Although launched not even two years ago, the Canadian Anti-Hate Network (CAHN) seems to have quickly been elevated to the status of Canada’s go-to “hate monitor.” Most of the major outlets—the CBC, Global, etc.—regularly seek comment from the group whenever sensitive issues like offensive speech and alleged hate crimes are trending in the media. They also reliably cover CAHN’s investigative research on “hate groups” operating in Canada.
Our American friends down south know “hate monitoring” organizations well, chief among them the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). That organization, which CAHN in fact has a partner relationship with, is currently undergoing a public relations-crisis following revelations from a former insider that the group is essentially a scam; one which regularly reported that “hate always continued to be on the rise” in order to bilk its “gullible Northern liberal” donor base. Last year, a group of employees accused the SPLC’s leadership of fostering an environment where racism, sexism and sexual assault was allowed. It led to the organization’s founder being fired and the resignation of its president.
CAHN is now facing its own public relations challenge after it was alleged, among other things, to be pursuing similar “hate group” alarmism in Canada. According to CAHN, there are apparently 300 “right-wing extremists” groups operating across the country; more per capita than what even the SPLC finds in the US. The piece, published in an online journal curated by Preston Manning’s Manning Foundation, was indeed thoroughly critical of the group’s methods. It apparently cut so deep with CAHN executives, they responded with a positively frenzied open letter accusing the journal of manufacturing half-truths, straw-man arguments, and even outright lies.