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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The story of Ann Coulter and former justice minister Allan Rock

Well this is a surprise: An access to information request from The Canadian Press has revealed that former Liberal justice minister and current president of the University of Ottawa, Allan Rock, was knee-deep in the Ann Coulter brouhaha several months ago.

That brouhaha? Ann Coulter, author of Guilty... and a lot of other things besides, got a letter from provost Francois Houle "reminding" her of Canada's speech laws. "I therefore ask you," Houle wrote, "while you are a guest on our campus, to weigh your words with respect and civility in mind." Coulter made the email public, raised a big stink, and a giant mob predictably descended on Coulter's speech. The talk was, in the end, cancelled.

Our own Terrence Watson was dispatched to the scene at the time, and wrote about his experience in a tersely-worded missive entitled "Ann Coulter and the mob." It's still worth a read, if you haven't yet.

So that was that brouhaha. Now for a new brouhaha. Turns out Houle was being pushed by Allan Rock the whole time. Here's an excerpt from today's Toronto Star:

In fact, the released documents show that it was Rock — not Houle — who asked that the email be sent. Rock even dictated some of the wording.

"Ann Coulter is a mean-spirited, small-minded, foul-mouthed poltroon," Rock wrote to Houle in a March 18 email. "She is 'the loud mouth that bespeaks the vacant mind'."

"She is an ill-informed and deeply offensive shill for a profoundly shallow and ignorant view of the world. She is a malignancy on the body politic. She is a disgrace to the broadcasting industry and a leading example of the dramatic decline in the quality of public discourse in recent times."

At the same time, he argued, "we should not take any steps to interfere with her plans to speak next week on our campus."

Instead, Rock advised Houle he should write to Coulter informing her of the different rules surrounding free speech in Canada compared with those in the United States.

"You, Francois, as Provost, should write immediately to Coulter informing her of our domestic laws. ... You should urge her to respect that Canadian tradition as she enjoys the privilege of her visit."

After seeing a copy of the final email to Coulter, Rock praised Houle: "Quel excellent message! Merci et felicitations. I am sure she has never been dressed down so elegantly in her life!"

Felicitations? After this news makes the rounds, I'm not sure Rock will be so congratulatory.

Posted by P.M. Jaworski on June 29, 2010 in Freedom of expression | Permalink


Rock was the man who brought us the long gun registry after lying about its cost. He is also on record stating that only the police and military should have access to guns. His reaction to Coulter, a promoter of freedom, is no surprise.

Posted by: Alain | 2010-06-29 7:20:42 PM

"Hey Francois, call her a doo-doo head for me, but don't tell her I put you up to it."


"Hey Rob, send that guy south for me, but don't tell anyone I asked you to do it".

Giants of the justice system. Pass the stackable letter blocks and the diapers.

Posted by: Paul McKeever | 2010-06-29 7:50:57 PM

Proof, once again, that shit does float to the top. At least, it sure did under the Liberals. Allan "Fiberal" Rock a Justice Minister, then an ambassador, and now responsible for helping educate impressionable young minds--after engineering a gun registry with a cost overrun of ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND PERCENT? Larry "da Vinci" Campbell a Senator--after showing that he was completely incompetent even to patch potholes as Mayor of Vancouver? ? Michael "the American" Ignatieff head of the Liberal Party--without even bothering to put it to a vote?

It stuns me that these hapless political travesties still garner any votes at all. Increasingly, the seem to be the kind of folk who railed at George Bush's malapropisms while ignoring the fact that their own Liberal PM was barely even intelligible.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-06-29 8:04:08 PM

"Proof, once again, that shit does float to the top"


Quel excellent message! Merci et felicitations. I am sure *he* has never been dressed down so *accurately* in *his* life!

Posted by: cas127 | 2010-06-29 9:25:56 PM

Allan Rock........President of the University of Ottawa ???. The same dumb as a stick Allan that probably would go broke running a hot dog stand?? I guess that's the old saying, :those that can do will do.....those that can't will teach.

Posted by: peterj | 2010-06-30 12:23:41 AM

I don't get it. On CFRB AM radio in Toronto this morning, the spin on the Allan Rock connection is that he was in favor or inviting Ann Coulter back to the campus. All of the nastiness and Rock's role in instructing Houle to write a threatening letter to Coulter, were sanitized from the story. Instead Allan Rock was portrayed as the voice of reason and fairness, fighting to give Ann Coulter a chance to speak.

Is this an example of successful PR and spin control?

Posted by: Dan | 2010-06-30 6:15:37 AM

'While ignoring the fact that their own Liberal PM was barely intelligible.'

One word CRAPer/ Kow Tower Harper won't be enunciating is:

M A J O R I T Y.


Do ya reckon that our Minority PM Harper has ever imagined himself and GWB floating up together on a Rapture Disc, to meet a fair skinned, blue eyed Jesus, as the world and it's Sinners are consumed in Hellfire?

A 'Mission Accomplished' kinda thing.

'Those WMD's have got to be here somewhere.'


'I get high with a little help from my friends.'

Stephen Harper.

Can you feel the Rapture?

Posted by: jeff franklin | 2010-06-30 6:49:18 AM

Continued felicitations? Yep! Commiseration? Yep, for you wonks - any story is reason to trot out the ludicrous political tantrums, eh? His description is accurate, as was the reporting that he still thought they should let her speak.

Wait, wait, wait. Are you guys doing a parody of Coulter? Nah.

Posted by: Strat | 2010-06-30 6:51:36 AM

I guess that's the old saying, :those that can do will do.....those that can't will teach.

And those who can do neither, will manage.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-06-30 8:04:35 AM

One word CRAPer/ Kow Tower Harper won't be enunciating is: M A J O R I T Y.

Really? Who is his competition? A lame-duck history professor whose party already has the knives out for him? The Right is united. The Left is hopelessly fractured, much like the rest of your post. Have you ever written anything serious here? Ever?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-06-30 8:07:44 AM

Don't try to sugar-coat it, Strat. Rock the weasel dictated the letter and then decamped as swiftly as possible, leaving his underling to take the flak. There's no justifying that; it was the act of a back-stabbing coward. The last time I saw something like this was in a Dilbert strip.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-06-30 8:09:25 AM

Hi Shane.

No, he did not dictate the content. He made his concerns clear and directed an underling. The underling did as he was told and Rock approved.

During the Ezra Levant publicity stunt, Rock made the University's official statement. Alan Harrison (U of Calgary) and Sid Ryan (CUPE) were the vocal critics, speaking from Ezra's prepared talking points.

Posted by: Strat | 2010-06-30 9:05:40 AM

No surprise here, Alan Rock wants to take guns away from canadians, and now we find he wants to control speech.
The guy has always been a despicable liar.

Posted by: don b | 2010-06-30 9:43:41 AM

Rock did dictate the content, Strat, which is not the same as actually dictating the letter verbatim. That he was nowhere to be found when the shit hit the fan is a matter of public record.

Why any university board of directors would want as their president someone who engineered a 100,000-percent cost overrun baffles me. Of course, it is Ottawa...

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-06-30 10:09:42 AM

People like Allan Rock are all over Ontario. I am tending to feel the same way as Zeb the Spike.

Posted by: Agha Ali Arkhan | 2010-06-30 11:37:05 PM

Allan Rock is a nothing more than a maggot, consuming the nearly dead flesh of a once proud nation. When he said as Justice Minister that Canadians didn't have the right to defend their lives with guns the Trudeau wannabe sentenced anonymous innocent people to death while empowering criminals all in the name of "distinctly Canadian" values. He is now where he belongs, orchestrating the goose-stepping jackboots of political correctness from his institutionalized Ivory Tower.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2010-07-01 10:08:54 AM

If you people are seriously shocked that somebody thinks Ann Coulter is an idiot, you really need to get out more.

Posted by: Heather | 2010-07-01 4:10:28 PM

It's one thing to think it, Heather. Quite another to put it in official university e-mails, and another thing still to demand that someone else disseminate your poison-filled rantings and sign their name to it instead of your own, capping your audacity by tucking tail and leaving your underling's reputation to be sullied instead of your own.

Rock's conduct was sleazy, cowardly, mendacious, craven, petulant, juvenile, and downright despicable. There is something about that entire generation of eastern Canadian elite that seems to ooze with this kind of pathological irreverence, psychotic iconoclasm, and narcissistic moonbattery. Allan Rock, Irwin Cotler, Sheila Copps, John Ralston Saul, Paul Martin, Louise Arbour, Jean Chretien, and of course the granddaddy of them all, Pierre Trudeau—all of them were famous for arrogance that would choke a Missouri mule.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-07-01 5:45:28 PM

If Heather thinks this thread is about Coulter, one wonders who the idiot is and who needs to get out more?

Posted by: John Chittick | 2010-07-01 6:33:57 PM

John- Exactly. How one person feels about Ann Coulter should have no effect on her freedom to voice her opinion. In the US, this could constitute a civil rights infringement.

Posted by: dp | 2010-07-01 11:55:17 PM

If you people are seriously shocked that somebody thinks Ann Coulter is an idiot, you really need to get out more.

Posted by: Heather | 2010-07-01 4:10:28 PM

You seem to be missing a very important point here Heather.

Posted by: peterj | 2010-07-02 9:02:54 PM

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