What is a hate crime?
The Criminal Code of Canada says a hate crime is committed to intimidate, harm or terrify not only a person, but an entire group of people to which the victim belongs. The victims are targeted for who they are, not because of anything they have done.
A hate crime is one in which hate is the motive and can involve intimidation, harassment, physical force or threat of physical force against a person, a group or a property
In Canada it is also a crime to incite hatred. Sections 318 and 319 are the relevant sections of the Criminal Code.
Under Section 318, it is a criminal act to "advocate or promote genocide" — to call for, support, encourage or argue for the killing of members of a group based on colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.
Section 319 deals with publicly stirring up or inciting hatred against an identifiable group based on colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.
It is illegal to communicate hatred in a public place by telephone, broadcast or through other audio or visual means. The same section protects people from being charged with a hate crime if their statements are truthful or the expression of a religious opinion.
The mischief section, 430, covers hate-motivated mischief and religious property in subsection 4.1.
It provides for harsher sentences than mischief involving other property. Bill C-451, introduced in the last parliament, would have added schools, community centres, daycares and other property to 4.1. However, the bill died with the election call.
The section of the code on sentencing (718.2) encourages judges to consider whether the crime was motivated by hate of the victim's race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation or any other similar factor.
Under section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act it is a "discriminatory practice" to send hate messages via telecommunications equipment, including the internet.
|CRIMINAL CODE OF CANADA|
|CANADIAN HUMAN RIGHTS ACT|
|Section 13: Hate messages|
13.(1) It is a discriminatory practice for a person or a group of persons acting in concert to communicate telephonically or to cause to be so communicated, repeatedly, in whole or in part by means of the facilities of a telecommunication undertaking within the legislative authority of Parliament, 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.
(2) For greater certainty, subsection (1) applies in respect of a matter that is communicated by means of a computer or a group of interconnected or related computers, including the Internet, or any similar means of communication, but does not apply in respect of a matter that is communicated in whole or in part by means of the facilities of a broadcasting undertaking.
(3) For the purposes of this section, no owner or operator of a telecommunication undertaking communicates or causes to be communicated any matter described in subsection (1) by reason only that the facilities of a telecommunication undertaking owned or operated by that person are used by other persons for the transmission of that matter.