Sent: Friday, 12 August 2005 11:12 AM
Subject: Letter re: Zundelsite
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR August 11, 2005
RE "The man they love to ... cyber hate" (Aug. 2): Combating hate on the Internet is one of the Commission's priorities. As noted in your article, the Commission is receiving more complaints related to this issue than in previous years. At this moment, 24 complaints are being investigated and three cases are currently before the Tribunal.
The Commission is aware that the very nature of the Internet, with service providers often located outside Canadian borders, makes it difficult to enforce the Act's provisions regarding hate messages. In order to move away from a case by case approach, the commission is in the process of establishing a comprehensive strategy, including working with Internet service providers to discourage hate sites and encouraging people to contact service providers and advocacy groups when they are made aware of such sites.
The commission has a history of dedicated work in the investigation, Tribunal inquiries and enforcement of hate complaints. The 1997 CHRC complaint against the website run by Ernst Zundel was among the first legal actions in the world to target hate on the Internet.
Over a five-year period commission lawyers and those representing the complainants, argued that the so called Zundelsite contravened the Human Rights Act, resulting in a decision in 2002 ordering Zundel to close the website.
Since the Zundel case the commission has fully participated in two other Internet hate cases considered by tribunal. Furthermore, the commission has had an enforcement role in some hate complaints, including the use of contempt proceedings and injunctions and has taken action to have hate-related material removed from the Internet.
Robert W. Ward
Secretary General, Canadian Human Rights Commission
(No offence, but two cases since 2002 doesn't sound like a lot)
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