Both the Criminal Code and the Human Rights Act should continue to be used to protect Canadians from hate messages on the Internet, the country's Human Rights Commission said in a report to Parliament Thursday.

"The Canadian Human Rights Act is remedial in nature and focuses on the removal of extreme hate messages. On the other hand, the Criminal Code is the most severe mechanism and aims at punishing criminal intent," chief commissioner Jennifer Lynch said in statement.

"Both serve useful purposes in protecting Canadians from discrimination in today's society."

The report also proposed changes to the Human Rights Act including providing a statutory definition of hatred and contempt, repealing the penalty provision, and allowing the commission to dismiss complaints where it deems messages do not constitute hatred.