Our hate speech laws have the justifiable goal of protecting Canadians from those who systematically defame and demonize entire communities. The fact that these provisions are used so rarely demonstrates they are reserved for the very worst propagandists, such as those behind Your Ward News. Rightly so, given the vital need to protect freedom of speech, including the freedom to air views that are inappropriate, insensitive or objectionable – as opposed to hate propaganda.
We are living in a time in which some, especially online, are attempting to normalize the bigotry that for years has existed exclusively on the margins of society. This includes antisemitism, a powerful predictor of radicalization and violence. The court’s decision sends a clear message that those who peddle anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, misogyny, homophobia, and racism will be held accountable. This should be applauded by all Canadians.
Shimon Koffler Fogel, CEO, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA)