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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Event: Are Canadian freedoms being crushed in the name of human rights?

If you're in London, Ontario tonight, you can check out Kathy Shaidle and Salim Mansur discuss the disaster that is the Canadian Human Rights Commission hosted by Forest City Institute. Here's information from their flyer:

Join Kathy Shaidle, “Five Feet of Fury” blogger and co-author of The Tyranny of Nice and Salim Mansur, Sun Media columnist and Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Western Ontario to find out how unelected bureaucrats and lawyers are abusing human rights legislation to undermine our traditional freedoms of speech and belief.

Speaking Out For Free Speech 2009

Hosted by the Forest City Institute

Where: Westmount Public Library, 3200 Wonderland Road South [London, Ontario]
When: Thursday, January 29th, 7:00 to 9:00 pm (doors open at 6:30)
Price: $10.00, $5.00 for students and seniors

Tickets available at the door. Seating is limited (Capacity 100). Please RSVP to [email protected]

Book signing: Copies of The Tyranny of Nice will be available for sale both preceding and after the event

[email protected]

Ezra Levant, our former publisher, links to Salim Mansur's recent column in the Sun. Here are a few excerpts from Mansur's piece, entitled "Speak up for Canadian freedom":

This is the grassroots campaign supporting freedom of speech unconstrained by the coercive arm of the state -- the federal and provincial Human Rights Commissions (HRC). It is truly bizarre that in the 21st century such a campaign has to be organized in one of the oldest liberal democracies.

It is also bizarre that so many Canadians remain unconcerned that the foundational principle of liberal democracy -- freedom of speech -- has been assaulted systematically in their country in the name of tolerance.

And then making matters worse, the Canadian state armed the federal HRC -- provincial governments have followed Ottawa -- with section 13 in the Canadian Human Rights Act to penalize speech if it is "likely" to expose someone to contempt or hatred even though it might not be proven in court.

What might now seem a long time ago to Canadian legislators and bureaucrats of the HRCs, J.S. Mill, writing in On Liberty, observed some eight years before the Dominion of Canada was established that "unless the reasons (for free speech) are good for an extreme case, they are not good for any case."

Going back further by more than two centuries, the English poet John Milton laid out the argument against censoring free speech in his tract titled Areopagitica, Milton contended -- and Mill returned to it -- that truth does not need the aid of censor's coercive powers to prevail.

Milton famously wrote, "Let her (truth) and falsehood grapple; who ever knew truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter?"

Individuals speaking confidently armed with reasons stand on their own without requiring state support against opponents. And those appealing to censors in making their arguments do so because their case is weak, or false.

Our politicians have lost sight of how, through hard and bloody skirmishes, the principle of free speech was advanced to give strength, virtue and purpose to liberal democracy that we take for granted with so little thought.

If you plan on attending the event, send me or someone else at the Western Standard an email. We'd like to hear how it went.

Posted by P.M. Jaworski on January 29, 2009 in Freedom of expression | Permalink


"Let her (truth) and falsehood grapple; who ever knew truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter?"

1. The earth is flat ( a few thousand years and counting)
2. Darwin is wrong (150 years and counting)
3. 6 million Jews did not die ( 65 years and counting)
4. 911 was an inside job ( 8 years and counting)

Just to name a few......

Posted by: Nbob | 2009-01-30 12:16:08 AM

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