Feds to press ahead with anti-hate bill, including online speech: minister

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Published February 4, 2022 at 1:53 pm

OTTAWA — Diversity Minister Ahmed Hussen says the government is preparing to press ahead with a law to combat racial and religious hatred, including online hate. 

In an interview, the minister condemned the flying of Nazi and confederate flags by protesters outside Parliament, saying they have no place in Canadian society.

He says the government is poised to reintroduce a previous bill, which died when the election was called, though critics claim measures to curb hate speech could hamper freedom of speech or be difficult to enforce. 

But Hussen says too many people in Canada are victimized by hate crimes and hate speech and more needs to be done to protect them both off-line and online.

He says the government must tackle head on the upsurge in antisemitism, anti-Asian hatred, Islamophobia and racism toward Black people. 

The minister also said funds would be available to help victims of racism through a victims-of-hate support fund. 

It would provide financial help and other supports to victims of hate-motivated violence, including covering uninsured costs of damage to property or medical supplies.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 4, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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