When someone jokes about something, they usually don’t mean to do so, but that is precisely what the Canadian government is doing with its new law.
“Jokes are a very important part of Canada’s cultural life, especially in the modern era,” the government’s minister of communications and media said in a statement.
So, what are jokes?
“It is a joke when someone says a joke.
It is a ‘gift’ when someone gives someone a gift.
It may also be an act of humour when someone makes a joke that has the potential to offend,” the ministry said.
In this video, the Canadian flag is seen in a background as an official logo for the Ministry of Culture.
What is a “gift”?
In this clip, a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is seen telling the Canadian National Anthem that is played during a video chat with a reporter from CBC.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters during his visit to Canada on Tuesday that the law would be “broad and very inclusive.”
The Canadian flag and Canadian national anthem are seen in this image released by the Canadian Museum of Civilization.
However, some Canadians may feel uncomfortable with this new legislation, especially considering how often the flag is depicted as a symbol of Canadian unity.
Some Canadian politicians have called for the flag to be retired as a flagpole.
The law would make it easier for Canadians to report discrimination and hate speech, according to CBC News.
The new law is aimed at preventing bullying and harassment.
The minister of communication and media explained that it would also provide protection to Canadians from discrimination, bullying and hate-speech.
“Canadian society is an inclusive place where we should all feel safe, where we can all speak freely and respectfully,” Trudeau said at a news conference on Tuesday.
“This new law will allow Canadians to be heard in our society and in our government and our institutions.”
Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau is shown at a press conference on the first day of his visit, on January 13, 2020, in Ottawa.
Canadians may feel unwelcome in the new law, and feel like they are being “trumped on,” according to the minister of information and broadcasting.
“We will make it clear to them that if they feel they have been treated unfairly in any way, they will be entitled to be treated fairly in the future,” the minister said.
“And this law will make sure that they feel the same.”
What do Canadians think?
Canadian Prime Ministers Justin Trudeau and Justin Trudeau meet with media in Ottawa on January 6, 2020.
Will this law make Canada safer?
Will this new law make Canadian society safer?
The government of Canada announced the law during a news briefing, and promised to make sure it is “broad, inclusive, and fair” in its implementation.
“Canada is a multicultural society, and Canadians have a right to expect that their rights will be protected under the law,” the department said.
The proposed law, which will be presented to the legislature on Monday, says it will “establish a new offence of hate speech to be punishable by up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.”
In addition, it will make the law “to punish persons who, in whole or in part, cause discrimination or harassment in the form of threats, harassment, stalking, stalking by phone, social media, or any other form of communication.”
This would make Canada the second country in the world to pass such a law.
A similar law was passed in Russia in January.
The law made it a criminal offence to publicly advocate the removal of the Russian flag from public spaces.