I remember well when, in Canada, the adage, speaking truth to power, were words to live by—especially for those who considered themselves journalists. Now it seems many in our society have decided that truth is no longer something they want to hear, unless, of course, it is their truth.
A case in point is the quite incredible fact that in Section 13 of our human rights legislation, “truth and reasonable belief in the truth is no defence” against a hate-speech charge brought against an individual by the state.
In other cases, Ezra Levant, Mark Steyn and Maclean’s Magazine found themselves in much publicized legal jeopardy over things they wrote and published, with little or no regard for their truthfulness.
Globe and Mail columnist Christie Blatchford turned up to at the UW yesterday to make a scheduled speech about the journalist’s new book Helpless: Caledonia’s Nightmare of Fear and Anarchy, and How the Law Failed All of Us. The event, however, was rescheduled because three protesters locked themselves together at the centre of the stage where Blatchford was to speak while another individual acted as their “negotiator.” A fifth person, Tallula Marigold, acted as the group’s “media representative.”
“Our goal was to not let her [Christie Blatchford] speak, we accomplished that.”
No truth to power there. Nor any free speech for Ms. Blatchford. Five individuals decide that a former Governor General’s Literary Award recipient should not be allowed to speak, and this internationally recognized university, University of Waterloo, caves in to a reprehensible act of censorship and bully tactics.
Tallula Marigold, who, apparently, was acting as the bullies’ media representative, reportedly had this to say:
“We don’t want people who are really, really racist teaching [the people we love]. And we don’t want that person to have a public forum because it makes it dangerous for others in the public forum. …
“Our goal was to not let her speak, we accomplished that.”
Some Canadian universities seem to have little or no hesitation in using their security staff to curtail activist activity when it is attempted by, say, an anti-abortion group or others who do not preach the universities’ sort of “truth.” However, UW allows a tiny group screaming “Nazi” and “racist,” to totally deny Christie Blatchford’s right to free speech.
The bullies’ stated goal was to not let Christie Blatchford speak,” and the University of Waterloo passively allowed them to accomplished that unjust goal.
Every time you readers look at the tax withholding on your pay or pension cheques, remember that some of that money goes to support Ontario universities, which seem to have forgotten that, in Canada, free speech is a fundamental right. One would think that in a university, free speech would be treasured beyond all other rights and freedoms. But, apparently, that is not the case in Ontario.
Moreover, bullying is never an acceptable tactic, yet the university, by not putting an immediate stop to it, encourages its future use to silence other speakers of the truth.
Is this the new Canada? Shameful!