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Canadian Senate Approves Bill Outlawing Racial and Religious Hate Propaganda

A controversial bill that will outlaw racial and religious hate propaganda has been passed by the Canadian Senate by a 37-21 vote on a third reading. But the measure is strongly opposed by most members of the opposition and several Government members and its future is uncertain. The opposition is based on claims that the legislation does not sufficiently protect the rights of individuals. Proponents claim that it does. Senator Daniel Long objected to the bill on grounds that it is so vague it would encourage hate and discrimination instead of eliminating it.

Passage of the bill by the Senate before it was dealt with by the House of Commons was a reversal of the usual procedure. Parliament recesses for the summer next week and the measure is not likely to reach the floor before then. Supporters of the bill fear that Parliament may begin a new session shortly after the summer recess in which case the legislation would “die” and would have to be re-introduced. It was first introduced in 1966 and has been revised three times since then.