February 3rd, 2022
NDP bill would ban hate symbols
OTTAWA – Today, NDP House Leader Peter Julian, MP (New Westminster–Burnaby) tabled Bill C-229, a private member’s bill that would prevent anyone from selling and displaying symbols that promote hatred. The symbols that would be banned are Swastikas and other Nazi emblems of the genocidal regime, Klu Klux Klan symbols and the Confederate flag, symbols of slavery, racism and of white supremacy. Bill C-229 is a tool designed to address the growing violence and hatred in Canadian communities.
“Everyone has the right to feel welcomed, secure and respected in their community. Allowing these symbols of hatred to be freely sold in stores and publicly displayed is retraumatizing for people who have been, and continue to be, targets of violence and oppression,” said Julian. “Symbols that have been used to incite violence against people have no place in our society. I hope all Members of Parliament will support this bill and that the government will work with us to ensure symbols of hate aren’t normalized or tolerated in any way and to make our communities better for everyone.”
During this week’s protest in Ottawa, Canadians witnessed vile and hateful displays of Nazi swastikas and the flying of Confederate flags at the very centre of Canadian democracy. But, long before the protest, the COVID-19 pandemic revealed deep socio-economic inequalities experienced by the most vulnerable populations in Canada. Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, racism, homophobia, transphobia and misogyny are growing problems in our society. Hateful and violent crimes against Indigenous people, Black, Asian and other racially marginalized communities rose and the number of hate groups in Canada increased during the pandemic. Yet, symbols of hate are freely displayed and sold across our country.
“Canadians are tired of symbolic gestures. The time for rhetoric is over: the government needs to act. Banning symbols of hatred like swastikas or Klu Klux Klan insignia is more important now than ever for all Canadians to feel safe,” said Julian. “It is up to all of us to stop the spread of hate in our communities. And this bill is a step in the right direction.”