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Hate Literature Bill Moves Closer to Enactment in Ottawa, Given 2nd Reading

Canada’s long awaited bill prohibiting the dissemination of hate propaganda came closer to enactment last week when it passed its second reading in the House of Commons. The measure, passed by the Senate during the 1969 session, now goes to the House Committee on Judicial and Legal Affairs for further scrutiny.

The bill was easily approved by the governing Liberal Party and the New Democrats. The Conservatives approved it in principle but expressed concern over dangers to freedom of speech. The right-wing Creditists attacked the measure. Minister of Justice John Turner assured the House that the bill “treads wisely and warily” in a difficult area. Andrew Brewin, a New Democrat, warned that individuals who minimized the danger of hate propaganda were glossing over the fact that Canada had witnessed a sustained campaign of racial hatred since 1963 which has since been abetted by neo-Nazis from the United States.