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Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms President John CarpayJustice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms / X

Send an urgent message to Canadian legislators urging them to stop Trudeau’s ‘Online Harms Act’

OTTAWA, Ontario (LifeSiteNews) –– A petition against a new federal government bill that could lead to jail time for vaguely defined online “hate speech” infractions signed by over 55,000 people has been hand-delivered to Canada’s Minister of Justice and all MPs.  

“The government’s got its priorities wrong,” said Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) President John Carpay Wednesday, just before he hand-delivered the petition to Canada’s Minister of Justice Arif Virani at the Parliament buildings in Ottawa.  

“The Online Harms Act is the most serious threat to free expression in Canada in generations. This terrible federal legislation, Bill C -63, would empower the Canadian Human Rights Commission to prosecute Canadians over non-criminal hate speech.” 

The JCCF, in a media statement sent to LifeSiteNews, noted that it thanks every Canadian who “participated in their democracy by signing this petition. More than 50,000 Canadians have said ‘no’ to censorship.” 

“The Minister of Justice and all Parliamentarians should respond by amending the Online Harms Act accordingly,” noted the JCCF.  

The JCCF also stated that the Canadians who signed its petition “assert that” the “Online Harms Act threatens freedom of expression in Canada.”

“Canadians’ online expression should not be censored unless it violates the Criminal Code,” noted the group. 

“No Canadian should face an anonymous human rights complaint for what they have said.” 

The JCCF also noted that no Canadian should be “hauled before a court or punished merely because somebody “fears” they will say something hateful.” 

“No Canadian should face life imprisonment for their expression,” noted the JCCF.  

The JCCF launched its petition, calling on Trudeau to “stop” the Online Harms Act, a few weeks ago.  

The Online Harms Act was introduced in the House of Commons on February 26, 2024, by Justice Minister Virani and was immediately blasted by constitutional experts as troublesome. 

Bill C-63 will modify existing laws, amending the Criminal Code as well as the Canadian Human Rights Act, in what the Liberals claim will target certain cases of internet content removal, notably those involving child sexual abuse and pornography. 

However, the bill also seeks to police “hate” speech online with broad definitions, severe penalties and dubious tactics.

According to Carpay, the new bill in reality seeks to prevent “harms that are already prohibited by the Criminal Code, and the bill seems to ignore the fact that it’s the responsibility of parents, not the government, to protect their children from online harms.” 

“It’s up to parents to not give their kids unrestricted, unlimited, unsupervised access to the internet. So the Justice Centre is delivering to the Prime Minister’s office today 55,500 signatures against the Online Harms Act,” he said. 

Details of the new legislation to regulate the internet show the bill could lead to more people jailed for life for “hate crimes” or fined $50,000 and jailed for posts that the government defines as “hate speech” based on gender, race, or other categories. 

The bill also calls for the creation of a digital safety commission, a digital safety ombudsperson, and a digital safety office. 

The JCCF has warned that the proposed “Online Harms Act” is a serious threat to freedom of “expression” and could lead to “preemptive punishment for crimes not committed.” 

Last month LifeSiteNews reported how one of Canada’s top legal pundits, law professor Dr. Michael Geist, warned that the federal government under Trudeau is “ready” to “gaslight” opponents of his new bill, by eschewing what Geist deems are serious concerns with the broadness of the bill’s scope. 

While the JCCF petition has been delivered, it is still open online and can be signed here.  

Send an urgent message to Canadian legislators urging them to stop Trudeau’s ‘Online Harms Act’