Our Response to "Canadian Anti-Hate Network" Targeting AWAA

15/09/2021

On August 19, 2021, a government-funded non-profit organisation published a piece defaming Alberta Women's Advocacy Association and our president, Raine McLeod, along with other women in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

According to their website, the Canadian Anti-Hate Network (CAHN) "counters, monitors, and exposes hate promoting movements, groups, and individuals in Canada using every reasonable, legal, and ethical tool at our disposal."

In 2020, CAHN received $268,400.00 from the Canadian Government's Anti-Racism Action Program in order to "fund 85 anti-racism projects that aim to remove systemic barriers faced by racialized communities, religious minorities, and Indigenous Peoples." CAHN also received a significant donation (potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars) from the Bank of Montreal "to support social and racial justice, and inclusion."

Description of anti-racism grant program per the Canadian Goverment
Description of anti-racism grant program per the Canadian Goverment
Description of CAHN funding
Description of CAHN funding
Funding reference on CAHN website
Funding reference on CAHN website

Instead of fighting racism, they use this donated and government-provided money to go after individual women and our work to protect and uphold the Charter-protected sex-based rights of women and girls, defaming us as "hateful"  and "anti-trans."

Prior to their publication, CAHN e-mailed AWAA requesting comment on what they intended to report. 

Knowing how they have gone after other women's groups in Canada, in response we sent a cease and desist letter signed by Alberta Women's Advocacy Association, Raine McLeod, Amy HammWomen's Human Rights Campaign - CanadaCanadian Women's Sex-Based Rights (caWsbar), and We the Females

You can view that letter below.

Most of these other signatories had previously been defamed by both CTV and CAHN as "anti-trans." WHRC issued a response and so did caWsbar.

In the anonymously-written published piece, CAHN repeatedly lie, misquote, and decontextualise both our work and the work of other women and organisations in Canada. They use factual errors (only two of which were begrudgingly "corrected" after publication, and one of the "corrections" is still wrong and contains a gendered slur) and deliberate disinformation to mar women's rights activism in Canada.

It would be impossible to address each falsehood line by line, so instead, here is an extensively marked-up correction of the piece in its entirety (both AWAA and Alberta Radical Feminists contributed to these corrections) and there is a list of relevant links at the bottom of this page. 

It goes without saying that Alberta Women's Advocacy Association emphatically deny that we are in any way "hateful" or "anti-trans." Raine McLeod is not "hateful" or "anti-trans." Neither is Dr. Linda Blade, Dr. Kathleen Lowrey, Alberta Radical Feminists, or any other woman or organisation named in this defamatory piece. 

Since our incorporation, Alberta Women's Advocacy Association have:

On September 18, 2021, with other women's rights organisations, we will be in Edmonton at the Edmonton Institution for Women to protest the federal policy that allows male offenders (including rapists, murdererscontract killers, "prolific" serial pedophiles, and sex offenders) to use self-ID to transfer to women's prisons across the country, resulting in at least one woman being raped. This policy disproportionately impacts Indigenous women in Canada, who are 4% of our female population but 40% of the female prisoner population, and incarcerated women in Canada disproportionately experience mental illness and addiction, and are disproportionately victims of physical and sexual violence. 

We find it very troubling that CAHN have taken to targeting individual women as well as women's groups in Canada for the supposed crime of standing up for women's rights. Any groups that accomplish such great community work are obviously not promoting hatred in any form. CAHN's mandate ostensibly should protect women's rights organisations on the grounds that their members are working to uphold the rights and freedoms provided to women in the Charter on the basis of our sex. To face discrimination from a government-funded organisation is completely inappropriate, particularly if they are using funds ear-marked to combat racism, a fight that women's groups support and participate in. 

On their twitter account, CAHN frequently share and retweet things that whimsically disparage women as  "TERFs," which is a gendered slur, and absurdly claim that feminists "deny the existence of trans persons." We do not.

We welcome CAHN's elucidation of their reasoning behind their targeted harassment of women's rights groups in Canada and demand that their entire "article" be taken down or corrected with evidence supporting their outrageous, offensive, and defamatory claims. 

We also demand an apology from CAHN and a commitment to more ethical and balanced behaviour from their Directors going forward. 


Sources

Here are links to the relevant items discussed in the corrections:

  1. Image 2 - Women's Human Rights Campaign
  2. Image 3 - The so-called "Feminist Declaration" that calls for ages of consent to be abolished. "Eliminate all laws and policies that [...] limit the exercise of bodily autonomy, including laws limiting legal capacity of adolescents" (Section 14)
  3. Image 4 - AWAA's recommended reading list
  4. Image 6 - Unsporting: How Trans Activism and Science Denial are Destroying Sport
  5. Image 7 - Athletics Alberta Code of Conductnequals8.com and the study Dr. Blade references (correctly)
  6. Image 9 - terfisaslur.com
  7. Image 11 - Feminist Current article referenced
  8. Image 12 - The story of why the Famous Five are important to women's history in Alberta and the complete thread that was deliberately misquoted to imply that Alberta Radical Feminists are eugenicists

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