Online Hate / Harrassment
Date: October 22, 2020
Branch / Agency: PACB
- The experience that Canadians have online should be free from hate and harassment.
- Public Safety’s Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence provides leadership to advance programming, research and policy priorities to prevent hate, racism and violence online.
- Through the Community Resilience Fund, the Canada Centre supports research and programming to build evidence and local level capacity to counter hate and violence online.
- I recently announced over $700,000 in funding to YWCA Canada for their project Block Hate: Building Resilience against Online Hate Speech, which will strengthen the way Canadians respond to online hate, creating safer online spaces for young Canadians.
- My department has been working closely with the Department of Canadian Heritage on the development of a regulatory framework for illegal and harmful online activity, which will significantly contribute to a safer online environment.
- The Canada Centre is a supporting partner for the Anti-Racism Strategy, and is investing to expand efforts in areas such as improving reporting of hate incidents, training and education, public awareness, research about online dynamics, and supporting new programs.
- We also work closely with Women and Gender Equality (WAGE) in their development of a National Action Plan on Gender-Based Violence, helping to inform their approach to addressing hate online.
- Our efforts to keep Canadians online also align with our international commitments under Christchurch Call to Action.
Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence
The Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence (Canada Centre) leads the Government of Canada’s efforts to counter radicalization to violence in all its forms, including online hate.
On December 11, 2018, the Canada Centre launched the National Strategy on Countering Radicalization to Violence. Its three priorities are: (1) building, sharing and using knowledge;
(2) addressing radicalization in the online space; and (3) supporting interventions.
Through the establishment of the Community Resilience Fund (CRF) in December 2016, with $7 million available each year, Public Safety supports research and programming to build the evidence base along with local capability and capacity to counter radicalization to violence in Canada. As of October 9, 2020, a total of 39 project agreements have been signed, representing a total investment of $29,384,336. Examples of CRF projects specifically dealing with hate include: YWCA Canada’s project, Block Hate: Building Resilience Against Online Hate Speech; and, MediaSmarts’s project, Pushing Back Against Hate in Online Communities.
These efforts aligns with the Minister’s 2019 mandate commitment to continue supporting the work of the Canada Centre and investing in front-line programs that work to counter violent extremism.
The Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence (Canada Centre) at Public Safety leads the Government of Canada’s efforts to address violent extremist and terrorist use of the internet. This includes regular engagement with digital industry, likeminded governments, civil society, and academia. The Canada Centre is also helping to shape the Department of Canadian Heritage’s development of a regulatory framework for illegal and harmful activity online.
In addition, the Canada Centre is contributing to international efforts, through various multilateral forums, including the Christchurch Call to Action, Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), and the Global Internet Forum to Counterterrorism (GIFCT), as well as funding for initiatives, such as $1 million to Tech Against Terrorism, to assist researchers and tech companies in eliminating violent extremist content online.
Public Safety and its portfolio agencies are investing in efforts to address online harms, including violent extremist and terrorist use of the internet (VETUI), child sexual abuse and exploitation online (CSEA), hostile activities by state actors (HASA), and encryption.
Public Safety and Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy
Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy, with $45 million in funding over three years, aims to take immediate steps in combatting racism and discrimination, focusing on increasing equity of access and/or participation among people and communities most impacted by racism and discrimination.
In support of the Anti-Racism Strategy, the Canada Centre is receiving $0.9 million over three years to complement work specifically addressing hate, by helping address hate crimes and hate speech, in areas such as reporting, training and education, public awareness, media reporting, online policy research, building and synthesizing an evidence base, and supporting new pilots/programs, responding to the need identified by engagement participants for further and increased action on hate crimes and hate speech.
Prepared by: Brett Kubicek and Ginette Saucier, Canada Centre
Approved by: Jill Wherrett, ADM PACB, 613-394-6435
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