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Online Harms bill could see Canadians face house arrest based on citizen complaints: Constitutional lawyer

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From LifeSiteNews

By Anthony Murdoch

Constitutional lawyer Marty Moore has warned LifeSiteNews that under the proposed Online Harms Act, courts could impose restrictions on Canadians under threat of jail if there is ‘fear’ the accused may commit a ‘hate crime’ in the future.

A top constitutional lawyer has told LifeSiteNews that the most “shocking” part of the Trudeau government’s proposed “Online Harms Act” is that it could allow provincial courts to impose house arrest on Canadians over a “fear” that they may commit a “hate crime” in the future.

“Possibly the most shocking part of this Bill is the addition of section 810.012 to the Criminal Code,” Marty Moore, who serves as the Litigation Director for Charter Advocates Canada, which is fully funded by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), told LifeSiteNews. 

“Under this new provision, a person can assert to a provincial court that they ‘fear’ someone will promote genocide or antisemitism, and that provincial court is empowered to jail a person for one year (two years if they have previously been convicted of such an offense) if they refuse to agree to court-imposed conditions.” 

Moore noted that the “court-imposed conditions” could be the mandated wearing of an ankle monitor, having a curfew, or not communicating with certain people.    

Similar pre-crime punitive tactics may also be carried out against Canadians for other so-called “hate” offenses unrelated to antisemitism or genocide, something Justice Minister Arif Virani, who introduced Bill C-63 into Parliament Monday, continues to defend.

“[If] there’s a genuine fear of an escalation, then an individual or group could come forward and seek a peace bond against them and to prevent them from doing certain things,” Virani said Wednesday, arguing that such tactics “would help to de-radicalize people who are learning things online and acting out in the real world violently – sometimes fatally.”

If passed, Bill C-63 will create the “Online Harms Act” and modify existing laws, including the Criminal Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act, in what the Liberals under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claim will target certain already illegal internet content such as child sexual abuse and pornography. 

However, the proposed law also seeks to target broadly defined “hate speech,” leading many Canadians to worry the bill is a trojan horse being used to usher in political censorship.

Moore, as reported by LifeSiteNews on February 27, previously said that the “Online Harms Act” will allow a new “Digital Safety Commission” to conduct “secret Commission hearings” against those found to have violated the new law, which raises “serious concerns for the freedom of expression” of Canadians online.  

According to the bill’s text, Canadians could soon face life imprisonment for certain “hate crimes,” in addition to other years-long prison terms and hefty fines for online posts the government deems as “hate speech” on the basis of gender, race and other categories.

Bill gives overly ‘broad definition’ to the term ‘hateful content’ 

In additional comments to LifeSiteNews about Bill C-63, Moore warned that the bill gives a broad definition to the term “harmful content.” 

“The definition of ‘content that incites violence’ could capture someone encouraging minor property damage in a context where it ‘could cause’ a person to do something that ‘could’ interfere with an ‘essential service, facility or system,’” Moore told LifeSiteNews. 

“Similarly, the definition of ‘content that incites violent extremism or terrorism’ could capture expression that encourages minor property damage in the course of political protest designed to pressure government on a particular issue, if the expression ‘could cause’ a person to do something that ‘could cause’ a ‘serious risk to the health or safety of the public,’” he added.

Moore observed that given Canadians recent experience in dealing with COVID mandates and lockdowns, which “literally banned protests on the basis that they could cause a risk to the health or safety of the public,” it is not hard to see how “these provisions” in Bill C-63 could be used to “censor expression advocating for civil disobedience and, other than minor property damage, peaceful protest.” 

To enforce the proposed law, the bill calls for the creation of a Digital Safety Commission, a digital safety ombudsperson, and the Digital Safety Office. 

The ombudsperson along with the other offices will be charged with dealing with public complaints regarding online content. It will also put forth a regulatory function in a five-person panel “appointed by the government,” whose task will be monitoring internet platform behaviors to hold people “accountable.” 

Moore told LifeSiteNews that Canadians have already seen government “grossly abuse Canadians’ rights and freedoms in the name of preventing harm and ensuring safety (COVID mandates).” He noted that this bill could give a commission of unelected officials a “concerning” amount of “reach” into “Canadians’ lives.”

In addition to Moore, Conservative Party of Canada leader Pierre Poilievre has also indicated the proposed law may be dangerous, saying earlier this week that the federal government is merely looking for clever ways to enact internet censorship laws.  

On Tuesday in the House of Commons, Poilievre came out in opposition to the Online Harms Act, saying that if the Trudeau government’s goal is to protect children, he should be enforcing criminal laws rather than censoring opinions online.

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Crime

Canadian receives one-year jail sentence, lifetime firearms ban for setting church on fire

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From LifeSiteNews

By Anthony Murdoch

Jordan Willet was convicted of starting a blaze in February at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Regina, Saskatchewan.

A man who was charged with arson after trying to burn down a historic Catholic church earlier this year was handed only a one-year jail sentence for his crime but has also been banned from being able to possess firearms for life.

On April 9, a court sentenced Jordan Willet, 31, to 278 days in jail for intentionally or recklessly causing damage by fire or explosion to property and for not complying with a probation order. In February, LifeSiteNews reported that Willet had been arrested and charged with starting a fire at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Regina, Saskatchewan, on February 9.

He pleaded guilty to both charges and also received an 18-month probation sentence along with a lifetime firearm prohibition.

Over the weekend, Fr. James Hentges, the parish pastor, said he was “relieved he is in custody and is not a threat.”

The parish had posted footage of the February 9 attack on social media and put out a plea for anyone who had information on the event to report it to police.

The video footage of the attack, taken from a doorbell camera, shows Willet, in a mask, pouring fuel on the church before setting it on fire.

Fire investigators determined that the blaze was caused by a direct act of arson.

Since the spring of 2021, more than 100 churches, most of them Catholic, have been burned or vandalized across Canada. The attacks on the churches came shortly after the unconfirmed discovery of “unmarked graves” at now-closed residential schools once run by the Church in parts of the country.

In 2021 and 2022, the mainstream media ran with inflammatory and dubious claims that hundreds of children were buried and disregarded by Catholic priests and nuns who ran some of the schools.

The claims, which were promoted by Trudeau among others, lack any physical evidence and were based solely on soil disturbances found via ground-penetrating radar.

In fact, in August 2023, one such site underwent a four-week excavation and yielded no remains.

Despite the lack of evidence, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and others have continued to push the narrative, even running a report recently that appeared to justify the dozens of attacks against Catholic churches.

In January, Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre not only condemned the rash of church burnings in Canada but called out Trudeau for being silent on the matter.

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Addictions

Liberal MP blasts Trudeau-backed ‘safe supply’ drug programs, linking them to ‘chaos’ in cities

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First responders in Ottawa dealing with a crisis                                           Fridayman 0102 / YouTube
From LifeSiteNews

By Clare Marie Merkowsky

‘There is certainly the perception by a lot of Canadians that a lot of downtown cores are basically out of control,’ Liberal MP Dr. Marcus Powlowski said, before pointing specifically to ‘safe supply’ drugs and injection sites.

A Liberal MP has seemingly taken issue with “safe supply” drug policies for increasing public disorder in Canada, policies his own party, under the leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has endorsed.

During an April 15 health committee meeting in the House of Commons, Liberal MP Dr. Marcus Powlowski, while pressing the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), stated that “safe supply” drug policies have caused Canadians to feel unsafe in downtown Ottawa and in other major cities across the country.

“There is certainly the perception by a lot of Canadians that a lot of downtown cores are basically out of control,” Powlowski said.  

“Certainly there is also the perception that around places like safe supply, safe injection sites, that things are worse, that there are people openly stoned in the street,” he continued.   

“People are getting cardio-pulmonary resuscitation performed on them in the street. There are needles around on the street. There is excrement on the street,” Powlowski added.  

Safe supply“ is the term used to refer to government-prescribed drugs that are given to addicts under the assumption that a more controlled batch of narcotics reduces the risk of overdose – critics of the policy argue that giving addicts drugs only enables their behavior, puts the public at risk, disincentivizes recovery from addiction and has not reduced, and sometimes even increased, overdose deaths where implemented.

Powlowski, who has worked as an emergency room physician, also stated that violence from drug users has become a problem in Ottawa, especially in areas near so-called “safe supply” drug sites which operate within blocks of Parliament Hill.   

“A few months ago I was downtown in a bar here in Ottawa, not that I do that very often, but a couple of colleagues I met up with, one was assaulted as he was going to the bar, another one was threatened,” said Powlowski. 

“Within a month of that I was returning down Wellington Street from downtown, the Rideau Centre, and my son who is 15 was coming after me,” he continued. “It was nighttime and there was someone out in the middle of the street, yelling and screaming, accosting cars.” 

Liberal MP Dr. Brendan Hanley, the Yukon’s former chief medical officer, testified in support of Powlowski, saying, “My colleague Dr. Powlowski described what it’s like to walk around downtown Ottawa here, and certainly when I walk home every day, I encounter similar circumstances.” 

“Do you agree this is a problem?” Powlowski pressed RCMP deputy commissioner Dwayne McDonald. “Do you agree for a lot of Canadians who are not involved with drugs, that they are increasingly unhappy with society in downtown cores which are this way? Do you want to do more about this, and if you do want to do more about this, what do you need?”  

McDonald acknowledged the issue but failed to offer a solution, responding, “One of the success factors required for decriminalization is public support.” 

“I think when you are faced with situations where, as we have experienced in our communities and we hear from our communities, where public consumption in some places may lead to other members of the public feeling at risk or threatened or vulnerable to street level crime, it does present a challenge,” he continued.   

Deaths from drug overdoses in Canada have gone through the roof in recent years, particularly in British Columbia after Trudeau’s federal government effectively decriminalized hard drugs in the province.

Under the policy, which launched in early 2023, the federal government began allowing people within the province to possess up to 2.5 grams of hard drugs without criminal penalty, but selling drugs remained a crime.  

The policy has been widely criticized, especially after it was found that the province broke three different drug-related overdose records in the first month the new law was in effect.  

The effects of decriminalizing hard drugs in various parts of Canada has been exposed in Aaron Gunn’s recent documentary, Canada is Dying, and in U.K. Telegraph journalist Steven Edginton’s mini-documentary, Canada’s Woke Nightmare: A Warning to the West.  

Gunn says he documents the “general societal chaos and explosion of drug use in every major Canadian city.”  

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