Posted on July 11, 2022

Federal Government Effectively Declares Red Ensign a Hate Symbol

Jamie Sarkonak, National Post, June 30, 2022

The federal government shouldn’t be telling K-12 teachers to monitor and discipline students for holding certain political views. But it’s part of a project the Department of Canadian Heritage paid $268,400 to do.

Launched on June 29, an educational toolkit created by the federally supported Canadian Anti-Hate Network, and jointly announced with the government calls for a politically correct culture change in schools across Canada. Its 50-page guidebook is geared toward confronting and preventing hate — which would be fine if it didn’t include political beliefs, critical thinking, and Canada’s previous national flag among the evils to be confronted.

While some of the extremist organizations and hate symbols discussed in the guidebook are correctly classified as such, it extends this to “problematic” politicians and policies, as well. In a set of examples about hatred that must be addressed in the classroom, for instance, the guidebook places students who argue in favour of former U.S. president Donald Trump’s border wall among those who salute Hitler.


The guidebook encourages identity-based activism in the classroom, insisting that educators “increase the visibility of symbols of diversity and tolerance” in the classroom — including pride flags, culturally affirming posters and portraits of people from historically marginalized groups. {snip}

Students who don’t go along with this illiberal narrative should have their concerns recorded and dismissed, according the toolkit. “Often, these students have little more than dogma to offer, but some students may have impassioned and intricate stances that have led them to this point,” it says.

The guidebook goes on to list the Red Ensign, the official flag of Canada until 1967 and the one under which we fought fascists in the Second World War, as a symbol of hate promotion. Its use by modern fringe movements shouldn’t override its place in Canada as a symbol of unity, but the guidebook still claims that, “Its usage denotes a desire to return to Canada’s demographics before 1967, when it was predominately white.” {snip}


To ensure compliance and accountability, the guidebook encourages peer-to-peer surveillance, suggesting that students monitor each other’s activity outside of class and check source materials for “problematic affiliations.”


Monitoring should be proactive, as well. Among its “best practices” is a recommendation for schools to search student devices, both school-owned and personal, if possible, at any point in time: before, during and after the circulation of “hate-promoting ideas.” {snip}