Dr. Anver M. Emon, cross-appointed faculty member at the Department for the Study of Religion and professor of Law at U of T recently penned a blog post titled “Foreign Dark Money Taints Canadian Parliamentary Proceeding” for the Faculty of Law Blog. The following is an excerpt:
In recent weeks, Canada’s Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage has conducted hearings to deliberate a whole of government strategy to combat systemic racism and religious discrimination, including Islamophobia. The hearings were prompted by the passage of M103, a motion that passed with solid majority support. When it was debated in the House of Commons, Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) MPs and their media allies (e.g. Rebel Media) opposed the motion. They argued that including the term “Islamophobia” introduced an ambiguity that could, if left unspecified, chill freedom of speech. The freedom of speech argument was a distraction, for reasons I have addressed elsewhere. The motion merely requested a study on systemic racism and discrimination; it did not legislate anything, nor anticipate any future legislation. Despite the motion passing the House of Commons, CPC MPs on the Standing Committee have used the committee hearings to re-debate the motion, as if it hadn’t passed at all.