The B.C. government is currently looking into whether British Columbians who engage in “racist behaviour” can be ticketed and fined. 

Ravi Kahlon, MLA for Delta North, penned a letter to Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth formally requesting the province look into what authority it has to crack down on “racist and hateful behaviour.”

Kahlon is the same BC NDP MLA that piled onto the Mark Hecht controversy.

In September, Hecht wrote an op-ed for the Vancouver Sun titled, “Ethnic diversity harms social trust, economic well-being, argues instructor.” His op-ed, which reviewed research related to ethnic diversity and social trust, was eventually unpublished from the Vancouver Sun’s website after the newspaper was mobbed online and accused of spreading anti-immigration viewpoints.

Kahlon wrote in his own response op-ed that Hecht’s article was, “in short, racism and white supremacy wearing a thin disguise of academic bluster. It was every kind of wrong. I was floored. I was angry. I was sad. I couldn’t sleep.”

True North reached out to Kahlon and inquired about the real-world application of his proposal, and whether Mark Hecht and the Vancouver Sun would deserve to be ticketed. At the time of publication, True North had not heard back from Kahlon nor his office.

Many Liberal and NDP politicians are intent on punishing and censoring people whose views they do not approve of, whether those views are expressed online or offline.

Liberal MP Nate Erskine-Smith, who was formerly a substitute member of the House of Common’s Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, proposed during the Justice Committee’s study on online hate that an administrative judicial system be created that could issue tickets for online hate the same way you’re issued a ticket “if you’re drunk in the street and disorderly.”

The Justice Committee published in their final report, Taking Action To End Online Hate in June 2019, that they recommend bringing back section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act in order to censor “online hate.”

Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which was enacted in 2001 but repealed in 2013, prohibited the electronic or telephonic transmission of “any matter that is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt by reason of the fact that that person or those persons are identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.”

The federal NDP stated in their supplementary report that they agree with reintroducing an updated version of section 13 of the Human Rights Act.

Before it was repealed in 2013 after Conservative MP Brian Storseth tabled a private member’s bill, section 13 was used to attack and shut down the writings of conservative commentators Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn by hauling them into quasi-judicial human rights tribunals.

Seeing as the Criminal Code is already in place to prosecute hate propaganda and incitement to hatred, it is bewildering that Liberal and NDP politicians, at both the federal and provincial levels, are scheming to introduce such draconian legislation. 

These proposed laws would almost certainly cast too wide of a net and entrap people who are only guilty of expressing inarticulate concerns or non-politically correct opinions, not so-called hate speech.


  • Lindsay Shepherd

    Lindsay holds an M.A. in Cultural Analysis and Social Theory from Wilfrid Laurier University. She has been published in The Post Millennial, Maclean’s, National Post, Ottawa Citizen, and Quillette.