduced Bill C-63, which will give police the power to retroactively search the Internet for hate speech, and arrest people who posted hate speech, even if the offence occurred before the law existed!

Here is an excerpt of the long and (intentionally?) confusing article. Feel free to skip to the next section for the facts!

Canada To Imprison Anyone Who Has EVER Posted ‘Hate Speech’ Online

The Trudeau regime has introduced an Orwellian new law called the Online Harms Bill C-63, which will give police the power to retroactively search the Internet for ‘hate speech’ violations and arrest offenders, even if the offence occurred before the law existed.

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Truth : Bill C-63 Will Not Jail Those Who Posted Hate Speech Online In The Past!

This is yet another example of fake news created / promoted by The People’s Voice, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Bill C-63 Is Enforced By Digital Safety Commission

The People’s Voice article claimed that Bill C-63 will give police the power to retroactively search the Internet for hate speech, and arrest offenders. That is not accurate.

Bill C-63 (read in full) – the Online Harms Act if enacted, will be enforced by the Digital Safety Commission of Canada, and supported by the Digital Safety Office of Canada – both of which will be established by the law.

This is stated clearly in the summary on the first page of Bill C-63. So why would anyone claim that Bill C-63 would empower the police to scour the Internet for hate speech, and arrest offenders???

Fact #2 : Hate Speech Is Already Punishable In Canada!

It is ludicrous to claim that Bill C-63 empowers the police to arrest and imprison people for posting hate speech, because hate speech is already punishable under the current Canadian Criminal Code!

Bill C-63 only amends the Criminal Code to define hatred as “the emotion that involves detestation or vilification” that is “stronger than disdain or dislike“.

In addition, it seeks to clarify that any statement that “discredits, humiliates, hurts or offends” would not be considered as promoting or inciting hatred. It also increases the penalties for hate speech.

In short – the proposed changes to the Canadian Criminal Code narrow the definition of hate speech, even while they increase its penalties.

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Fact #3 : Bill C-63 Targets Continuous Hate Speech, Not Retrospective

There is no evidence that Bill C-63 is retrospective in nature. If you read the bill (here), you will see that it does not state that people should be punished for what they wrote before the bill becomes law.

Unsurprisingly, The People’s Voice article never provided any evidence that Bill C-63 allows the Canadian government to punish people for the online hate speech they posted in the past.

What Bill C-63 does though is target continuous hate speech, by adding a new Section 13 to the Canadian Human Rights Act:

Communication of hate speech

13 (1) It is a discriminatory practice to communicate or cause to be communicated hate speech by means of the Internet or any other means of telecommunication in a context in which the hate speech is likely to foment detestation or vilification of an individual or group of individuals on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.

Continuous communication

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a person communicates or causes to be communicated hate speech so long as the hate speech remains public and the person can remove or block access to it.

In other words – if you posted online hate speech in the past, and continue to make it public, you will have infringed the Canadian Human Rights Act, after it’s amended by Bill C-63.

This isn’t retrospective in the sense the law cannot be used to punished hate speech you posted and deleted in the past. It can only be used to punish you if you posted hate speech, and continue to make it public.

Here is a simple solution for those who are worried about Bill C-63. If you receive an order to remove your past hate speech post, just delete it. It’s that simple.

I should also point out that this amendment only applies to the Canadian Human Rights Act, and does not affect the Canadian Criminal Code.

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Fact #6 : Canadian Human Rights Act Only Allows For A Fine

The People’s Voice article claimed that Bill C-63 will give police the power to arrest people who post hate speech in the past. That is not accurate either.

For one thing – the Canadian Human Rights Act does not have a prison sentence. People who are convicted under this law is only liable for a fine not exceeding C$50,000.


(2) A person who is guilty of an offence under subsection (1) is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $50,000.

Bill C-63 does not amend this, so even if the amendments under the Online Harms Act become law, and you continue to make public any hate speech you posted in the past, you can’t be imprisoned under the Canadian Human Rights Act.

You can be imprisoned for hate speech under the Canadian Criminal Code, but this is currently the case even before Bill C-63 becomes law. Bill C-63 actually narrows the definition of hate speech, and arguably makes it harder to imprison someone for hate speech.

On top of that, there is no “Continuous communication” amendment to the Criminal Code, so it appears you cannot be punished for past hate speech that you continue to make public under the Criminal Code. You can only be fined for that under the Human Rights Act.

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Fact #7 : The People’s Voice Is Known For Fake News

The People’s Voice is the current name for NewsPunch, which possibly changed its name because its brand has been so thoroughly discredited after posting numerous shocking but fake stories.

Founded as Your News Wire in 2014, it was rebranded as NewsPunch in November 2018, before becoming The People’s Voice. A 2017 BuzzFeed report identified NewsPunch as the second-largest source of popular fake news on Facebook that year.

Its articles have been regularly debunked as fake news, so you should never share anything from NewsPunch / The People’s Voice.  Here are some of its fake stories that I fact checked earlier:

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He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.


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