Good for Del Duca

Del Duca’s approach will surely rile up the marchers to some extent, but if it succeeds in reducing the impact and incidence of these events it may well be taken up by other municipalities and be a positive first step in stopping these most un-Canadian of “protests.” Pictured: Vaughan Mayor Steven Del Duca. Photo Credit: Steven Del Duca/X.


Considering the lacklustre performance of Steven Del Duca when he was the leader of Ontario’s Liberal Party, this author never thought she’d write a headline like this. But here we are. Much to the surprise of many, Del Duca has plunged into the highly contentious topic of the many threatening hate marches of pro-Hamas protestors in Ontario and elsewhere in Canada by instructing his staff to prepare a by-law to prohibit any protests within 100 metres of what he refers to as “social infrastructure” – churches, synagogues, mosques, schools, hospitals, childcare facilities etc. Del Duca correctly stated: “The right to peaceful protest is a fundamental freedom afforded to all Canadians. However, this right is not without limits.” Bravo! 

Considering the number and sheer disruptive character of these protests, which have been taking place in Canada for almost six months, starting immediately after the horrors of October 7 in Israel, it is amazing it has taken so long for any government to do something sensible like this in response. Many excuses have been made by different governments as to why they haven’t acted more assertively, ranging from comments about how peaceful protests are permitted in Canada, no one has really been harmed, no law has been broken, violence could escalate if police act aggressively and the expectation that these events would die down in time so the best approach would be to let them die down on their own.

All of these rationalizations are easily debunked. Firstly, these hate-fests are anything but peaceful. They are at a minimum very threatening and are clearly intended to be so. Screaming about “intifada” (meaning uprising, especially in the context of periods of intense Palestinian protest against Israel, mainly in the form of violent terrorism) outside of a synagogue is pretty tough to define as peaceful protest. Although no extremely violent events have taken place, there have been physical altercations at many of these marches. It would seem to be only a matter of time before something really bad happens. 

As for legality, it is clear that hate speech is very present at these gatherings. There are already laws against such speech in Canada, and it is shameful that governments and police have not yet levelled charges along these lines for the participants in the hate marches. Laws are being broken, and this needs to be acted upon. Some of these marches are taking place not at a typical place of protest such as government offices or embassies, but at synagogues or residential neighbourhoods with a large percentage of Jewish occupants. So, not your average protests. Far from these events dying down, the timidity of governments and law enforcement in countering these appalling marches to date seems to be only encouraging the perpetrators to get even more extreme. 

As for any action against these marches at the federal level, it has been noted that the Trudeau government has resisted any action that might jeopardize votes whether it is inherently right or wrong. As such, the federal Liberals do not want to act in opposition to the pro-Hamas forces as it is concerned about risking the Muslim vote, which is considerably larger in Canada than the Jewish vote. Although this may well be the motivation, it doesn’t seem to be working very well, as the marchers are vilifying the Trudeau Liberals as much as anyone else involved in the issue. 

There has also been a great deal of evidence that these so-called protests are hardly spontaneous uprisings of average citizens, but rather very meticulously planned events with paid protestors, organizers, and professional signage and other materials. They are clearly costing a great deal of money, and the sponsors have been identified as a mix of groups either categorized as terrorists or affiliated with terrorist sympathizers. Without some action by governments, it is unlikely they will peter out on their own. 

In comes Del Duca, one of the unlikeliest people to spearhead such an effort. What he is proposing is a bylaw to be drafted by the end of May 2024 to prohibit “demonstrations of a nature that are intended to intimidate, incite hatred, violence or discrimination within 100 metres of the boundary of a property where a religious institution, school, childcare centre or hospital is located.”  Penalties for breaking the law will include fines of up to $100,000. This approach will surely rile up the marchers to some extent, but if it succeeds in reducing the impact and incidence of these events it may well be taken up by other municipalities and be a positive first step in stopping these most un-Canadian of “protests.” 

So good on Del Duca for taking a leadership role on this difficult issue. You can’t help but think that if he had this kind of chutzpah when he was Liberal leader, he would still be in that position today. 


Your donations help us continue to deliver the news and commentary you want to read. Please consider donating today.

Donate Today


  • Politics

  • Sports

  • Business