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UN: Human Rights


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Blasphemous Libel

Offence

296. (1) Every one who publishes a blasphemous libel is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

Question of fact

(2) It is a question of fact whether or not any matter that is published is a blasphemous libel.

Saving

(3) No person shall be convicted of an offence under this section for expressing in good faith and in decent language, or attempting to establish by argument used in good faith and conveyed in decent language, an opinion on a religious subject.

Article 296, Criminal Code of Canada

(Note that this law does not define what "blasphemy" is.)

Hate Propaganda

Public incitement of hatred

319. (1) Every one who, by communicating statements in any public place, incites hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace is guilty of

  1. an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or
  2. an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Wilful promotion of hatred

(2) Every one who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, wilfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group is guilty of

  1. an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or
  2. an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Defences

(3) No person shall be convicted of an offence under subsection (2)

  1. if he establishes that the statements communicated were true;
  2. if, in good faith, the person expressed or attempted to establish by an argument an opinion on a religious subject or an opinion based on a belief in a religious text;
  3. if the statements were relevant to any subject of public interest, the discussion of which was for the public benefit, and if on reasonable grounds he believed them to be true; or
  4. if, in good faith, he intended to point out, for the purpose of removal, matters producing or tending to produce feelings of hatred toward an identifiable group in Canada.

From Article 319, Criminal Code of Canada (emphasis added to point (3) b)