The Poisonous HAMILTON SPECTATOR Claims Freedom for Itself but Urges City Council to Prevent Paul Fromm Speaking as a Delegation
[The Hamilton Spectator is a far left fake news smear sheet So out to lunch is it that while it practises freedom of the press with impunity — in fact, for all the smear stories they’ve done on me in the past year, they have only once ever called me for an interview –.it wishes for Hamilton City Council to deny me the right to speak for five minutes as a delegation later this month. In Ontario, local councils and school board set aside time at the beginning of their meetings for “delegations”. Normally, a person or group with a concern registers to get on the list and is assigned five minutes to air their views. Back in August, I sought to apply to be heard as a delegation in order to air my concerns as Director of the Canadian Association for Freedom of Expression in light of Council’s instructions to staff in May to explore plans to prevent “hate groups” (the Yellow Vests and Christian pastors critical of the LGBTQ crowd) from holding protests on public property. This was actually being suggested for Hamilton, not Havana.
Here the Spectator says I should be silenced. The two Ottawa incidents to which they refer involved access to the Parliamentary Press Gallery. I had twice booked the Parliamentary Press Gallery for a half hour news conference. I have done this many times. On these two occasions, I was banned entry to the Parliament Buildings where the Press Gallery studio is located. Jason Kenney, the loyal Zionist waterboy was acting on a complaint by the pro-censorship group B’nai Brith. — Paul Fromm]
Editorial: When a white nationalist comes knocking …
Hamilton city council needs to take very seriously its deliberations about whether to allow infamous white nationalist Paul Fromm to delegate at an upcoming meeting.
Hamilton city council is under no obligation to allow Paul Fromm’s views a soapbox in a public meeting, held in a space owned and paid for by taxpayers. – Rene Johnston , Toronto Star file photo
Governments at all levels and of all stripes need to be very careful that they don’t abuse their positions of trust, including their commitment to be open, responsive and accessible to citizens. That’s central to their commitment to the democratic process and civic engagement.
That is why Hamilton city council needs to take very seriously its deliberations about whether to allow infamous white nationalist Paul Fromm to delegate at an upcoming meeting. Apparently, Fromm is worried about council’s proposed hate-prevention policies. Not surprisingly, he argues they limit free speech. “I don’t think it’s up to city council to play referee on various points of view,” Fromm said in an interview with The Spec’s Andrew Dreschel. “I was shocked I was hearing this in Hamilton, not Havana.”
Fromm knows very well there are already limitations on free speech. For example, your right to say what you want becomes illegal once you use it to make hateful comments about other people or groups. This, among other things, is what Fromm and groups he’s been involved with have done over a long career of far-right activism.
Fromm was a supporter of Ernst Zundel, who denied the Holocaust. Back in 2007, then-Conservative MP Jason Kenney successfully moved a motion to deny Parliamentary admission to Fromm and an associate “to preserve the dignity and integrity of the House.” The same thing happened in 2016 when Fromm tried to call a news conference in Parliament.
These setbacks didn’t deter Fromm. He ran for mayor in Mississauga when he lived there. He later moved to Hamilton and ran for mayor here in the 2018 municipal election. He has been an executive with white supremacist organizations. He has ties to former Ku Klux Klan members David Duke, Don Black and Mark Martin. The National Post described him as “one of Canada’s most notorious white supremacists.” In 2009 he participated in a White Pride march organized by the Aryan Guard, a neo-Nazi gang in Calgary.
Fromm is also, in his own estimation, a bit of an expert on semantics. All of these past activities don’t make him a racist or white supremacist. Rather, he argues, he is a white nationalist, committed to ensuring the “founding peoples” of Canada are not washed away by “waves of mass immigration.” (He’s not referring to founding Indigenous people, by the way. Only the white European ones.)
So, does any of this mean Fromm shouldn’t be welcome as a delegate to city council? The short answer is yes.
Odious as he and his views are, they are not illegal. He is free to hold them, and even to talk about them, provided he can do so in a manner that doesn’t promote hatred against identifiable people or groups.
But city council is under no obligation to allow those views a soapbox in a public meeting, held in a space owned and paid for by taxpayers. To do so would imply a degree, even if only a small one, of legitimacy to opinions based in bigotry.
Back in 2007, Kenney said this about his motion which successfully stopped Fromm from claiming Parliament as his podium: “If they want to get a soapbox and go out in front of the Parliament buildings in this free country, they’re welcome to do so, but this House isn’t going to let them use public, taxpayer-funded resources.”
Kenney was right 12 years ago and city council would be wise to make the same determination about Fromm’s delegation.