Freedom of Speech, Canadian Style

The great Ann Coulter will be spreading her countermoonbat message on Canadian campuses this week. Needless to say, progressives aren’t pleased. They believe in freedom of speech — unless of course you don’t toe their line. Then you might find yourself thrown in jail, as stressed in this letter from the University of Ottawa’s Vice-President Academic and Provost (via the National Post):

Dear Ms. Coulter,

I understand that you have been invited by University of Ottawa Campus Conservatives to speak at the University of Ottawa this coming Tuesday. We are, of course, always delighted to welcome speakers on our campus and hope that they will contribute positively to the meaningful exchange of ideas that is the hallmark of a great university campus. We have a great respect for freedom of expression in Canada, as well as on our campus, and view it as a fundamental freedom, as recognized by our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

I would, however, like to inform you, or perhaps remind you, that our domestic laws, both provincial and federal, delineate freedom of expression (or “free speech”) in a manner that is somewhat different than the approach taken in the United States. I therefore encourage you to educate yourself, if need be, as to what is acceptable in Canada and to do so before your planned visit here.

You will realize that Canadian law puts reasonable limits on the freedom of expression. For example, promoting hatred against any identifiable group would not only be considered inappropriate, but could in fact lead to criminal charges. Outside of the criminal realm, Canadian defamation laws also limit freedom of expression and may differ somewhat from those to which you are accustomed. I therefore ask you, while you are a guest on our campus, to weigh your words with respect and civility in [quack quack quack quack…]

Francois Houle,
Vice-President Academic and Provost, University of Ottawa

In another expression of the Canadian academic community’s devotion to the free exchange of ideas:

The president of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa has barred a volunteer organizer from putting up posters advertising the upcoming appearance of American right-wing columnist and political commentator Ann Coulter.

She is to talk about political correctness, media bias and freedom of speech Tuesday night at Marion Hall as part of a Canadian lecture tour. Canadian conservative political activist Ezra Levant will also speak at the event and introduce Coulter.

“The federation does not support Ann Coulter speaking on our campus,” said student president Seamus Wolfe. “We’re trying to work with the administration to see if we can ask her to do her speaking event somewhere else.”

Wolfe justifies the squelching of speech not in tune with his totalitarian ideology by deeming it “hate speech” — on the grounds that liberals hate it when anyone dares to disagree with them. As the hard left looks for new horizons after healthcare, expect similar tactics to be used to silence opposition in the USSA.

A moonbat’s worst nightmare.

Hat tip: LOTUS. On a tip from Leslie. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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