Thoughts on Motion M103

I’m someone who believes strongly in free speech and freedom of expression, and I am naturally very cautious about any limitations being imposed.

So when people start using “this will limit my freedom of expression rights” in cases where what they are complaining about will do no such thing, it is galling to me.

Bill C16 is a good example. Motion M103 is another. Here is the full text of M103. The. Full. Text. Does it limit your speech? No. Does it create laws that would limit your speech? No. Does condemning something stop you from saying it? No. If you say something racist, should you be condemned for saying it, as long as your right to say it isn’t inhibited except in limited circumstances, such as promoting genocide? Yes. Should we condemn systemic racism and religious discrimination? OBVIOUSLY.

So. Stop saying M103 limits your freedom of speech.

It. Does. Not.

M103: “That, in the opinion of the House, the government should: (a) recognize the need to quell the increasing public climate of hate and fear; (b) condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination and take note of House of Commons’ petition e-411 and the issues raised by it; and © request that the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage undertake a study on how the government could (i) develop a whole-of-government approach to reducing or eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination including Islamophobia, in Canada, while ensuring a community — centered focus with a holistic response through evidence-based policy-making, (ii) collect data to contextualize hate crime reports and to conduct needs assessments for impacted communities, and that the Committee should present its findings and recommendations to the House no later than 240 calendar days from the adoption of this motion, provided that in its report, the Committee should make recommendations that the government may use to better reflect the enshrined rights and freedoms in the Constitution Acts, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

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