Defenders of Steve Bannon and his campaign of hate argue that he has the right to speak under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. They say free speech means everything should be on the table and a good debate will determine which ideas are right and which are wrong.
That’s the argument in today’s Toronto Star, headlined “Don’t Fear This Debate”.
But it’s the Toronto Star that’s wrong. The ideas that Bannon promotes are racist, xenophobic and misogynist. They are intended to stoke feelings of hatred and fear against immigrants and especially Muslims and racialized peoples in Canada. This is hate speech and it’s illegal in Canada.