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 Canada: Government needs to protect freedom of speech on campuses

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PostSubject: Canada: Government needs to protect freedom of speech on campuses   Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:29 am

Lindsay Shepherd speaks during a rally in support of freedom of expression at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo

Is free speech threatened on Ontario’s campuses to the point that we need action from the government to protect it?

In an editorial in the Toronto Sun, Lindsay Shepherd says it is.

Shepherd was vilified and egregiously mistreated by her professors at Wilfred Laurier University for the supposed horror of showing some students a clip of Steve Paiken’s TV show, on the topic of pronouns.

Shepherd wrote: “More than a month after the Jan. 1, 2019, deadline the Doug Ford government gave Ontario universities to develop and enact an institutional free speech policy, the state of free speech on campus remains precarious and uncertain.”

Who is against free speech?

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), have denounced the free speech policy requirements as “a solution in search of a problem,” saying the “campus free speech crisis” is a false narrative meant to appeal to a far-right political base.

The phrase “a solution in search of a problem” suggests free speech is not threatened on Ontario’s campuses. In case The Canadian Association of University Teachers is unaware, here are some examples.

Jordan Peterson was unable to speak to an audience at McMaster because protestors used noise making devices to drown him out.

Faith Goldy was speaking at Wilfred Laurier University when a protestor pulled the fire alarm, cancelling the speech.

Ann Coulter was to speak at the University of Ottawa, until protestors harassed the registration area and pulled a fire alarm.

Other events have been cancelled before they could begin due to the threat of violence.

Here is the test. If you feel any of those people I just named should not be allowed to speak, you do not believe in free speech. We have laws around the few limits on free speech and none of them are because you don’t like it.

I would have hoped The Canadian Association of University Teachers would be smarter than they seem to be — or at least less militant. I would never try to stop them from speaking. They are amusing, apparently.

I did look for examples of left-leaning speakers being shut down at an Ontario university by conservatives, and I couldn’t find one. Let me know if you have an example.

Press Progress — they call themselves, “Canada’s most shared source for progressive news and information” — actually wrote, “In practice, Ford’s policy would effectively create a safe space for anti-abortion groups and alt-right speakers.”

They are saying that anti-abortion people have no right to speak. That is a fundamental misunderstanding of the right of free speech. And the left screams about fascism?

Shepherd writes: “Local Marxist student groups, such as Socialist Fightback, were immediately vocal about what they view as Ford’s ‘anti-protest laws,’” claiming the rules will muzzle their ability to protest “fascists” and “racists” on campus. These Marxist groups fail to recognize the line between demonstration and disruption.

Freedom of expression and assembly does not protect someone who uses noise, physical obstruction and other forms of violence to prevent someone else from exercising their own free expression rights.

Universities should be held accountable for protecting speech. Anyone limiting speech through disruption should be kicked out of the university.

Universities can’t stop everyone from breaking the rules, but they can prosecute it. Otherwise, the university is complicit.

It would seem the PCs rules are much needed.

commisbastard S
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