Majority of Canadians believe free speech is threatened
A new Leger poll has revealed that the majority of Canadians believe that free speech is being threatened in the country.

TCS Wire

May 3, 2024

A new Leger poll has revealed that the majority of Canadians believe that free speech is being threatened in the country.

Majority of Canadians believe free speech is threatened

According to the poll, 57% of Canadians believe that freedom of speech is threatened in Canada, while only 36% believe it is not. The rest are unsure.

Despite this, 61% of Canadians view their opinions as somewhat socially acceptable, while 19% believe their opinions are mostly socially unacceptable, and a quarter of Conservative voters believe their opinions are socially unacceptable.

Canadians planning to vote Conservative were significantly more likely to feel this way (76%) compared to Liberal voters, 61% of whom feel that their free speech is not threatened.

Of the greatest of threats currently facing Canadians is the so-called ‘Online Harms Act’, which many critics have stated will limit Canadians’ free expression online based on an arbitrary definition of ‘hatred’ defined by the government.

If one is deemed to have spread hate speech online, the punishment can reach $70,000 in fines and a content take-down order.

Unsurprisingly, 62% of Canadians now believe it’s more difficult to voice their opinion than in the past, while 27% think it’s easier. Moreover, Conservative voters (70%) and Canadians aged 55 or older (70%) think that it’s become more difficult to express their opinion than before.

In terms of confidence in elections and issues related to free speech, 60% of Canadians are confident that the next election will be free and fair; however, nearly one-third (29%) are not confident.

Again, Conservative voters are less likely to be confident regarding the fairness of the next election (40%), which isn’t overly surprising given the revelations of foreign interference in the last two elections in favour of the Liberals.

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