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Canada will soon crack down on online hate in wake of fatal attack: minister

13 Comments
By David Ljunggren

Canada will soon unveil measures to crack down on online extremism following the killing of a Muslim family, a crime that police said was inspired by hate, a government minister said on Wednesday.

Four members of the family were killed on Sunday when a pickup truck jumped the curb and ran them over in London, Ontario, 200 km (124 miles) southwest of Toronto.

"Our government is continuing to do what is necessary, obviously working with the social media platforms, to combat online hate and we'll have more to say on specific measures in the coming weeks," Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc told reporters.

There is no evidence that the suspect, Nathaniel Veltman, had any connection to hate groups.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, facing complaints from religious and ethnic communities that Ottawa has not done enough to combat bigotry and racism, promised on Tuesday to intensify efforts to fight far-right groups.

"We don't yet know all the causes or reasons, but there is probably an element of online incitation to violence," Trudeau told a conference on digital governance on Wednesday.

In January, he asked Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault to work with Public Safety Minister Bill Blair "to take action on combating hate groups and online hate." Neither minister's office was immediately available for comment.

In February, Canada named the far-right Proud Boys a terrorist entity, saying it posed an active security threat.

Stephanie Carvin, an assistant professor and security expert at Ottawa's Carleton University, said the most likely short-term option was to ban more extremist organizations.

"The problem with targeting these ideologically motivated violent extremist groups is that they just resurface," she said by phone, calling for policies to target the far-right movement as a whole.

Christian Leuprecht, a politics professor and expert on security and terrorism at the Royal Military College of Canada, noted official data showed hate crimes reported to police fell in 2019 compared to 2018.

Rather than listing groups and broadening the definition of what behavior is acceptable, Canada needs special policy tools to deal with the separate phenomena of hate, violent extremism and extremist violence, Leuprecht said.

"I am concerned that we are creating a very big hammer that conflates all of these ... and which might score political points but doesn't actually treat the problem," he said in a phone interview.

© Thomson Reuters 2021.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

13 Comments

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Double edged sword

gov clamps down on all hate speech

hate is not well defined

gov clamps on other opinions it considers hate

gov controls what’s allowable communication

= China / Russia

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Canada is a step ahead.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Canada will soon crack down on online hate

Using a crime as an excuse for more restriction of free speech. The CCP must be smiling, seeing this.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Using a crime as an excuse for more restriction of free speech. 

No, just hate speech. Not a bigot? Not a problem.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Using a crime as an excuse for more restriction of free speech.

What's the problem with getting rid of hate speech?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I think it should be easy/easier for identities of posters on social media (and sites like this) to be handed over to investigators. People are too confident of their anonymity and assume they can say/type whatever they want with out consequence.

"Fire!" in the crowded theatre. "Jump! Jump!" to the guy on the ledge.

The right to free speech is about the government not imprisoning you for you speech.

It isn't meant to protect you from the scorn of your neighbors. Or you losing your job for being an irredeemable bully. Or inciting hate. or spreading vicious lies/slander/ revenge porn, etc.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

This is going to be "interesting".

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This is going to be "interesting".

I don't think it will be. It will be good to see racist hate groups banned, definitely. But interesting? Nah.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I don't think it will be. It will be good to see racist hate groups banned, definitely. But interesting? Nah

Not what I was referring to. Think again.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Strangerland

What's the problem with getting rid of hate speech?

To point out the obvious, who defines "hate".

For example, should all your posts with hate speech against Donald Trump be censored, or are we going to have Big Brother decide what we can hate and what not?

(In fact, if all the Trump hate speech were removed on this forum, the readers section would be pretty small.=

0 ( +2 / -2 )

To point out the obvious, who defines "hate".

For example, should all your posts with hate speech against Donald Trump be censored, or are we going to have Big Brother decide what we can hate and what not?

(In fact, if all the Trump hate speech were removed on this forum, the readers section would be pretty small.=

there is no such thing as hate speech against Trump, obviously.

Wow, wild how you guys always find a way to insert Trump into a topic that has nothing to do with him. He's not even mentioned in this article, or by any other posters. Obsessed much? Time to let orange man go. He abandoned you a long time ago, after all.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

hate speech has become synonymous with "speech you hate to hear" (just cause you dont with agree or you dislike the person speaking).

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

hate speech has become synonymous with "speech you hate to hear" (just cause you dont with agree or you dislike the person speaking).

No, that's not what it means. That's just right-wing extremist rhetoric to try to stop people from restricting hate speech from right-wingers.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

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