The struggle for free speech on Canadian campuses

The value of free inquiry is the very reason for universities, and it’s the foundation of free and democratic societies

The struggle for free speech on Canadian campusesFree speech is under siege on many university campuses, including in Canada. Professors, administrators and students are ‘deplatforming’ invited guests, or disrupting and disparaging their fellow academics who fail to toe the politically correct party line. With precious little evidence, these speakers are said to be “sexist,” “racist” or “Islamophobic.” So closed-minded enforcers, just like…

The revolution always eats its own children

History shows plenty of radicals who pushed too hard. We have plenty on today’s world stage

The revolution always eats its own childrenIn the summer and autumn of 1789, the French National Assembly overturned 1,000 years of law and custom to produce a modern constitutional democracy. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen spelled out all the new conditions of civil life: the abolition of feudalism and aristocratic titles, freedom from arbitrary arrest,…

Canada’s higher education system is in disarray

Mounting student debt and irrelevant fields of study have left us with a frustrated and unproductive young population

Canada’s higher education system is in disarrayLast summer, the federal government paid employers more than $200 million and up to 100 per cent of compensation to get them to hire students. If these young adults are Canada’s best and brightest – enjoying taxpayer-funded education – why are they so unappealing to employers that they have to be discounted to half price…

Dave Chappelle leans left but still makes the right laugh

His mission is to seek the truth at all costs. He refuses to be constrained by political correctness and hurt feelings

Dave Chappelle leans left but still makes the right laughOn Oct. 27, comedian Dave Chappelle was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He’s the 21st recipient of this prestigious honour, joining legends like Carol Burnett, Billy Crystal, David Letterman, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Eddie Murphy, Bob Newhart, Richard Pryor, Carl Reiner and Jonathan Winters.…

Stop fretting about social media giants and build a competitor

If enough people band together, they can finance a new platform. This is a free and open market

Stop fretting about social media giants and build a competitorAgainst the frenzy of inaccurate and manipulative information consistently roaring through social media sites, the companies that manage these sites – like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter – have been trying to combat misinformation. However, they always seem to be two steps behind. Initially, in an effort to keep up with the sheer volume of material,…

Elections Canada’s limits on free speech a sign of the times

There’s nothing more fundamental to the democratic ideal than the freedom to speak one’s mind and sound as wise or foolish as that happens to sound

Elections Canada’s limits on free speech a sign of the timesThe news that environmental groups have been warned their speech will be regulated during the upcoming federal election campaign has finally drawn attention to the stifling impact of the nation’s most recent election legislation. This latest twist is due to People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier, who has expressed doubts about anthropogenic climate science.…

Questioning government is fundamental to democracy

Freedom of speech, freedom of the press and academic freedom are core principles in the functioning of a democracy. Yet today those who embrace these ideals are seen as anti-American

Questioning government is fundamental to democracyJewish-American songwriter Bob Dylan tells us, “Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings.” We put democracy in peril when we equate questioning government policy with being unpatriotic or even racist. This is why the current situation in the United States is so puzzling. They actually established the international standard for good government…

Jenn Smith’s campus cancellations put free speech at peril

All institutions of higher learning should make a robust free exchange of ideas a key part of their learning environment

Jenn Smith’s campus cancellations put free speech at perilLast month, the Association of Administrative and Professional Staff (AAPS) of the University of British Columbia (UBC) wrote a letter to university president Santa Ono on behalf of its 5,000 members. The letter claimed UBC was serving as a platform for “bigoted, anti-transgender hate speech” by bisexual transgender anti-SOGI 123 activist Jenn Smith. The association…

Federal digital charter just a new weapon in the censorship arsenal

Politicians and tech firms can co-opt legitimate concerns to restrict speech, stifle criticism and tilt public debates

Federal digital charter just a new weapon in the censorship arsenalOn May 21, the federal government unveiled a lengthy “digital charter” with the noble goals of expanded Internet access and more trust online. If you peel back the feel-good 10 principles and stated justifications, however, you find a new weapon in the censor arsenal. “The platforms are failing their users, and they’re failing our citizens.…

Does federal panel pose a threat to net neutrality in Canada?

By early 2020, we’ll know what the members think the government should do to modernize decrepit legislation

Does federal panel pose a threat to net neutrality in Canada?If you want to know how much in extra fees you might be paying or how much Canada intends to meddle with online content to make sure you watch what the government wants you to watch, you should start paying attention now. This week, the government panel reviewing the nation’s broadcasting and telecommunications legislation (known…
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