In a sign the country is becoming increasingly repressive, conservative Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is signalling the country will use hate crime laws against Canadian advocacy groups that encourage boycotts of Israel.
This comes despite clear and unequivocal evidence, as we covered here, that the country has been massacring civilians.
It also comes after announcements the hardliner government will resume construction of illegal settlements, covered here, despite international condemnation.
The move will target such civil society organizations as the United Church of Canada,the Canadian Quakers, campus protest groups and labor unions.
The remarkably aggressive tactic is another measure of the Conservative government’s lockstep support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The regressive prosecutions would almost certainly be challenged under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, civil liberties groups say.
The government’s intention was made clear in a response to inquiries about the federal ministers’ ostance on groups participating in a loose coalition called Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS), which was begun in 2006.
A spokesperson for Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney replied that the government would take a “zero tolerance” approach to the boycott and stated that Canada has one of the most comprehensive sets of such laws “anywhere in the world.”
The minister did not comment on how comprehensive Canada’s free speech laws are, which seem to be not very comprehensive at all.