Editor’s note: Here is a form letter sent to people inquiring about what the Prime Minister’s Office will do to protect freedom of speech and other genuine human rights, whether the government will support removing Section 13(1) of the Canadian Human Rights Act or what other actions it might take to review the scope of human rights tribunals’ prosecutorial activities. One recipient of this letter posted it at Freedominion.com and noted, “Turns out that our ‘conservative’ government has decided to blow us off.”

On behalf of the prime minister, I would like to thank you for your e-mail regarding human rights commissions at the federal and provincial level. Please be assured that your comments are appreciated and have been carefully reviewed.

The government of Canada recognizes that freedom of expression is a fundamental freedom guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms that may be limited only when it is demonstrably justifiable to do so in a free and democratic society.

At the federal level, the Canadian Human Rights Commission is the independent body responsible for administering the Canadian Human Rights Act. The commission operates at arm’s length from the government and reports directly to Parliament.

A person may file a complaint with the commission if he or she believes that an individual or group within federal jurisdiction has engaged in a discriminatory practice.

As the commission operates at arm’s length, the federal government respects the commission’s independence and does not interfere in its normal course of operations. For more information about the operations of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, we would encourage you to visit the commission’s website at: www.chrc-ccdp.ca.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to write.

Sincerely,
Susan I. Ross, executive correspondence officer for the Prime Minister’s Office.