Trudeau’s internet thoughtcrime bill aims to punish people retroactively for not deleting ‘hate speech’

"Retroactive crime!" Jordan Peterson wrote. "That's an evil I hadn't considered before!"

On Monday, the Trudeau Liberals unveiled the Online Harms Act, a bill that Justice Minister Arif Virani claimed would make the internet a safer place for all, especially children. Parts of the act, however, have been criticised, namely those dealing with what the government has deemed to be "hate speech."

If passed, the bill would amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to find someone spreading "hate speech" is liable so long as the speech is not deleted, which some have interpreted to mean that the government wants to retroactively come after people for potentially violative content they've posted in the past.

"It is a discriminatory practice," the bill reads, "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."

The Online Harms Act defines "hate speech" as "the content of a communication that expresses detestation or vilification of an individual or group of individuals on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination," however it adds that speech "does not express detestation or vilification ... solely because it expresses disdain or dislike or it discredits, humiliates, hurts or offends."

The bill goes on to explain that, "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."

This, Rebel News' Ezra Levant claimed, effectively means "literally everything you've ever written online will now be actionable against you."

"Excellent! Retroactive crime!" Jordan Peterson wrote in a post on X responding to Levant. "Thanks [Trudeau]. That's an evil I hadn't considered before!"

The bill also "authorizes the Canadian Human Rights Commission to deal with complaints alleging that discriminatory practice and authorizes the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to inquire into such complaints and order remedies."

Those found to have violated the act can be ordered to "cease the discriminatory practice," pay "any victim identified in the communication" up to $20,000, or pay the Receiver General a fine of up to $50,000. 

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