CLEAR Kelowna and Penticton Rallies – Maxime Bernier tours the Okanagan!
Hi everyone. In addition to the weekly Saturday Kelowna and Sunday Penticton Rallies set out below, I’d like to remind everyone that the “Let’s Get Growin’” rally in Salmon Arm this coming Saturday, April 10, 2021 as well, from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Kyle has put tremendous work into this unique event and the trip and speakers will be worth the investment.
As an additional surprise, CLEAR is letting everyone know of the surprise visit to Penticton this coming Thursday, April 8, 2021, by PPC Party Leader Maxime Bernier! The event will be from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. and Maxime will be personally speaking to the crowd and taking questions from those in attendance.
Maxime Bernier will also be appearing in Vernon, on Friday, April 9, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. at Polson Park, as well as from 2:30 – 3:30 in Salmon Arm, and 5:00 in Kamloops, with locations for these last two locations to be announced.
Maxime will be discussing a logical approach to the COVID-19 situation, as well as provincial autonomy and radical decentralization issues and their importance.
Sean Taylor will be present to help welcome Maxime Bernier into the BC Okanagan, and I will be speaking very briefly to promote CLEAR and the importance of our Penticton and Kelowna rallies. If you can make it out, we urge everyone to help support the only Federal MP who is actively opposing the COVID-19 lockdown and Federal Government deceptions that no one else dares touch.
This will be a rare opportunity to see and meet Maxime Bernier and we urge everyone to come out and take advantage of this rare opportunity.
Thursday, April 8, 2021 Gyro Park, Bandshell Penticton, B.C. 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Friday, April 9, 2021 Polson, Park, Bandshell Vernon, B.C. 1:00 p.m.
CLEAR and Salmon Arm Rallies Saturday April 10, 2021 Kelowna Stuart Park 12:00 Noon Saturday, April 10, 2021 Salmon Arm Let’s Get Growin’, with special guests 11:00 — 3:00 p.m. Blackburn Park, Salmon Arm Sunday, April 11, 2021 Penticton Warren St. across from Cherry Lane Mall 12:00 Noon
In freedom I remain
CLEAR The Common Law Education and Rights Initiative
I’m happy to announce that I have joined other representatives from all three levels of government to form the End the Lockdowns Caucus. This national caucus is a non-partisan effort to bring forward and represent the views of Canadians who know that lockdowns cause more harm than the virus.
Together, we will be giving a voice to the millions of people on the other side of the COVID debate in an organized fashion. There will be more to share in the near future as we begin this new journey, and we invite you to build a powerful voice and opposition.
If you are in elected office, join our caucus and have a voice; if not, contact your local representatives at all levels of government and of all political stripes to encourage them to speak for you by joining together. You can also sign our petition to support and endorse this great initiative here. Be sure to share this with your friends and family and encourage them to sign and share it as well.
I’d like to welcome our four newest members Paul Hinman, Mayor of West Lincoln Dave Bylsma, and Alberta councillors Glen Carritt and Jason Alderson. Already in a day we have doubled our caucus.
Within days of our announcement, the Ford government has now said that they will be easing restrictions in the coming days. They know we are organizing and they’re afraid. They don’t want to defend this in the courts, they don’t want to defend this in the legislature because they know they will lose.
Together we will speak loudly, clearly and end the lockdowns.
Several former and current politicians have banded together to form a non-partisan organization calling for an end to lockdowns, which they claim violate Canadians’ fundamental Charter rights.
The End the Lockdown Caucus was first announced on Thursday in association with the Liberty Coalition Canada.
So far, the group includes Ontario MPP Randy Hillier, former Conservative MP Derek Sloan, former MP and People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier, Perth East Councillor Darryl Herlick and Centre Wellington Councillor Steve VanLeeuwen.
“After careful examination and scrutiny of mitigation measures undertaken by all levels of government, it is now evident that the lockdowns cause more harm than the virus and must be brought to an end,” claimed a statement signed by the group.
“We devote our energy and efforts to the just and compassionate objective of reopening our businesses, schools, places of worship, recreational facilities, along with the full resumption and expansion of efficient medical services. We desire to restore dignity and respect for all Canadians by safeguarding our representative democracy and its institutions, defending our Constitution, personal freedoms and responsibilities, whilst implementing focused protection for the most vulnerable.”
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. https://youtu.be/-SiyIe0wfJI
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
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 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.
“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.
Preview YouTube video The Max Bernier Show – Ep. 38 : Rocco Galati on suing the government
Canadian Anti-Hate Network (CAHN) Exposed: The Wrath of CAHN by John Klein
The Wrath of CAHN
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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 timeshigher
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
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
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.
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.”
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.”
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.”
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
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
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.
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
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.
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?
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
“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
John Klein is a business owner in the United States and an advocate for freedom of thought, belief and opinion.
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