Pierre Poilievre says he has a plan to tackle hate — but without touching free speech

Ottawa

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre says he has a plan for how he would tackle a rise in hate-motivated crimes reported since the start of Israel-Hamas war, but it doesn’t involve touching what protesters say. 

Poilievre presented what he called “common sense Conservative measures” during a press conference at a Toronto synagogue today, including re-evaluating Canada’s terrorism threat level and creating an anti-hate network for faith communities. 

Jewish Canadians have reported a sharp rise in antisemitism and violence against synagogues and schools since Hamas militants’ surprise attacks in southern Israel on Oct. 7. 

Muslim communities have reported a similar uptick in violence, as Israel continues to wage war in the Gaza Strip in retaliation for the attacks. 

Politicians and Jewish advocacy groups have raised concerns about chants and signage at protests that they fear could incite violence, and they have also raised the alarm about a rise in hateful messages online. 

Poilievre told reporters he believes in free speech, even if what people say is “appalling,” because “that is the price of living in a free country.” 

Banner image: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 23 

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