Tackling Hate, Protect Dissent

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Tackling Hate, Protect Dissent

Independent Jewish Voices

Dear Ministers Lametti and Guilbeault,

As organizations committed to the defence of human rights, civil liberties, and the eradication of discrimination, we know first-hand that online hate presents a growing threat to people in Canada. We have seen web-based platforms and social media applications become breeding grounds and organizing spaces for the most vile oppressive groups, consistently falling short of blocking blatantly racist, antisemitic, or otherwise hateful content.

We appreciate that the government of Canada is taking the problem seriously and tabling new legislation to address online hate. This is an important step that will help bring existing hate speech legislation into the 21st... century. However, a clear line must be drawn between bona fide hate speech and legitimate forms of dissent and protest. We are particularly concerned with where that line may fall between clear instances of antisemitism, on one hand, and criticism of the state of Israel, on the other.

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