Prime Minister Justin Trudeau broke down the difference between freedom of expression and "freedom to hate," saying that the former is a cherished and protected idea in Canada, and that the latter "permitted incitement to violence."
The comments came during a Tuesday press conference, after the prime minister was asked about the balancing act between weeding out hate, and the ability to speak one's mind.
"The defence of freedom of expression is in our Charter, and it is fundamental to this government and our country, that people need to be able to express themselves. There needs to be freedom of conscious, and religion ... There isn't however, freedom to hate," said the prime minister.
"Hatred, hate speech is not allowed in Canada. The line that every government needs to walk between, of course, protecting freedom of expression, but not permitting incitement to hatred... is one that is continual, as a battle, as a reflection, and as technologies change, as means of communications change, we need to keep up with that.
"What is important is to ensure that, yes, there is always freedom to criticize, freedom to challenge one's government, freedom to express one's opinions, but not freedom to push intolerance and hatred against fellow Canadians, or discriminations against people who are different."
Trudeau was also asked on Quebec's controversial secularism bill, which some have said stoke Islamophobia and xenophobia.
"Secularism... Canada is a country that separates church and state. Our public institutions are inclusive and should not judge on the basis of religion. That's something that's a core principle of Canadian governance, and it applies right across the country," said Trudeau.
Trudeau said that conversations surrounding "various measures, here or there, including Quebec's Bill 21," saying that he looked forward to hearing from Quebecers on the bill.
"The reality is, Bill 21 is being challenged by Quebecers, who are defending their rights through the court systems, as is their right to do. We're, of course, watching carefully."