MAXIME BERNIER ON CANCEL CULTURE
Ten months ago I discussed freedom of speech and cancel culture with @ezralevant on my show. It’s a good time to watch it if you haven’t already.
Independent Ontario MPP Randy Hillier at A Gathering Defying Lockdown Limits at Queen’s Park (also People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier & lawyer Rocco Galati)
(Video) Randy Hillier’s Social Gathering Intro Speech
I tested the law and the Premier’s resolve yesterday, to see whether or not he would stand behind his unconstitutional COVID laws that restrict our freedom of assembly. He proved to me and everyone who attended my “unmonitored social gathering” that his COVID laws are unenforceable and nothing more than a scare tactic. His government knows that their COVID laws are unjust, and when challenged, they cowered. Let that be a message to every free person in Ontario, that you must not fear the undemocratic decrees of this government and it’s COVID Command Table.
After our successful social gathering, the Premier went so far as to claim there was violence. Well I was there, it was energetic, it was large, and most importantly it was peaceful. Whomever claims that these supporters of freedom were violent is a liar, be that the Premier, or the mainstream media. Here is my introduction speech, more videos to come. You tell me if we were violent.
I encourage everyone to continue challenging these unlawful COVID rules. We must do all we can to test the laws and stand up for our rights. Thank you to everyone who came out.covid
Independent Ontario MPP Randy Hillier & Federal People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier challenge Premier Ford’s unconstitutional limits on public gatherings.
Independent MPP Randy Hillier & Maxime Bernier Challenge Ford’s Lockdown Tyranny
No mask? No problem — not for 2019 Prime Ministerial candidate Maxime Bernier and his friend Randy Hillier, an independent MPP from Kingston who was removed from the PC caucus last year.
The dynamic duo attracted dozens of supporters to Queen’s Park on Wednesday, where they formed a maskless crowd on a lawn outside the legislature.
Members of the group listened intently and cheered as Hillier called Ontario Premier Doug Ford a “coward” and a “yahoo.” The group had gathered explicitly to challenge the Ford government’s COVID-19 social gathering restrictions, which Hillier has called “unlawful.”<
The MPP actually stood up in parliament yesterday to announce his plan of going to Queen’s Park and purposefully challenging the law, which carries with it a fine of $10,000 for people hosting outdoor gatherings of more than 25 people and $800 for all attendees.
“Tomorrow I will host and gather with more than 25 friends, an offence under these authoritarian laws,” said Hillier on Tuesday.
True to his word, Hillier spoke alongside Bernier to what looked like far more than 25 people on Wednesday.
Ford addressed the situation during his daily pandemic press conference on Wednesday after announcing a new round of funding for mental health services targeting children and youth.
“Well, we live in a democracy — I’ve told people ‘you want to protest? come down to Queens’s Park. They’re welcome to protest,” said the premier when asked about what happened.
“What I do ask is not to be violent, and I hear there was a little bit of violence out there today, and that’s unacceptable.”
Ford went on to reiterate that he doesn’t have a problem with people protesting outside the Legislature.
“It’s about freedom of speech. If they want to go out there, do cartwheels, jump up and down, hold signs up, shout and scream, that’s fine,” he told reporters.
“But violence is where you cross the line and we won’t tolerate that for a second,” Ford continued. “You’re violent with the security folks here, our Toronto Police or OPP, it’s not gunna end well for you.”
A good overview of the lawsuit Vaccine Choice Canada has launched against the federal & Ontario governments and others. It’s a matter of individual liberty. https://youtube.com/watch?v=mcCDFkW4JyY&feature=youtu.be… Preview YouTube video The Max Bernier Show – Ep. 38 : Rocco Galati on suing the government
The Wrath of CAHN
John Klein January 22, 2020 Canada is among the world’s most tolerant and peaceable countries. The Canadian Anti-Hate Network wants you to believe otherwise, however, working tirelessly to convince Canadians their country is a seething hotbed of (mostly white, right-wing) hate groups. John Klein lays bare the hypocrisy, intolerance and damage done to individuals and free speech rights when a small group of political activists model themselves on a much larger American group and appoint themselves as our country’s figurative judge, jury and executioner.
You can’t tell the haters without a program.
For decades the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has styled itself as the indispensable guide to what constitutes hatred in the United States. Its signature “Hate Map” has long been cited in the media and by commentators as an objective and reliable reference point for measuring the worrisome growth of hate groups across America. And according to the SPLC, hate is always growing. The latest Hate Map puts the number of active hate groups in the U.S. at 1,020, up by 70 percent since 2000. Another thing that’s seemingly always growing at the SPLC: its bank account. Thanks to its self-declared status as arbiter of American hate, and in conjunction with highly sophisticated fundraising techniques, the group holds an astounding half-billion dollars in assets, making it one of America’s richest non-profit advocacy groups.
Despite such obvious trappings of success, the Alabama-based SPLC has lately found itself on the receiving end of the sort of nasty accusations it typically makes of others. Last year the organization was rocked by several internal accusations of sexual impropriety and racism against co-founder and former chief litigator Morris Dees, who was fired that March. Dees − long the public face of the organization, as well as a member of the Direct Marketing Association’s Hall of Fame for his masterful use of direct mail solicitations − was apparently fond of reminding his black female staffers how much he liked “chocolate”, among other lewd remarks, as well as inappropriate touching; it was recently revealed that decades ago he faced an accusation of molesting his stepdaughter with a sex toy.
Beyond the damaging hypocrisy of an anti-hate group being accused of sexist and racist behaviour, the SPLC has also been sued by several organizations and individuals claiming they were maliciously and erroneously targeted as “haters” and, in the case of Muslim reformer and counter-extremist Maajid Nawaz (whom it had labelled an anti-Muslim “extremist”), has had to pay out millions of dollars. This is a remarkable fact, considering the legal hurdle for defamation in the U.S. is nearly insurmountable.
The reputation of the SPLC’s much-cited Hate Map has also been seriously damaged in other ways. A recent insider’s account in the New Yorker alleges the SPLC’s hate data has been deliberately exaggerated in order to coax donations from “gullible Northern liberals”. And the far-left magazine Current Affairs devastatingly declared that the SPLC “is a scam: It finds as much ‘hate’ as possible in order to make as much money as possible.”
While the reek of hypocrisy was highly inconvenient, the allegations of “hate inflation” undermine the group’s very legitimacy. The confluence of internal crises and external criticisms has prompted nearly every top SPLC official abruptly to leave the group, Twitter to drop the SPLC as one of its hate-monitoring “safety partners” and a U.S. Senator to request the IRS investigate its non-profit status.
In short, the SPLC’s carefully crafted public image as a virtuous hate-fighter has been shredded. It hardly seems a model to emulate. Yet that’s exactly what the fledgling Canadian Anti-Hate Network (CAHN) is doing.
CAHN began operations in early 2018, billing itself as an “independent, nonprofit organization made up of Canada’s leading experts and researchers on hate groups and hate crimes.” Its mandate, according to CAHN’s website, “is to monitor, research, and counter hate groups by providing education and information on hate groups to the public, media, researchers, courts, law enforcement, and community groups.” And it makes no bones about the inspiration for its domestic anti-hate crusade. In a letter to a House of Commons committee introducing itself to Canadian parliamentarians last April, CAHN claimed to be “modelled after, and supported by, the esteemed Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in the United States.” The letter was delivered several weeks after the no-longer-esteemed Dees was fired for allegations of sexual and racial misconduct.
CAHN claimed to be “modelled after, and supported by, the esteemed Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in the United States.” The letter was delivered to Parliament several weeks after the SPLC’s no-longer-esteemed co-founder Dees was fired for allegations of sexual and racial misconduct. Tweet
CAHN is chaired by Bernie Farber, well-known in Canadian media circles for an earlier career as CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC). Other key members of the organization include executive director Evan Balgord, a former special assistant to Toronto mayor John Tory, controversial “anti-hate” lawyer Richard Warman and Ontario Institute of Technology professor Barbara Perry.
The first necessary step in following the SPLC’s path is to establish CAHN as a useful source of hate information in Canada. CAHN’s principals make themselves readily available to media outlets eager to tell terrifying stories about the proliferation of hate groups in our midst. The CBC and Global News appear to be the most ardent devotees of this service, although a wide range of publications at home and abroad avail themselves of CAHN’s self-proclaimed expertise. In a particularly successful twist on its formula, CAHN board member Amira Elghawaby recently announced on Twitter that the Toronto Star will have her write a “bimonthly” column focused on “exploring human rights”.
The group also makes savvy use of social media for publicity and fundraising, and as a weapon in its anti-hate activities. Ricochet Media, an online portal that bills itself as a crowd-funded public interest journal (but is at least partly Government-of-Canada funded and seems to publish only left-wing content), is another outlet where CAHN’s messages are quoted approvingly and amplified. This breathless article, for example, alleged “levels of extremist activity not seen in generations” and called upon governments to do more than merely monitor and research right-wing extremists.
Perry makes the stunning claim that approximately 300 hate groups are extant in Canada. If true, this would give Canada a three times higher per capita incidence of hate groups than even the SPLC claims exists in the U.S. Tweet
Having inserted itself into public discussions on hate, the next requirement in SPLC mimicry is to build a case that Canada is a seething hotbed of hatred. CAHN’s website offers a veritable avalanche of revealed hate: neo-Nazi groups are lurking in central Canadian suburbs, hate groups you’ve never heard of are organizing across Atlantic Canada, gender-identity hatred is simmering on the West Coast, anti-Semitism is surging everywhere.
The recent federal election produced an apparent bumper crop of hate in Canada, with CAHN training its steely eyes on everything from Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada to the Yellow Vest movement to an entirely insignificant collection of political no-hopers scattered across the country. As for the total amount of hate in this country, Perry makes the stunning claim that approximately 300 hate groups are extant in Canada. If true, this would give Canada a three times higher per capita incidence of hate groups than even the SPLC claims exists in the U.S. Despite the shock value of her allegations, Perry has not produced the actual list, or any verifiable evidence that such a claim is accurate. In 2015, Perry claimed there were only 100 hate groups in Canada.
Arguing hate is in such great supply in this country is quite a feat given that Canada generally tops global surveys on racial tolerance and acceptance of immigration. And despite CAHN’s breathless claims, open expressions of racism in Canada are actually quite rare. Interestingly, visible minorities and non-visible minorities often report experiencing similar rates of discriminatory acts.
The most recent Statistics Canada survey of police-reported hate crimes happily reveals a substantial year-over-year decline. Some places in Canada reported precisely zero hate crimes in 2018. Belleville, Ontario and Trois Rivières, Quebec were two such cities. Many other places recorded a mere handful. Examples are St. John’s, Newfoundland with one; Lethbridge, Alberta with three; and Abbotsford, B.C. with six. Out of 2.3 million Criminal Code violations that year, there were just 1,798 hate crimes – substantially less than one-tenth of one percent of the total. And the vast majority of these offences were for mischief or graffiti. Actual violence is very, very hard to find. Fewer than 100 instances of hate-motivated assaults were recorded across the entire country in 2018, of which just two were homicides.
In truth, Canada appears to be a country remarkable for its lack of hate. But you wouldn’t know this from listening to CAHN. In response to the recent happy news that hate crimes fell sharply in 2018, CAHN complained that these new figures “aren’t showing the whole picture.” It then launched a campaign for “better hate crime statistics.” What CAHN really wants, presumably, is bigger hate crime statistics. As American journalist Wilfred Reilly memorably said of the Jussie Smollett hate-crime hoax in Chicago, “the demand for bigots exceeds the supply.” Reilly is African-American.
Judge, jury and executioner
In addition to claiming hate is always on the rise, CAHN closely follows several other discreditable SPLC tactics. Among these is the practice of “doxing” its enemies. Doxing involves publishing the details and contact information of organizations, businesses and even private individuals deemed to be purveyors of hate. The objective is to expose those it declares to be haters to public opprobrium, or worse. It can get out of hand.
CAHN has doxed the founder of a far-right podcast who owns a small business in Thunder Bay. It also threatened to publish the names and addresses of members of the Canadian Nationalist Party in an unsuccessful attempt to derail their application for official party status with Elections Canada. And it published the names of hundreds of donors to the quixotic Toronto mayoral campaign of Faith Goldy. “Naming and shaming is part of our mandate,” the group explains on its Twitter account.
In many cases, the only evidence of hate to be found amongst CAHN’s targets is that they question Ottawa’s sacred twin ideologies of diversity and multiculturalism. But simply calling for illegal immigrants – who have, after all, broken Canada’s laws – to be deported is not itself evidence of hate. Tweet
In one horrifying example of naming-and-shaming’s potential consequences in the United States, Jessica Prol Smith, an editor at the Washington-based Family Research Council, a pro-marriage group opposed to homosexuality, found her life threatened by a gunman. In 2012, Floyd Lee Corkins II shot and wounded a security guard at Smith’s building before being subdued; he later admitted his actions were largely motivated by the SPLC’s designation of Smith’s employer as a hate group. Corkins was charged with domestic terrorism and is serving a 25-year prison sentence. Smith recounted these events last summer in the memorably headlined USA Today article “The Southern Poverty Law Center is a hate-based scam that nearly caused me to be murdered.”
The SPLC and CAHN thus grandly claim for themselves the overlapping roles of investigator, adjudicator and punisher of actions, opinions and ideas they determine to be wrong. Of course, all of these properly belong to government, and all are wisely separated in democratic states. No single organization should ever have such sweeping powers combined, let alone a private group of activists. CAHN’s arrogance in assuming all three brings to mind the ancient Roman poet Juvenal’s famous aphorism: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who will guard the guards themselves?
Other CAHN tactics borrowed from the SPLC include filing highly-dubious requests to police for criminal hate speech investigations and restraining orders against utterly inconsequential people, such as long-time polemicists Kevin Goudreau and Paul Fromm. Elsewhere, CAHN has successfully pushed Facebook to de-platform its opponents, such as the Soldiers of Odin, a tiny group of nativist bikers who have done charitable work and who dispute the news media’s characterization of them as racist. And it is currently pushing the same for Canada’s chaotic Yellow Vest movement, which embraces a dizzying array of social and economic concerns (and whose sister group in France is led by a native of Martinique). It also convinced Toronto City Council to audit Goldy’s mayoral campaign finances.
A field guide to spotting hate in Canada: bring your microscope
Often, those targeted by CAHN or the SPLC are not only insignificant and/or obscure, but too weak or disorganized to fight back. One SPLC staffer noted Dees’s favoured approach was to pick opponents who had a “poor education…limited funds, few if any good lawyers…[it] was like shooting fish in a barrel.” During Farber’s time as head of the CJC, former Maclean’s columnist Mark Steyn described him as someone who’d spent most of his career fighting “irrelevant penniless shaven-headed nobodies” as opposed to actual threats to minority rights and society as a whole.
As with the SPLC’s targets, sometimes CAHN’s also push back, however. Canadian Nationalist Party leader Travis Patron some time ago sent a cease-and-desist letter to CAHN’s Balgord, demanding he retract “false” claims that his Canadian Nationalist Party is “Neo-Nazi” and that it is “under investigation for alleged ‘hate speech.’” If Patron’s bank account permits, it will be up to the courts to decide the validity of his case against CAHN.
Regardless of the legal outcome, Canadian voters don’t appear to be buying what Patron is selling. He received just 166 votes – or 0.4 percent of total ballots – in the Saskatchewan riding of Souris-Moose Mountain in the recent federal election. Patron has demonstrated such little traction with the voting public that it seems pointless to bother getting worked up about anything he says. CAHN’s efforts have likely provided him with far more publicity than his trivial Canadian Nationalist Party could ever have hoped to earn on its own.
In many cases, the only evidence of hate to be found amongst CAHN’s targets is that they question Ottawa’s sacred twin ideologies of diversity and multiculturalism. But simply calling for illegal immigrants – who have, after all, broken Canada’s laws – to be deported, as Patron has, is not itself evidence of hate. Neither is engaging in a debate over Canada’s annual immigration intake. CAHN’s animosity towards Bernier’s PPC (whose supporters are “terrible people”, according to executive director Balgord) and his pledge to limit immigration to 150,000 people per year is rather hard to fathom.
Any party committed to admitting 150,000 immigrants per year – about the same as Australia’s annual intake and significantly more than Canada itself welcomed for many years under former prime ministers Pierre Trudeau and Brian Mulroney − cannot logically be considered anti-immigrant, regardless of who chooses to join the party as a result of such a commitment. Most of the world’s countries, in fact, accept almost no immigration at all. Regarding Bernier’s criticism of “extreme multiculturalism”, in his later years Pierre Trudeau also came to lament how official multiculturalism had metastasized into identity politics. Plus, Bernier’s party was recognized by the federal Leaders’ Debates Commission as a serious and legitimate entity deserving a place in the national televised events.
It is certainly not necessary for a reasonable person to agree with the positions taken by Patron, Goldy, the Soldiers of Odin et al − and in many cases their claims are embarrassingly naïve, delusional, aggressive or simply plain wrong − to recognize that democracy works best when a full-range of views can be aired and dismantled as necessary. Censorship is not the answer to bad ideas. Better ideas are.
Instead of engaging or debating, the preferred tactic of the aggressive anti-hate movement is to attack. The CAHN website boasts that, “We convinced an Art gallery to Cancel a People’s Party of Canada Event in Winnipeg.” How? Via smear tactics and other ugly de-platforming techniques. But with a large segment of the Canadian population deeply concerned about current immigration policy, wildly throwing around claims of “hate” and neo-Nazism at opponents who merely seek to debate immigration orthodoxies can only coarsen public discourse.
Naming-and-shaming for thee, but not for me
CAHN makes no evident attempt to acknowledge the massive grey area between hotly debated viewpoints and outright hate. Rather, it actively picks sides and ignores the consequences. The group flatly bills itself as a “monitor” of “right-wing extremist groups” (and then just white supremacist groups, apparently). Warman has explained his purpose is to create “maximum disruption” for alt-right organizations. As such, CAHN habitually ignores equally egregious activity by the far-left. In line with the SPLC, CAHN also generally avoids attacking the speech or association rights of Muslim or Sikh extremists, current allies of white liberals.
CAHN’s Perry as well complains about law enforcement agencies’ tendency to distinguish between hate groups and terrorist groups. To most people, such a distinction might seem clear and reasonable. In the one category are groups holding strong views that many people might find distasteful or even awful, but that don’t incite or engage in violence; in the other are groups planning and/or carrying out attacks. Perry’s preference, however, is to blur the difference between the two – thus conflating the holding of views she considers objectionable with illegal activity aimed at destroying Western society.
When presented with evidence of apparent hate-related activity that appears to meet or exceed the flimsy standards applied against foes such as Patron, but emanating from the other end of the political or religious spectrum, CAHN seems unable to rouse itself off the couch, let alone commit to a full-on anti-hate or doxing campaign. Consider the group’s surprisingly flaccid response to Islamist activist Jawed Anwar’s plans for an Islamic Party of Ontario.
While admitting Anwar espouses the sort of hardline religious views about gender and homosexuality that CAHN despises when promoted by white Christian polemicists like Patron or former Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Tanya Granic Allen, it brushes off Anwar as an inconsequential distraction. “There are no indications that [Islamic Party of Ontario] has any support,” reads CAHN’s Facebook page. “To make it out to be a significant threat at present time is fearmongering.” To a principled defender of free speech rights, this statement could seem reasonable on its face. Coming from CAHN, it is remarkable for its hypocrisy. If causing a ruckus about idiosyncratic groups with an insignificant public presence is “fearmongering”, then CAHN is a banner candidate to be Canada’s fearmonger-in-chief.
CAHN seems equally unconcerned about Canadian branch plant operations of the violent Antifa movement or the overt anti-white prejudice of Black Lives Matter (BLM). Both organizations are examples of alt-left extremism, no different in principle from the alt-right groups CAHN seeks to put out of business, and often far worse in practise. Antifa members are frequently found assaulting their opponents in messy counter-demonstrations, while BLM prefers civil disobedience that often seems to go just slightly too far, at times resulting in serious physical injuries, including to police officers.
In this area, CAHN’s approach is unlike the SPLC’s, which regularly denounces the violence of these groups (although still keeping them off its extremist list). The CAHN website actively encourages citizens to partner with Antifa in staging counter-demonstrations (which the SPLC specifically advises against). Balgord has also defended its tactics in print despite the movement being accused of domestic terrorism by the Obama Administration. And with no hint of irony, Balgord explicitly defends Antifa thugs’ preference for facemasks as a necessary precaution since it “protects themselves from doxing” − the very tactic favoured by CAHN against its opponents.
Given such tendentiousness, Farber and his cohorts’ attempt to position CAHN as a reliable and objective arbiter of what constitutes hate strains credulity. When combined with CAHN’s behaviour to date, it is difficult to envision anyone who stumbles into the organization’s crosshairs receiving an impartial evaluation.
Section 13 redux
Beyond simply making life difficult for its carefully-curated enemies, CAHN’s broader ambition appears to be establishing itself in the space vacated by the departed but unlamented Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. This notoriously stringent law once barred online speech that “may expose” identifiable groups not just to hatred, but mere contempt. It allowed no defences with regards to truth, intent or fair comment on matters of public interest. And not only direct targets but any non-targeted third party could file a complaint, while the federal human rights commission only rarely tried to mediate the complaints. This proved to be a big problem for poor defendants, considering free legal representation was not available.
Section 13 was thrust into the public eye in 2002 with the arrival of Warman’s novel strategy to proactively use the legislation to shut down voices he disapproved of. While the law was intended for the protection of minority groups, Warman – a white male − was responsible for an impressive 16 complaints, the most of any individual.
Balgord has defended Antifa’s tactics in print despite the movement being accused of domestic terrorism by the Obama Administration. And with no hint of irony, he explicitly defends Antifa thugs’ preference for facemasks since it “protects themselves from doxing” – a tactic favoured by CAHN against its opponents. Tweet
In some instances, Warman obtained his evidence by provoking extremist statements from obscure online message boards. Sometimes he even posed as a neo-Nazi poster himself, which one tribunal adjudicator later said “diminish[ed] his credibility” and “could have precipitated further hate messages.” Partly because his targets were mostly poor and couldn’t afford legal help, Warman was successful in every case but one. He was awarded tens of thousands of dollars in monetary compensation for the damages he purportedly suffered. As one Huffington Post contributor wryly described Warman: “He’s sacked more peewee quarterbacks than any other NFL linebacker.”
When it became apparent that Section 13 was being used as a bludgeon against free speech in Canada – most notably when three human rights tribunal complaints were launched against Maclean’s columnist Steyn – public opinion finally shifted against it. A 2008 report by University of Windsor law professor Richard Moon identified it as a clear threat to legitimate political discourse and recommended it be removed.
A year later Warman’s final and only failed Section 13 complaint, against Internet provocateur Marc Lemire, was famously dismissed when a human rights tribunal declined to enforce its provisions because it found they were inconsistent with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms’ guarantees of freedom of expression. The section was finally repealed in 2013 by the Conservative government of Stephen Harper.
As an attorney early in his career, SPLC co-founder Dees once represented the Ku Klux Klan and had his bill paid by the White Citizens’ Council in a case involving the beating of a Montgomery, Alabama Freedom Rider (a group of civil rights activists who fought segregation). In 1958 Dees had campaigned for arch-segregationist George Wallace in the Georgia gubernatorial campaign. According to his former law partner, Millard Fuller, Dees’ “overriding purpose…[was] making a pile of money.” He transformed himself into an anti-racism crusader – with the Klan becoming one of his favourite targets – after discovering it offered an alternative route to riches via the miracle of direct mail solicitation.
CAHN has yet to prove itself as adept at fundraising as the SPLC, which in 2018 generated US$103 million in donations alone. We do know, however, that CAHN boasts of receiving direct funding and support from its big brother south of the border. And in 2018 Toronto-area businessman Mohamad Fakih made a media splash with a donation of $25,000 to CAHN following a successful defamation lawsuit against his online critics.
But now CAHN is facing its own troubling allegations of profiteering from hate. In February 2019 Elisa Hategan, an anti-racism activist and former member of an early-90s skinhead group called the Heritage Front, teamed up with professor and human rights lawyer Yavar Hameed to file a $200,000 civil claim against CAHN. Farber is also named. The lawsuit alleges CAHN Advisory Committee member Elizabeth Moore (also a former Heritage Front member) “fraudulently appropriated several significant elements of Ms. Hategan’s personal life story in order to boost her own credentials as a former neo-Nazi and did this to monetize a fraudulent narrative.” These stolen elements include Hategan’s experience as a former spokesperson for the Heritage Front and later as a defector who helped prosecutors bring the group down.
Moore had simply been an unmemorable Heritage Front fellow traveller, says Hategan. But instead, Hategan claims Moore took credit for a film made about Hategan’s experiences: 1998’s White Lies. Her suit alleges that appropriating her “narrative would be an important method of securing greater publicity, speaking engagements and financial opportunities for Moore, as well as publicity, consulting and speaking engagements for Farber.” On top of this, Hategan alleges that Farber and Moore have disparaged her publicly in order to cut her out from employment and advocacy opportunities, maximizing their own in the process. If true, this wouldn’t exactly be behaviour consistent with an organization “committed to increasing public awareness about the scourge of ‘hate’ across Canada.” The civil trial is set to begin in March.
Theatrical vs. substantive advocacy
While assuming the mantle of hate-fighter sounds like a heroic exercise in defending minority rights and rescuing the oppressed, the crusade embarked upon by the SPLC – with which CAHN, as we’ve seen, openly associates itself – is criticized even by members of the intellectual left as a fraudulent exercise. The far-left Nation magazine has called “anti-hate” advocacy a form of “theatrical” rather than “substantive advocacy.” If advocates were truly concerned about minority uplift, its columnist wrote, they should be fighting more tangible problems like employment and housing discrimination – practising actual poverty law, in other words − instead of simply “fingering militiamen in a potato field in Idaho.”
That the SPLC lost the plot by preferring activities that boosted its fundraising effectiveness over fighting for tangible improvements in its alleged clientele’s lives is not a new idea. As long ago as 1988, a former SPLC staffer admitted to The Progressive that there were “certainly bigger problems facing blacks and the poor” than continuing to tackle a now-toothless Ku Klux Klan. The Klan, said another former staffer, “was such an easy target − easy to beat in court, easy to raise big money on”, and so it dominated the SPLC’s attention. Last year, Current Affairs also argued that the SPLC’s habit of elevating minority rights by targeting inconsequential right-wing groups continues a “politics of spectacle.”
Even some liberal voices in Canada have expressed concerns about “anti-hate” advocacy and hate speech generally. Former Liberal Party MP Keith Martin, a doctor of mixed-race background, fought hard against hate speech restrictions during his nearly 20 years in Parliament, saying they represented what Canada fought against in the Second World War. Martin noted that while Canadians have a right to be free from slander, they “do not have the right to not be offended.” Laws like Section 13 created a “slippery slope” in that they could be easily politicized and used to simply shut down debate.
Notable Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt is against such laws for the same reason. The criticism seems particularly apt when applied to organized and powerful groups like the SPLC and CAHN. Refusing to debate or engage with groups or people they don’t like, and choosing instead to malign them in the most alarmist terms possible, is to engage in the politics of spectacle. The same goes for the active use or tacit approval of such ignominious tactics as de-platforming, doxing, Antifa mobbing and piling on spurious legal complaints.
Because hate speech charges are so nebulous and problematic, free speech advocate and author Stefan Braun refers to them as a “packaged idea.” When unpacked, Braun writes, hate speech allegations are often revealed to be based on “many different reasons besides the public good, including fear, political expedience, moral comfort, public approval, or even the ‘bottom line.’” And because it is so far from a clear concept, the Supreme Court has ruled that “hate speech” requires intense and highly fact-dependent inquiry. For this reason, hate-incitement is unique in the Criminal Code in requiring a province’s attorney-general to personally sign off on any charges.
Policing hate, in other words, is properly regarded as the most complex and delicate aspect of the entire criminal justice system, balancing as it does the Charter’s guarantees of “freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression” with the Criminal Code’s protection from incitement of “hatred against any identifiable group.” Given its intricate nature, why would anyone willingly hand over responsibility for policing hate to a private group of activists that shows so little interest in the legal, democratic and social ramifications of the task and openly styles itself after a badly-tarnished American outfit? And why would so many media outlets give such an outfit the credibility it craves by treating it as a reliable and unbiased source of information?
A better and more civil way
Anyone looking to reconcile concerns over hate speech in Canadian discourse with the demands of free expression is advised to reread Moon’s 2008 report on Section 13. Therein, he suggested dealing with problematic public opinions and statements through engagement rather than prohibition and punishment. “We must develop ways other than censorship to respond to expression that stereotypes and defames the members of an identifiable group,” Moon wrote.
At the very least, before attacking someone in public, branding them “neo-Nazis” or doxing them to reveal their intimate personal details in hopes someone else will make their life miserable, CAHN should first define what it means by the labels it employs. And these labels – hate-mongering, for example – should be applied equally to everyone who expresses such animus, regardless of race, religion or politics.
Policing hate is properly regarded as the most complex and delicate aspect of the entire criminal justice system. So why would anyone willingly hand such responsibility to a private group of activists that shows so little interest in the legal, democratic and social ramifications of the task and openly styles itself after a badly-tarnished American outfit? Tweet
When a group is identified that meets these equally applied criteria, it should first be asked to clarify or disavow its impugned statements. If a disavowal is forthcoming, this could be put on record to, first, credit the target for its goodwill and, if needed, embarrass the target should it later recant. If not, those opinions could be met by way of a debate (in public, online, etc.) and refuted with more and better-quality speech. As 18th-Century French essayist Joseph Joubert put it, “It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it.” In addition to lubricating mutual communication and clearing up potential misunderstandings, both sides might even learn something from one another.
Were “anti-hate” groups such as CAHN to take such an approach, the public might be better assured the group was properly concerned with the best interests of civil society and free speech. Improved transparency with respect to donors, salaries, and its watch-list of hate groups wouldn’t hurt, either.
John Klein is a business owner in the United States and an advocate for freedom of thought, belief and opinion.
People’s Party of Canada Calls for Banning of Antifa,
Do you remember the PPC event on free speech with Dave Rubin in Hamilton last year?
There were clashes with a group of “Antifa” demonstrators who wanted to prevent us from entering the building.
Some of them tried to stop an 81-year-old lady who was crossing the street with a walker.
They were yelling “Nazi scum” at her.
It was absolutely disgusting.
These people are violent and uncivilized.
They throw bricks at windows. They set cars and buildings on fire. They loot stores. They physically attack peaceful citizens.
They are terrorists. Their goal is to destabilize society in order to impose a communist regime.
For many years, they’ve been hijacking legitimate protests.
They did it again this past week in the US and in Montreal.
The American government has announced that it will designate Antifa as a terrorist organization and treat them accordingly.
It’s time we do the same in Canada.
Frederick, please sign our petition if you agree that the violent Antifa movement must be banned.
And help the People’s Party spread that message with a $2 donation or any amount you can afford.
PS: I thank you if you recently donated. You can still help us by following the PPC on social media (see links below) and by sharing our content with your friends. Or by inviting them to subscribe to our free newsletter.
Recordings reveal details of campaign to attack Maxime Bernier, PPC as racists before election
Strategist Warren Kinsella told his Daisy Group employees ‘Hamish and Walsh’ would be asking about results
Audio recordings shared with CBC News reveal political strategist Warren Kinsella told employees working on a campaign against the People’s Party of Canada that leader Maxime Bernier was a “racist” and a “white supremacist” who would be “easy” to expose in the lead-up to the federal election campaign.
Dubbed “Project Cactus,” the campaign against Bernier and the PPC was run by Kinsella’s political consulting firm, Daisy Group. Kinsella made the comments during a staff meeting about the campaign in May.
“I want the hatred you have for Maxime Bernier to wash over you as a purifying force,” Kinsella tells his staff in one recording, made during a meeting on May 16. “There’s nobody in the country doing what we’re doing to Max Bernier.”
The recordings were provided to CBC News by a source who was present for the meetings and asked not to be named, due to concerns about retaliation.
In that same May 16 recording, Kinsella is heard telling staff that “Hamish and Walsh” will start to ask what Daisy Group is delivering on Project Cactus if they don’t start “spilling some blood.” Kinsella again refers to both “Hamish and Walsh” in a separate meeting discussing Project Cactus on May 30.’A purifying force’0:49″I want the hatred you have for Maxime Bernier to wash over you as a purifying force,” Warren Kinsella tells his staff in this recording. 0:49
In response to questions from CBC News, Kinsella would not say who he was talking about in those recordings. A source previously said the campaign was conducted on behalf of the Conservative Party of Canada.
Hamish Marshall was the Conservatives’ 2019 federal election campaign manager, while John Walsh is the former president of the Conservative Party and was a co-chair of the election campaign.
Marshall denied having had any oversight role in Daisy Group’s campaign.
“I have never monitored (or overseen or any other synonym) any project or anything with Daisy or any Kinsella person or entity,” said Marshall in an email to CBC News when asked about the recordings.
John Walsh declined to comment on Daisy’s work.
“I was happy to serve as the volunteer chair of the 2019 Conservative party nation(al) campaign. My duties in that capacity ended on election night when I, sadly, did not deliver a victory for my leader, Andrew Scheer,” said Walsh in an email to CBC News.
He added, in response to questions about Daisy’s campaign: “I’m not sure what is being referred to in your email and will have no comment.”‘Hamish and Walsh’0:25In a recording, Warren Kinsella is heard telling staff ‘Hamish and Walsh’ will start to ask what Daisy Group is delivering if they don’t start “spilling some blood.” 0:25
A spokesman for the Conservative Party said the party doesn’t comment on election strategy, but follows all rules and election laws.
In October, the Globe and Mail first reported — and CBC News subsequently confirmed — that Daisy Group was behind the social media campaign to highlight xenophobic statements made on social media by PPC candidates and their supporters. Since then, Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer has refused to state whether his party had enlisted Daisy’s services for the campaign.
When contacted by CBC News on Monday and told about the recordings, Kinsella issued a statement, which he also published on his personal website.
“We do not discuss client matters publicly. It is up to the client to make public the relationship,” Kinsella wrote.
“The extremism found in the People’s Party of Canada is far worse, and far more pervasive, than anything I experienced before,” he wrote. “We were, and are, very proud to shine a light on the many extremists found in the People’s Party of Canada.”
‘Walsh is watching’
In the same recording of the May 16 meeting, Kinsella’s wife (from whom Kinsella says he is now separated) and former partner at Daisy, Lisa Kirbie Kinsella, tells the room that “Walsh” texts her when he approves of their work.
“Walsh is watching on Cactus,” she says. “He texts to me and will be like, ‘That was awesome.’ Like on the Rempel stuff? So he’s watching.”
Maxime Bernier publicly criticized Michelle Rempel in multiple tweets in May, accusing her of being “aligned with Far Left transgender activism” and criticizing the fact that she had blocked users on Twitter.
I wonder what @MichelleRempel thinks of the story about the BC father who could be arrested for family violence if he refers to his daughter as a girl.
Does she support free speech and parental rights?
She seems to be pretty aligned with Far Left transgender activism.
Kirbie Kinsella responded several times on Twitter to Bernier’s criticism of Rempel, accusing him at one point of “hostility toward women.”
“I do not discuss business matters with the media. This includes commenting on staff or clients, or confirmation or denial of rumours,” wrote Kirbie Kinsella in an email to CBC News. “Further, I am no longer a member of Daisy’s management and cannot speak on Daisy’s behalf.”
During the recording of that May 16 meeting, Kinsella can be heard telling staff to cast Bernier as a racist and refers to his past experience working on federal election campaigns.
“We actually have a white supremacist trying to become prime minister of Canada,” Kinsella says. “I’ve run campaigns depicting Preston Manning, Stockwell Day, Kim Campbell, depicting them as racists.
“None of them were. But I was successful at depicting them as racists. This guy actually is a racist. Okay? So it’s low-hanging fruit.”
In his statement to CBC News, Kinsella clarified this comment.
“I have proudly been exposing and opposing racism for more than 30 years,” Kinsella wrote. “As a political assistant, in 1990, I documented known white supremacists joining Preston Manning’s Reform Party. In 1993, I documented Kim Campbell’s inadequate response to the presence of actual neo-Nazis in the Canadian Airborne Regiment.”
“In 2000, as a political advisor, I documented the presence of known racists in Stockwell Day’s Canadian Alliance,” Kinsella continues. “After lots of research, I concluded none of those leaders were in any way racist. However, their parties had a problem in those days, which was well-known.”
A spokesperson for the People’s Party of Canada told CBC News that “Kinsella wrote similar things on his website and Twitter” and that Bernier “believes these statements are clearly defamatory and is keeping all his legal options open.”
Kinsella: Scheer just ‘needs to maintain a pulse’
In the same recording of that meeting, Kinsella says he expects Scheer’s popularity to grow during the campaign and the Liberals to keep sinking, based on ballot tracking data released that week — which had the Liberals under Justin Trudeau slipping under 30 per cent of the vote in a projection.
“They (the Liberals) are heading towards winter. He’s going to start saying all kinds of stuff to save his ass,” Kinsella says of Trudeau, adding that Scheer “just needs to maintain a pulse” to win the election.
Kinsella was a frequent critic of Trudeau during the election and shared or retweeted critical stories about him online.
Elsewhere in the recording, Kinsella exhorts his staff to be vigilant in their efforts.
“All of you are capable of doing it but I need somebody who doesn’t sleep, basically. I had one kid who did it. His name’s Ahmed Hussen. He’s now the minister of immigration,” says Kinsella. Hussen was named minister of families, children and social development following the election.
“I would walk in and he’d have been up listening to 1010 at 4:30 in the morning and say to me, ‘Here’s what they said’ and I’m like, ‘F–k, let’s go,’ right?'”
Workers discussed continuing into pre-writ period
Tweets attacking Bernier specifically on a Twitter account called STAMPtogether run by Daisy stopped on June 29, one day before the pre-writ period and spending limits came into force. Under new election rules, any group that spent at least $500 on election advertising during the pre-writ period was required to register with Elections Canada as a third party advertiser.
In the recording from May 30, Daisy staffers discuss registering as a third party with Kinsella. They talk about buying Facebook ads for another client and then discuss whether they might have to register if they “do a spend” for Cactus.
“I don’t think Hamish wants us to, I think,” says Kinsella, adding, “Walsh is in Saudi Arabia.”
“It might not be a bad idea to do some paid tweets for STAMP before June 30 just to get our followers up, so then when we get to June 30 we have more followers,” says a staffer in response.
In his most recent statement, and in previous statements about the campaign, Kinsella has said that the work ended on June 29 and that the details were always going to be disclosed. He added that “we have proactively reached out to Elections Canada and disclosed everything we did up until June 29, 2019, when our work ended – as the law requires.”
A separate body, the Commissioner of Canada Elections, investigates any complaints related to elections.
“The Commissioner of Canada Elections does not comment on whether or not the office is carrying out an investigation into a particular matter. This is in keeping with the confidentiality provisions of the Canada Elections Act,” wrote spokesperson Michelle Laliberté in an email to CBC News.