OTTAWA — Firebrand US conservative Ann Coulter has accused a Canadian university provost of "hate crimes against conservatives" and called for a human rights probe of the matter, a local paper said Tuesday.
The American right-wing pundit and author is in Canada for a trio of speeches.
Ahead of a talk at the University of Ottawa on Tuesday evening, she said she was warned by provost Francois Houle to use "restraint, respect and consideration" when speaking at the school.
Coulter told the Ottawa Citizen newspaper: "Now that the provost has instructed me on the criminal speech laws he apparently believes I have a proclivity (to break), despite knowing nothing about my speech, I see that he is guilty of promoting hatred against an identifiable group: conservatives."
"The provost simply believes and is publicizing his belief that conservatives are more likely to commit hate crimes in their speeches. Not only does this promote hatred against conservatives, but it promotes violence against conservatives," she said.
Coulter's Canadian engagements drew the ire of leftists here who accused her of inflammatory rants such as a post-9/11 suggestion that the United States should invade Muslim countries and convert their people to Christianity.
She has also said Canada is lucky that the United States allows it "to exist on the same continent."
Houle wrote to her to say that Canadian laws "delineate freedom of expression in a manner that is somewhat different than the approach taken in the United States. I therefore encourage you to educate yourself, if need be, as to what is acceptable in Canada and to do so before your planned visit here."
"Promoting hatred against any identifiable group would not only be considered inappropriate, but could in fact lead to criminal charges," he continued.
Claiming to be the victim of a hate crime, Coulter told the Citizen she would ask for an investigation of Houle's letter.
Monday, before a packed audience of about 800 at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada, she attacked gay rights activists, the mainstream media and US President Barack Obama's administration.
She also told a Muslim student to "take a camel" as an alternative to flying.
© AFP 2023