Racism and misogyny disturbing reality for public figures in today’s political landscape, says Green Party Leader Annamie Paul

OTTAWA - The Green Party of Canada is calling attention to the disturbing and potentially dangerous reality facing public figures working in today’s political landscape, particularly on social media where bigotry and misogyny are perpetrated with impunity. 

"Most of the security threats are online," said Ms. Paul. "We haven’t had any hecklers showing up at rallies or press conferences. However, there have been online posts proposing to come and disrupt our in-person events. Recently, there was an entire Facebook thread, on a public group, proposing that someone come and assault me at one of my events.

“Social media makes it much easier to rile people up and to provoke people into extreme acts. The hate that has been directed at me and other candidates is alarming. There needs to be more accountability. We need to do better in developing community education strategies and outreach programs to help address bigotry and misogyny.

A United Nations report earlier this year indicated that efforts to curb online hate appear to be failing and that in fact such attacks are increasing, not diminishing, particularly against minorities. 

“The RCMP should have offered a security detail to all leaders, and I certainly hope that someone is monitoring the online threats,” said Ms. Paul. “We keep an eye out the best we can for anyone who might be attending an event simply to disrupt. Sadly, many who might potentially consider seeking public office are discouraged from doing so for fear of the kind of vitriol they and their families are likely to encounter. 

“Imagine the brilliant pool of public servants Canada is missing out on because we cannot protect them from such despicable harassment. We need to do better. Social media corporations must be held accountable for the venom that is being disseminated every day on their platforms.”

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For more information or to arrange an interview contact:

Rosie Emery

GPC Press Secretary