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Bill C-63




Bill C-63 is known as the Online Harms Act. The bill tackles instances of sharing intimate images without consent, as well as content that bullies children, sexually victimizes children, encourages self-harm among children, and incites violence, terrorism, or hatred.

 

We support the section of the bill that calls for removing content that bullies children, sexually exploits them, promotes self-harm among them, as well as non-consensual adult content.


However, the bill's approach to addressing hate speech and violent rhetoric online is questionable. As Christians, we are concerned about the rising anti-religious sentiments in Canada. Nevertheless, we have significant reservations regarding the amendments proposed by C-63 for the Criminal Code, and those pertaining to the Canadian Human Rights Act.

 

Can you envision a Canada where pre-emptive punishment is imposed for crimes not yet committed? What about life imprisonment for hate speech? Or a Canada where anonymous complaints can deny individuals the right to confront their accusers? Here's perhaps the most alarming scenario of all: Can you picture a Canada where the Federal cabinet is granted authority to censor speech, making the decision behind closed doors, without input from Parliament? If Bill C-63 is passed in its current form, all of these situations will become law. Describing this bill as extreme and inappropriate is an understatement.

 

To begin with, this bill should be divided. This way, we can quickly deal with the problems that bring harm to children and the sharing of intimate content without permission. These items will then avoid getting stuck in the debate over the rest of the bill's complexities. Canadian children shouldn't have to wait any longer for vital protections against bullying and abuse, while the government discusses the extreme speech punishment measures in Bill C-63.

 

The bill is currently in its second reading. The following step involves a Parliamentary Committee, where members will listen to experts discussing the bill's challenges and constitutionality. Based on these expert testimonies, the committee will propose changes to the bill to the House of Commons. We'll keep you updated on the committee's progress.


In the meantime, share your concerns about Bill C-63 with your MP. You can also request them to split the bill, ensuring swift action on child protections are not delayed by the extreme punishments related to “hate speech”. Of course, share your concerns about the extreme amendments and tell them that the bill needs a clear and concise definition of “hate speech”.


“The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight; for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young—let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance—for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 1:1-7


Pray for our Members of Parliament that they would embrace Wisdom. Pray that when Wisdom presents itself, they will step into it. Pray that they would despise foolishness and that it would become a bitter taste in their mouths. Pray that they would be wise to listen and add to their capacity for making righteous decisions.

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"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5: 14+15


Klaas Detmar

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