Hate Speech

Expanding Transgender Protections in Canada Includes Broadening Terrible Hate Speech Laws

Nobody is helped by the government threatening prison over a debate.


Justin Trudeau
Credit: Alex Guibord

Canada's government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, is using the new round of debates over how to treat transgender citizens to push for expansions in the country's federal antidiscrimination laws.

This push would involve updating the country's laws to add gender identity and expression to antidiscrimination and hate crime rules. But there's more. Unlike the United States, Canada has "hate speech" restrictions on freedom of expression in their country. The proposal in Bill C-16 would add gender identity and expression as protected categories under federal hate speech restrictions as well. CBC News notes:

If passed, the legislation would make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender identity or expression. It would also extend hate speech laws to include the two terms.

Criminal laws would also be updated to make it a hate crime when someone is targeted because of their gender identity or gender expression, meaning judges would have to consider it as an aggravating factor in deciding what sentence to impose.

Canada's hate speech law has two notable actionable components. The more severe violation under the law is calling for "genocide," the killing or "physical destruction" of the protected group. A person convicted of such an offense could face up to five years in prison.

The second category will be the one to watch out for in this particular fight (though both categories are bad law). It is also a violation of the country's hate speech laws to communicate statements in any public space that incite "hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace… ." Those who violate this category of law face up to two years in prison. There are exceptions in this category for arguments that are founded on religious beliefs and for statements about subjects in the "public interest" that the speaker "on reasonable grounds" believes to be true.

So is publicly worrying that accommodating transgender people in bathrooms will lead to women or girls being assaulted something that counts as "inciting hatred"? One would think that this discussion would not meet such a threshold, but this debate has led to women saying they're being harassed because others mistakenly think they're transgender "intruders." Some people have clearly felt incited to "breach the peace."

That breach, however, is the responsibility of the person acting, not the party speaking. Among the many terrible components of laws against hate speech is that they hold individuals responsible for the choices of other people. Nobody forced some lady at Walmart to confront a stranger in the bathroom. It was her choice. The wording of Canada's hate speech laws assume that people's mean statements can literally strip others of their free will.

And while Canada's laws may have been written in such a way that appears limited, that doesn't mean enforcement is. Prosecutors and judges will be the ones deciding what it means to "incite hatred," and that introduces ambiguity and disagreement. That's a good reason as well to oppose such laws. That it's not possible to easily determine whether opinions in transgender bathroom panic debates would violate this law (or whether a prosecutor or judge might decide it does) is exactly what creates the "chilling" environment that attempts to shut down speech that ought to be protected. Back in 2010, Ann Coulter was warned even before coming to speak at the University of Ottawa that she needed to watch what she said because she could be prosecuted there for hate speech. The letter prompted outrage from Glenn Greenwald back when he was still at Salon, and he warned, "Who would ever want to empower officious technocrats to issue warnings along the lines of:  be forewarned:  if you express certain political views, you may be committing a crime; guide and restrict yourself accordingly?"

His warning from back then is particularly relevant now given that college umbrage-taking has dramatically risen since 2010. There are people out there who want to classify speech that offends them as actual violence. Under such a cultural movement, Canada's hate speech laws are a threat to anybody who holds opinions that the country's most powerful people believe might be disruptive to their idea of "peace."

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  1. You won, Scott!!! Are you happy now?!?!


    1. It is self-evident that Scott thinks transgenders are the most important issue ever. I mean, we have an 18 trillion dollar deficit, but NO - he goes on about bathroom policy.

      1. Scott still seems not to understand that hate speech is indeed a form of violence. And not only hate speech, but trigger speech and micro-aggression too. That's exactly why we need safe spaces in our universities, where department members and students can shelter themselves from the horrifying abuse. Would Scott dare to defend the outrageous "First Amendment dissent" of a single, isolated, liberal judge in America's leading criminal "satire" case? See the documentation at:


    2. Spot on impression.

  2. Canada's HRC is almost as bad as America's HRC.

    1. But America's HRC will almost certainly be dead in 10-20 years. Probably can't say that of the Canadian one.

      1. Worse, there are many more where he came from. Trudeau is a mimbo. Gavin McInnes breaks it down.


  3. Narrative becomes that Scott endorses hate speech laws in 3... 2...

    1. Show me where Scott has written positively about free speech. I'm waiting. You can't show me, can you? I didn't think so, fuckwit.

      1. Fuck everyone elses rights, huh Crusty? You're usually way smarter than this.

        1. Your sarcasmometer is on the fritz, Slammer. You might want to get it checked out.

          1. Or maybe yours is, X.

            Personally, I have no idea.

            1. It's Johns all the way down.

            2. Personally, I have no idea.

              Just like the leftie prog you are. You are so stupid sometimes, but I expect that out of you. I am right. Just face it, prog troll.

              1. What can I say Crusty. I'm just raeding the comment that's there. I can't read it four you. Your reading incomprehension isn't my fault.

            3. You know you never really contribute much around here anyway. So maybe you should just shut up while the adults are talking.

      2. fuckwit

        John is classier than that. He never abbreviates "fucking halfwit".

        1. He does misspell it, though.

          1. fuckwrit

          2. Hmm, I've never seen the insults misspelled. I always figured he spent more effort on those.

  4. RE Alt-text: Tucker is way awesomer, Scott

    1. No shit.

      1. Whoever the guy in the picture is.

        1. He's our National Witling, The Hair That Walks Like A Man?. He got his father's name and his mother's brains.

    2. That is one hell of a low bar.

      1. Who the fuck is Justin Trudeau, anyway?

        1. Either the sexiest man in Canada or a statist authoritarian asshole. Maybe both.

          1. The latter.

            He's turning out to be exactly - and then some - what I thought he'd be. He's turning out to be quite the little authoritarian monster like his dad.

            He's smug, arrogant and has a temper.

            Fuck this guy and fuck his fucking bull shit hate speech laws. Same to Quebec who are mulling over similar legislation.

            Wait until these pieces of shits go after blogs. That day is coming.

            1. He's smug, arrogant and has a temper.

              So, Cuomo fils with an accent.

              1. Isn't English his mother tongue?

            2. Hell, I'm surprised they aren't already. Twitter wasn't off-limits.

            3. Actually, Rufe, I expect The Hair That Walks Like A Man? (I really should just make a keyboard macro for that phrase) will manage to somehow restore the concept of L?se-majest? into Canadian criminal law and then make it a crime to say anything bad about Himself or his spouse, heirs, descendants, assigns, etc.

              The little authoritarian prick.

          2. He is definitely the sexiest man in Canada.

            Canadians sexier than him move to the US to become media stars.

        2. He's the archduke or shah or whatever of Canada, so it's understandable that you don't know who he is.

          1. What's a Canada?

            1. Don't worry about it.

          2. He's the archduke Grand Wizard or shah F?hrer or whatever of Canada, so it's understandable that you don't know who he is.

            D+ trolling at best, X.

            1. Are you negging me, bro?

              1. Are you going to let him mount you now?

    3. I honestly thought that the picture was of a trans-man at first.

      1. what difference, at this point, does it make?

  5. Folks want to mention how hot Justin Trudeau is, but to me he looks like Tucker Carlson, which makes it all kind of hilarious.

    Nikki, please pick up the white courtesy phone...

    1. He looks like the idiot scion of a star hockey player and a Canadian catalog-grade model gone to seed.

      1. Fact: Canadian catalog models are only 85% as attractive as their American counterparts.

        1. This is known.

        2. I'm not gonna lie, Canada needs another wave of Ukrainian migration, like 120 years ago.

      2. He looks like a Canadian Ted Cruz.

  6. Scott Shackford, King of the Alt-Text.

    1. Shackford consistently brings it on the alt-text. Rico and Gillespie could learn a lot from him.

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  8. RE: Expanding Transgender Protections in Canada Includes Broadening Terrible Hate Speech Laws
    Nobody is helped by the government threatening prison over a debate.

    Well, so what?
    Since when is our neighbors to the north a free country?
    Since when is our neighbors to the north tolerant of free speech?
    Since when is our neighbors to the north want speech that is politically incorrect?
    You can't have a socialist slave state with free speech.
    Where've you been?

    1. Thanks for conflating the government designed to prevent the population from sticking their dick into Important Business for Serious Men with said population!

      1. their collective dick? canada's weird.

    2. This is true. We have no heritage of honoring and defending free speech and expression. Our brand is 'to the extent the all-benign government permits our rights to speech.'

      What a bloody travesty this country.

      Mediocre AND retarded.

        1. That was great!

          I was expecting something like :

          Red Green: When the cops pulled you over last month, what did they tell you?
          Buzz Sherwood: "You may call flying your plane through a shopping mall freedom of speech, but we call it disturbing the peace!"

        2. Explain to me how that is even remotely normal for a journalist to explain himself like this before who ever the fucking HRC (Human Rights Cunts)?

          1. Oligarchy doesn't have to explain or justify itself. The Canadian government, judiciary and bureaucracy have from the start been designed to shut out the Wrong People from any part of decision-making process, numbers be damned.
            And if by "normal" you mean "statistically average", this is in fact normal. Shit, at least he gets to fight back. US is the outlier, their whinging aside.

        3. By the way, notice the can of San Pellegrino Limonata on the desk. I'm partial to the Clementina or Aranciata Rosso but all good to me.

      1. Even your bacon is inferior!

        1. And their maple syrup. It's got anti-freeze in it.

          1. Just the export version. You lot are not ready for the real thing.

            1. Oh, I'm ready. I know my maple syrup. I'm actually employed by the NH sugar cartel to badmouth Canadian maple syrup.

        2. The term "Canadian bacon" is not actually used in Canada, where the product is generally known simply as "back bacon", while "bacon" alone refers to the same streaky pork belly bacon as in the United States.

          1. So "Canada" is the shitty part of the pig? That makes sense, actually.

            1. Canadian Bacon: American Bacon's Hat!

          2. But they do refer in Canada to as "American cheese" what Americans refer to as "back cheese".

            1. I thought that was "bellybutton cheese."

  9. So,if a guy puts on make up,a dress and heels he gets treated like a queen?

    1. He gets kicked off the basketball team.

      Daddy disowned him cause he wore his sister's clothes...
      Caught him in the bathroom with a pair a panty-hose.

  10. You have to give Justin Trudeau credit: he pulled himself up by his bootstraps, and fought tooth and nail to get noticed. Then by dint of an immense amount of hard work and the strength of his ideas, rose to become the prominent figure he is today.

    It just goes to show that if you work hard, anybody, no matter their background can achieve their goals and dreams.

    1. For more proof of this thesis, see the insipiring career of Hillary Clinton.

      1. HRC was the only one of Bill's many victims to stick it out and get a ring.

    2. Your sarcasm skills are stupendous.

  11. Trudeau manhandles MP: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politic.....-1.3588407

    1. And elbows another in the tits. But hey, that's no big deal, they were too slow getting his bill to vote. And it's not like either was a journalist, or someone equally important...

      1. The American left's fawning over PM Zoolander gives me endless amusement. I can't wait for an upcoming Salon article explaining away the tit elbowing as some sort of righteous gesture of social justice progress.

      2. The sycophants have been bending over backwards defending the latest. The women in particular because had Harper done this you know damn well the world would have ended by now.

        Did you hear his apology?

        How many apologies has this dimwitted dauphin given in the last 12 months?

        I love how he jumped on the floor playing the part of stern leader when all he came off was looking like a smug douche.

    2. If the bitch can't handle an elbow in the chest, why is she playing hockey?

      What's that?

      No, I didn't know they did anything else but hockey up there.

      1. Some people have said exactly that. If you can't handle this you shouldn't be in Parliament! you get elbowed on rush hour traffic on the subway all the time!


        Everyone's an asshole and to be an asshole in defending this guy is worse.

        1. Well to be fair, I am an asshole.

  12. I was going to post the CBC article Scott linked, but that was the Day of No PM Links. From the article:

    Wilson-Raybould was joined by Charlie Lowthian Rickert, a 10-year-old transgender girl, whom she described as "wise beyond her years."
    "It will protect us from, as the minister of justice said, hateful propaganda, assaults, rape ? stuff like that. It could protect us and stop the people who would have just gone off and done it in the past, and discriminated or assaulted us but now it could be stopping them and basically punishing them if they actually do it."

    So I guess anyone what wants to rape and assault transgendered better get a move on, before PM Zoolander finally bans it! Likewise:

    Asked whether transgender Canadians face the same level of bigotry as seen in the U.S. where some lawmakers have restricted the use of public restrooms by transgender people, Ryan said discrimination in Canada does exist.

    The whole article is awesome and I recommend everyone read it. I also recommend all Americans to read CBC News every day to see what foreigners get told about the US.

      1. +1 truffle shuffle

    1. Wilson-Raybould was joined by Charlie Lowthian Rickert, a 10-year-old transgender girl, whom she described as "wise beyond her years."

      I also travel with my own non-cis Yoda to shield me from criticism.

      1. GILMORE has a mini-me?

      2. Charlie's parents should be arrested for child abuse, for facilitating their child's delusions.

    2. The CBC should be shut down or privatized.

      "discrimination in Canada does exist."

      Ryan is an idiot. Aside from our very racist past, just come to Quebec and see it in the flesh.

      Canadians are delusional sometimes.

    3. see what foreigners get told about the US

      Is it any different than what Salon, MSNBC, and sundry other American media outlets tell us about the US?

    4. A ten-year-old is incapable of understanding "gender identity." That child's parents are using her as a tool for their own SJW grandstanding and should be locked up for abuse.

      1. Seriously. Here's a question - if the clothes boys and girls wear and the toys they play with are simply artificial gender constructs (as we're told by the gender warrior types), why does playing with dolls and wanting to wear dresses make a boy a "transgendered girl"? Why isn't he just a boy who likes girly things? There's no internal logic to this stuff at all.

        1. There's no internal logic to this stuff at all.

          Once you've completely transitioned and all your paperwork matches your biological identity, which matches your mental disorder you're no longer 'trans', right?

          1. There is no external logic to this stuff, either.

            Why ask why; drink Bud Dry.

        2. I could be wrong, I can't keep up with all this. But I think there are different types of "gender warrior" and the ones that think that all gender is a social construct are distinct from those who think that trans people are naturally and inherently mismatched with their bodies.
          People are way to quick to assume that everyone with a loud opinion about sexuality and gender identity all agree with each other.

          1. I wouldn't be surprised if that's the case, but damned if I can keep track.

            Going by my own kids, there are definitely some hardwired differences. My wife and I tried to let the kids develop their interests organically, so we didn't push girl/boy specific things on them My son has been about monster trucks and spaceships and car crashes since he could walk. My daughter has been crazy about fluffy animals and polishing her nails and wearing dresses and cuddly anthropomorphic fruits and vegetables (Shopkins, for those without small children). I suppose a lot of that could stem from peer interaction, but not all of it since these tendencies arose before they ever went to school and spent more time with other kids rather than their parents.

            1. I wonder what my parents made of me. I wasn't into anything at either extreme. I could not have cared less about all the typical boy stuff like toy guns and action figures. Nor about anything feminine either. I think once I discovered reading I was pretty much just into books.

        3. That's what I've been saying for yrs.

      2. Shit, does anyone understand "gender identity"? Even SJWs don't agree on when gender characteristics are innate or social constructs.

      3. NPR had a story where a boy was transitioned to a girl at *4* because she said to Mommy, "You know mommy, on the outside I'm a boy but inside I'm really a girl." Now that the kid is 9, they're planning a Birthday Party. Minecraft theme, sports presents, all the friends from Girl Scouts over... the Dad was non-existent as far as the story went.

        Every other sentence made me want to punch the mother in the face. If I'd let my kids run their own life like that, at 4, at least one would be dead. On the one hand, I hope these parents reap what they sow but damn what a torture to subject your kids too.

        1. Not sure what that Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy Issues story has to do with this?

          1. Barwick clearly resented a distinct portion of the upbringing she got and, while I admit to having a very small collection of facts regarding the transgender story, the combination of a single offhand comment at 4, the desire to do 'boy things' (or a good number of not-explicitly-girly things), and the perpetual anxiety about being transgendered painted hazy-at-best picture the wisdom of the decision to transition. It seemed just as likely that the kid wanted to wear a dress (for whatever reason) and, rather than being told 'No.' was between plain old coddled and urged with a bias to transition.

            If from 4-10 the boy wants to wear dresses, play with dolls, spend time only around girls, and be referred to by a girl's name I see where there could be some misalignment. But a boy who wants to play video games, race trucks, play baseball, and go camping just with sometimes with girls and/or sometimes while wearing a skirt, needs to be told 'No.' to a few things.

            1. I guess there is a common theme that both kids were being used as a prop, which I agree is not OK.

              But Heather seems to have additional issues missing her father that don't really say anything about gay marriage. They just say that she wished she had a father. I didn't grow up with a father either but that doesn't mean I'm bitter with my mom for divorcing him.

              1. I think the father thing is valid, although yeah, it's not just about gay marriage, per se. It's human to feel like you might be missing out. It's immature to hold it against your parents, but it's also unrealistic for the parents to think that there is no difference between two mommies and a mom and a dad. Just like it would be unrealistic to assume that a stepfather is no different to a kid than a biological father or that adopted parents are the same as biological.

      4. Are you sure? Children seem to fall pretty neatly into gender identities much earlier than that for the most part. Or do you think there is no inherent difference between girls and boys and it's all a social construction?

        1. They do but it's also perfectly normal for very little kids to claim they're the opposite sex, even though a vast majority-- probably around ~90%-- accept or identify with their birth sex.

          My daughter started claiming she was a boy for about two months when she was a toddler. Her mom and I didn't do anything about it. She's back to being firmly in the girl camp. But she plays video games, doesn't like dresses among other things. She's not "girly". The reason I mention this is that with all the Transgender Panic, there are people who cling to the idea that behaviors have "sex" and therefore if you engage in them, you MUST be transgender!

          1. My daughter started claiming she was a boy for about two months when she was a toddler.

            I can recall, for months at a time, being a dog. Same with my brother and same with 2 of my broodlings. I think there's also a lot of confusion about just being an idiot. Kids wanting to wear skirts and be on the boys baseball team aren't tearing down the walls of gender-oriented non-bifurcated garment oppression as much as just being idiots.

          2. Encouraging it in young children doesn't seem like a good idea to me either. But for all I know there are cases where that is the best thing to do. I just don't know and I don't think anyone else does either.

        2. I suppose I can't say i'm 100% certain, but in my experience, children (or SJWs, for that matter) do not have a fully developed capacity to understand nuance or the complex world societal and gender norms. Their worldview tends to be very black-or-white. A prepubescent ten-year-old determining that he's a girl appears to me to be the result of social-justice parenting.

          1. I think you are probably right. And I don't think it is generally a good idea to encourage young children to "transition". Seems like one ought to reach sexual maturity before deciding on something like that (and if a little boy wants to play with dolls and wear pink princess clothes, fine) But I am very reluctant to say I know anything about it for sure. I don't know what it's like to be that person or what is going on in their mind.

        3. The point is, individuals are different, and just because proclivities line up statistically by sex doesn't mean sexes should be honored by stereotypes. Why can't you just be a girl who likes "boy things" or vice versa?

          1. I would never say you couldn't. I just don't think any of us is in a position to make any declarations about what this 10 year old does or does not understand.

        4. One of the problems is that young kids up until about age 36 (sometimes older) will often say things they don't actually believe in order to achieve some sort of desired result. And at younger ages (up until about 30) you're not necessarily aware enough to understand the consequences of what you say on those around you.

          So when a four year old says "I'm a girl on the inside" that could mean a whole lot of very different things. Furthermore, I think there's massive differences between being gay and transgendered, but it's got to be hard for someone that young to parse those differences even if they do seem to understand there's something "different" about them. So you wind up forcing someone who is ultimately a "gay man" into being a "transgendered woman" based on misunderstanding very real feelings that young child has.

          tl;dr: People should be who they are, but four year olds have a real hard time knowing and certainly expressing that. But I guess the counter-argument is that the longer you wait, the harder it becomes on the person. *shrugs*

    5. Asked whether transgender Canadians face the same level of bigotry as seen in the U.S. where some lawmakers have restricted the use of public restrooms by transgender people

      I'm going to start to not let this go. There is no 'transgender bathroom use'. It doesn't exist as a concept, it doesn't exist as a law, because it can't. You either make your bathrooms unisex, or not unisex. there is no special provision anywhere for Transgender people. Period. The end.

  13. I saw an article in CNN today about how Trudeau is so dreamy and even understands Quantum computing.

    It was my understanding that he actually didn't understand quantum computing, and got a staged question and answer session wrong.

    1. He understands quantum computing the same way that any other Internet-connected dolt with access to Wikipedia understands quantum computing.

    2. Yeh it was staged.

      Nothing I've heard him ever say suggests to me he grasps quantum computing. I mean NOTHING.

      1. Nonsense.

        The Hair That Walks Like A Man? understands Quantum Computing perfectly. After all, he constantly occupies the twin states of Douchebag and Witling.

    3. Specifically, he prepped a summary of quantum computing. Then during the speech, he said something along the lines of "this is important and I hope you will ask me more during the question period."
      First journalist up says "well, I'm not gonna ask about QC (laugher), but Isis..."

      And of course, PM Zoolander says how will the children fit in there "Quantum computing is very important, here's a Wiki summary I memorized."

      Then the Media Party takes care of the rest.

  14. Don't forget NYC, where you can now be fined $250K for employees who call customers by the wrong pronoun, or even patrons who call employees the wrong pronoun.

    1. Stunning and brave new world.

    2. Wait, what? That can't be real.

      1. Apparently it is. I can't wait the shitstorm that's coming.

        1. I can't imagine that would hold up in front of even the most progressive judge. At worst someone violating that is guilty of being a bit of a dick.

          I was mis-gendered pretty often as a long haired young person and I survived.

        2. From now on all New Yorkers must refer to me as "Lord Fuckasaurus Rex, Emperor of Your Mom, PBUH" or pay the penalty.

  15. Under such a cultural movement, Canada's hate speech laws are a threat to anybody who holds opinions that the country's most powerful people believe might be disruptive to their idea of "peace."

    What is Canadian proto-totalitarianism?

    I'll take Bad Ideas for 400, Alex.

  16. H&R piece on transgenders that also includes a mention of Ann Coulter. ISWYDT.

  17. It's just amazing to me that Canadian voters elected a man whose essence is 'Your smug, egocentric teenage son, who's parlayed his slightly-above-average intelligence into vastly inflated self-confidence and self-importance, and into complete delusion and immodesty about his level of wisdom.'

    Or your neighbor's teenage son. Yeah, that's who I want in a leader!

    1. You see, the morons who voted for this putz were tired of Harper!

      Yes, I call them morons because anyone with a sense of civic duty who was paying attention to this guy should have known better. But they didn't. They convinced themselves he was going to surround himself with smart people. Which clearly isn't the case.

    2. Are we allowed to point out he did not win the majority of votes cast?

      Or that it was Liberal Party who appointed him before the election, and only people in his electoral riding had a choice?

      1. I'll allow it!

        That at least makes it a little more comprehensible.

  18. Expanding Transgender Protections in Canada Includes Broadening Terrible Hate Speech Laws

    And everybody is supposed to act so surprised? Just what did you think was the purpose behind this circus, Shackford?

    1. Who is acting surprised?

  19. **SIGH**

    My country, 'tis not of thee...

    (And, of course, I blame The Hair That Walks Like A Man? for this latest idiocy.)

  20. If canuks were smart they'd drag their elitist leadership pricks out into the streets and hang them from the telephone poles ala mussolini.

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