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British Columbia politicians are investigating their options in ticketing individuals who engage in racist behaviour.
Delta North NDP MLA Ravi Kahlon submitted a letter to Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth requesting that the province crack down on “racist and hateful behaviour,” by measures that would include financial repercussions.
“I understand that some jurisdictions have implemented new, non-criminal sanctions to deter this behaviour such as ticketing,” reads the letter. “I would be grateful if your ministry could determine what options might be available to better deter perpetrators.”
Kahlon’s letter comes from what he says is a perceived rise in racist groups such as the Soldiers of Odin, an anti-immigrant and white supremacist group founded in Kemi, Finland that has groups across North America—though Canada’s chapter claims they have substantial differences than the original group.
“People are afraid in their communities. They know that these hate groups are organizing in communities,” Kahlon said in an interview with Global News.
“My request to the solicitor general was to do a scan of what other jurisdictions are doing to address public hate speech.”
Kahlon says communities he’s spoken with have expressed concern regarding the rise of new hate groups in B.C.—groups attempting to legitimize themselves by registering as societies under the Societies Act.
Kahlon is turning to CSIS in hopes that the government agency is doing everything possible to stop the growth of these groups.
“We aren’t the only jurisdictions dealing with this, but we have to start,” Kahlon said.