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Brihard said:Really? There are absolutely cases in which an expression can be a criminal offense or civil wrong, and rightly so. You don't get to utter threats (S.264.1 CC). You don't get to advocate genocide (S. 318 CC) or wilfully incite hate (S. 319 CC). You don't get to defame by libel and slander (civil torts).
This is not the government forcing opinions or thoughts on people. It's the government determining that some things are concretely harmful.
Beyond that there is the more nebulous world in which hate motivation is a factor in sentencing. Other than Ss. 318 and 319, 'hate' does not form any basis for offences in its own right, but where something that is already illegal anyway (e.g., assaults, threats, causing a disturbance, mischief, etc) is hate motivated, it can be considered an aggravating factor in sentencing (S. 718.2(a)(i) CC) , in order to deter people from committing things that are already independently criminal, because they think it's OK to do that because they hate an identifiable group.
So no, the state has not gone and newly criminalised anything because of new societal beliefs around what hate constitutes. 'hate crimes' are basically not a thing in Canada outside of the narrow scope of Ss. 318 and 319 which are both extremely rarely used. Instead the state has said 'if you insist on being a crappy person and do something that's already illegal because you hate a group, that will be a consideration in your sentencing'. This will not affect anyone who doesn't commit a crime.
There is the entirely separate realm of the various human rights commissions/tribunals at federal or provincial levels, but those don't involve police or criminal sanction and are outside the scope of this thread so far.
But that is not "freedom." Ideologically, notwithstanding any utterance I make, the "state" should not have any right to curtail it, or censor it.