, 11.25.2023 03:00 PM

My latest: ten things our leaders can do about hate

Hate is everywhere, these days. How to stop it?

Jew hatred is statistically the worst, of course, with anti-Semitic crimes and incidents happening everywhere on a near-daily basis. But the Islamophobia is bad, as well. For every four anti-Semitic incidents, there is roughly one Islamophobic one.

It’s a bad situation that is getting worse. The country doesn’t resemble the one that existed before October 7. So what can governments do?

There’s plenty. I’ve been researching and reporting on hate for nearly four decades. Here’s my top ten suggestions.

1. Create bias crimes units – federally and provincially. Most people are surprised to hear that Canada’s police agencies are a patchwork when it comes to hate. Some areas don’t even have police officers trained to deal with the problem. So, the feds and the provinces need to fill in the gaps – with community-based policing where that works, and an umbrella organization of trained federal RCMP cops for the rest.

2. Fund the bias crimes units that already exist. In those few places where hate-fighting cops work, resources are minimal to nonexistent.  If the Trudeau Liberals and the Premiers are as serious about fighting hate they claim to be, they need to ensure the dollars are there for recruitment, training and deployment.

3. Create dedicated prosecutors and courts for hate prosecutions. Other jurisdictions have done this, and it works. It develops and centers expertise in the justice system, and it speeds up prosecutions of hate crime. We already do it for drug crimes. We clearly need to do it for hate crime, too.

4. Create a law prohibiting willfully promoting terror groups. There are laws against promoting hatred against identifiable groups, promoting anti-Semitism, promoting genocide. Incredibly, Canada does not have a law against promoting listed terrorist organizations like Hamas or Hezbollah. That needs to change, now.

5. Remove the Attorney-General’s approval for hate prosecutions. Police and prosecutors don’t need to get anyone’s permission to charge someone for murder or robbery. But they do for promoting hatred and related crimes. That has resulted in a completely-ridiculous situation where many hate crimes are being treated as simple cases of mischief. That needs to be fixed by the Feds. They have the power to do it.

6. Remove those who promote hate. Canada deports for serious crime, and has done so for decades. Meanwhile, it has become obvious that some who are here on study visas are abusing them – which is also grounds for revocation and deportation. The laws are there. They need to be applied with more rigor.

7. Make mandatory funding and teaching of genocide at the national level.  Ontario and British Columbia have recently announced their intention to expand, and make mandatory, teaching about the Holocaust and related genocides. Other provinces need to do likewise – because nothing breeds hate more than ignorance. And, in those provinces that can’t quickly afford to do so on their own, bring in the likes of the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center – which has long maintained a fleet of traveling buses to teach students about hate and genocide – to fill the gaps in the curriculum.

8. Defund universities who permit hate on campus. Academic freedom to say whatever you want, if it ever existed, no longer does. There have always been reasonable limits on what can be said on-campus. In the U.S. Congress, some have recently moved to eliminate federal funding for universities and colleges which permit clear expressions of hatred. Canada needs to do likewise.

9. Call a public inquiry. The Trudeau Liberals, in particular, are fond of reviews and inquiries, but not usually when they are the focus. There needs to be an all-party agreement to establish an inquiry to assess federal laws, regulations and programs – aimed, laser-like, at countering the shocking surge in hate crime and activity across the country.

10. Fund public awareness campaigns. Governments also love to launch advocacy campaigns about everything from the environment to public health. But, as noted, nothing breeds hatred better than ignorance. Canadian governments need to do what they can do better than the private sector: communicate some basic truths. Namely, what hate is, and why it is unwelcome here.

There’s ten concrete things the governments can, and should, do. Tweeting opposition to hate isn’t enough. Toothless resolutions do nothing.

We need to do more, and we need to do it now. Because a bad situation is getting worse every single day.


  1. AndrewT says:

    ‘4. Create a law prohibiting willfully promoting terror groups. ’

    That’s the game changer.

  2. Warren,

    Agree with absolutely everything you propose. You’re a proven expert on hate crimes, versus much of the rest of us.

    But on 9, I won’t be fully on board unless I see at least a Joint Resolution going through Parliament that guarantees ahead of time that all of the inquiry’s recommendations will as quickly as possible become a force of law, with no questions or equivocations from any of the parties or independent groups in Parliament. Unless I see that in writing ahead of time, it’s just another run-of-the-mill inquiry which is likely to be an eventual waste of time due to governmental cherry-picking and possible deliberate sidelining of other recommendations. I want all parties and independent groups onside with a pledge from all of them to fully implement all recommendations. It has to be as painful as possible for haters and ditto on the federal treasury. We need as much money as is recommended and not a cent less.

  3. western view says:

    Ten commonsensical ideas to curb hate. Well stated.

    I would propose another direct hit on the flank of hate:
    Defunding institutions peddling Critical Theory and its DEI Branch Plant of hate. Young people may be seriously misguided by their self loathing about their whiteness and supposed nasty colonial attitudes towards people of colour, but they know how to follow the money. DEI and anti-racism is big business and getting on the wrong side of the anti racism agitators is bad for business.
    The colonial aggressors/genocidal state rallying points of students is fomented by the DEI Industry and taxpayers money is financing these falsehoods. Time to choke off the funding and “future endeavour” the principal actors.

  4. WV,

    I’m open-minded on this. While I don’t support blaming current generations for the racially based sins of those from the past, I still believe in teaching history as it actually unfolded. I’m not for whitewashing of any historical facts.

    As for CT or CRT, I think we have to go from curriculum to curriculum and only base our definitive judgment based on that. Nothing else. It really has to be a case-by-case study by schools, school boards and parents prepared to get off their asses and objectively assess the curriculum. There are already a lot of axes to grind about this issue, just like Trans issues, and I definitely don’t support that type of approach.

  5. Steve T says:

    What you have written makes sense in the context of what we are seeing in the Gaza situation. However, I am somewhat concerned about special-interest groups hijacking these new laws to ensure no contradictory discussions are allowed for a wide swath of topics.
    Case in point, the current “residential school denialism” private member’s bill. Who defines what “denialism” entails? The answer is those who stand to benefit from a monolithic narrative that paints cartoonish villains and victims.
    Don’t believe me? Look how much traction the “unmarked grave” narrative has received – when there have been precisely zero actual proven Indigenous children buried in these locations. The entire narrative is based on radar anomalies. So if we have new “hate laws” for residential school denialism, will I be allowed to write what I just wrote above – or will it become a crime? There are many who have a vested interest in ensuring my rebuttals are criminalized.

    • Steve,

      I think you’re on safe ground. Facts are facts, not pretzels. I don’t see any chance of establishing criminal or hate intent if the facts of the matter are bulletproof or close to same.

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