Canada's ruling 'Liberal' government has announced that it plans to make online hate speech a crime punishable by as much as $20,000 ($16,250 US) for the first offense and $50,000 ($40,600 US) for the second.
The proposal would punish social media
users who broke the law but exempt social media companies that host such content from fines. Canada's Attorney General David Lametti has claimed that the proposed law would not target simple expressions of dislike or disdain during a virtual press
conference. Instead, Lametti said, the law is only designed to punish the most extreme forms of hatred that expresses detestation or vilification of a person or group on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.
The government, headed by
Prime Minsiter Justin Trudeau, released a statement outlining the goals of the proposed legislation , known as Bill C-36, as well as other steps being taken in the name of online racial abuse. The government also notes that it will released a detailed
technical discussion paper in the coming weeks to inform Canadians about the nitty gritty of this proposed law.