Saturday, February 16, 2008

Canadian MP discusses his motion to change Canada's hate speech law

Liberal MP Keith Martin, the politician who has put forward a motion to eliminate Section 13(1) of the Canadian Human Rights Act, appeared on a Calgary radio station Friday night to discuss his motion.

The audio can be found here.

If you don't have the time to listen to it here are the highlights.

Shortly after Martin introduced his motion, a spokesperson for his party leader told a Canadian news agency that Martin would be asked to withdraw his motion.

However, Martin said in his interview tonight that was because of some initial confusion in Liberal leader Stephane Dion's office about exactly what the motion was about. The CP reporter's angle for her story on Martin's motion was focused on support from the Stormfront neo-Nazi crowd.

"Mr. Dion has not said to (withdraw the motion)," Martin said tonight. "There were some concerns by a couple of people who are in the leaders' office."

"There was some confusion that some people thought this was about hate crimes and I assured them it was not."

"The vast, vast majority of my colleagues have been very supporitve of it in the Liberal party and in other parties, too."

Martin said that MPs want to examine his motion and see if 13(1) is trampling on rights. The issue was brought to his attention shortly after Christmas by a second-year university student in his riding, who wrote him a two-page letter about what was happening. Martin did his own research and became "appalled" from what he discovered.

Martin's motion is 280th on the list of motions in the House of Commons and he said "It's not going to come up any time soon."

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