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18 Chitty's L.J. 1 (1970)

handle is hein.journals/chittylj18 and id is 1 raw text is: CHITTY'S


Vol. 18, No. 1

January, 1 9 7 0

Hate Propaganda
to stop it

- an Argument against Attempts
by Legislation

The following is a part of a submission presented by Professor H. W. Arthurs,
the Associate Dean of Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, before the
Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Senate of Canada, when
it was considering Bill S-21 being an act to.amend the Criminal Code to outlaw
the dissemination of Hate Propaganda.

I should like to repay the honour this Com-
mittee does me in affording me this opportunity
to testify by doing so in a frank, and I trust, a
useful manner. At the outset, I must say that
I have no illusions about the popularity of the
position I am going to take, either in this Com-
mittee, or in the country -at large. I am here
today as an opponent of legislation which is
the product of the report of a committee of
which the Honourable Prime Minister was a
member, which is sought by significant and
diverse religious, social, and political groups in
our community and which is endorsed by many
men and women whom I respect, and whose
motives and intellectual abilities I admire.
Let me add, should this be necessary, that
although I appear today as an opponent of the
Bill to outlaw hate propaganda, I am no friend
of -those who disseminate it. I am Jewish, and
indeed I am a sometime member of the legal
committee of the Canadian Jewish Congress.
Needless to say, I do not appear as their spokes-
man on this issue. Likewise, I am a Vice-

President and founding member of the Cana-
dian Civil Liberties Association, but they have
made their own submissions indicating their
reservations about this legislation, and it is not
as an officer of that organization that I appear
Rather, I am here as a citizen who is con-
cerned to preserve both liberty and amicable
group relations in this country, but who fears
that much harm will be done to the former,
with little benefit to the latter, by the pro-
posed legislation.
2. Free Speech in Canadian Society
I will not claim the time of this Committee
in order to expound the absolute centrality of
free speech in a parliamentary democracy. It
is 'the means by which-through debate and
persuasion, through appeal to public opinion-
changes in social, economic, political, and re-
ligious values are sought and sometimes se-
cured. It is equally obvious that these changes,
brought about through orderly processes, de-
pend upon the existence of a market -place of

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