Against Hate Mail

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP): – Mr. Speaker, Yesterday in Vancouver hard working letter carriers took a courageous stand and refused to deliver anti-gay literature. The so-called literature amounts to a homophobic rant calling HIV/AIDS a homosexual plague, comparing gays and lesbians to fleas on rats, and blaming homosexuality for the global spread of this devastating disease.

Will the President of the Treasury Board tell Canada Post that it is totally unacceptable to spread misinformation and hate, and will he ensure that rules are in place to prevent this from happening again?

Mr. Jason Kenney (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, CPC) : Mr. Speaker, I am unaware of the incident to which the member refers, but we will take the matter under advisement.

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP) : Mr. Speaker, I would point out that this was not mail. It was advertising. Canada Post has refused to deliver advertising in the past for the Vancouver store, “The Art of Loving”. How can it justify approving advertising that is nothing more than hate against gays and lesbians?

This hate mail would never meet the standards of any newspaper, TV or radio station in Canada. Yet Canada Post, I would point out, says that it meets its standards. Why does it have such low standards and why does it not have a policy against this?

Again, I ask the parliamentary secretary to make it clear that he will instruct Canada Post to bring in rules that will ensure that this kind of hate literature is not distributed through our postal system.

Mr. Jason Kenney (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, CPC) : Mr. Speaker, obviously I cannot comment on the particulars of a case that I am not familiar with, but I will say that obviously there are hate crime laws within the Criminal Code and the government will of course always fully enforce those laws and we would encourage attorneys general to do the same.

We would condemn expressions of hatred toward any Canadians for any reasons without qualification, but as to the particular matter she refers to with respect to Canada Post, I am sure the minister will look into it and get back to her.