In Canada, various leftwing and pro-terror groups have used the odious hate speech laws to bludgeon critics into silence. Even though many of the cases are overturned upon appeal, the accused is out of a lot of money to defend themselves and their reputation is forever damaged. Now these laws might be put to good use:
The Harper government is signalling its intention to use hate crime laws against Canadian advocacy groups that encourage boycotts of Israel.
Such a move could target a range of civil society organizations, from the United Church of Canada and the Canadian Quakers to campus protest groups and labour unions.
If carried out, it would be a remarkably aggressive tactic, and another measure of the Conservative government’s lockstep support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
This is just too delicious to contemplate. But as dearly as I would like to see the organizations advocating the boycott of the only democracy in the Middle East in favor of a dystopic, 8th Century terrorist state bankrupted and every single member of those groups driven into abject penury, one can’t lose sight of the fact that government suppression of free speech is a horrible idea. A government that can control your public statements has a good first step on controlling what you think and, more importantly, what you teach your children. Harper should devote some serious effort to having these hate speech laws repealed but, in the meantime, he should make sure they are equally applied.