Canada’s Justice Minister Wants To Arrest People Before The Crime Is Committed

Canadian Justice Minister Arif Virani has outlined the provisions of a new online harms bill, which introduces a novel measure allowing for preemptive action against individuals feared to potentially commit hate crimes in the future. 

Under this legislation, such individuals could be subjected to house arrest or mandated to wear an electronic monitoring device upon the attorney general’s request and a judge’s order.

Virani, who also happens to be the Attorney General, stressed the importance of a meticulously calibrated approach toward the implementation of peace bonds. If “there’s a genuine fear of an escalation,” Virani said, “then an individual or group could come forward and seek a peace bond against them and to prevent them from doing certain things.”

But unlike in Stephen Spielberg’s Minority Report, the government will not be using psychics to determine future crimes. These measures are aimed at individuals demonstrating a pattern of hateful behavior, with the goal of preventing targeted attacks on specific groups or individuals. Conditions of the peace bond may include restrictions on proximity to places of worship and limitations on internet usage, aiming to counteract radicalization driven by online content.

Bill C-63, as the legislation is formally known, not only seeks to curb the spread of hate online but also introduces a new hate crime offense with a maximum life imprisonment penalty. However, this severe punishment is reserved for the most egregious cases, coupled with other criminal activities. 

Virani clarified that the bill is designed to offer judges a broad range of sentencing options rather than imposing mandatory minimum sentences.

The bill mandates the prompt removal of child sexual abuse material and non-consensually shared sexual content from online platforms. While it steps back from requiring the removal of hate speech within 24 hours, it introduces alternative mechanisms for addressing such content, including the establishment of a new ombudsperson.

Despite the bill’s intent to mitigate online harms, its approach has sparked concerns among legal and constitutional experts regarding the potential for impinging on free speech. Critics argue that even the prospect of facing civil complaints and fines for hate speech could deter free expression.

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One thought on “Canada’s Justice Minister Wants To Arrest People Before The Crime Is Committed

  • March 10, 2024 7:19 PM at 7:19 pm

    This is real junta stuff.. like Argentina did.


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