Compelled speech compromises basic rights

If the Canada Summer Jobs precedent holds, soon other government agencies will mix public funds and political preferences

Compelled speech compromises basic rightsIn a crucial free speech ruling recently, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that the constitution in that country prohibits forcing people to say what they don’t believe. Here in Canada, a young Ottawa lawyer upped the ante recently by filing a Federal Court lawsuit arguing that our Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects the right…

Conform or else: the Trudeau government’s dictat on free speech

Is it overreach for governments to expect people to bow to official policy in all things? After all, we elected them to lead us

Conform or else: the Trudeau government’s dictat on free speechThe federal government has initiated a new ideological vetting of applicants for its summer job program for students. The organizations nominating students for summer grants, and the students and their parents, must declare that they conform to government of Canada policy. An unusual number of students have been rejected by the government. Considerable adverse comment…

The hollow gestures of an overreaching government

The Trudeau government’s aspirations to mandate equality, diversity and inclusion must be open for discussion, not just blindly accepted

The hollow gestures of an overreaching governmentI seem to have a penchant for seeking out protests – not necessarily to participate but to observe, to soak in the screams, the worn-out chants, the always amusing soundbite slogans. This particular demonstration, while not well attended, took place in front of the Supreme Court of Canada. The “anti-capitalist” rally and march in support…

NFL puts greed ahead of freedom of expression, again

NFL owners are rich, not necessarily smart. Forcing players to stand at attention during the national anthem undermines basic rights

NFL puts greed ahead of freedom of expression, again“Being rich doesn’t mean you’re smart, honest or fair. It just means you're rich.” That’s how John Feinstein ended his column about how former San Francisco 49er Eric Reid is getting punished by rich National Football League owners – in the same way former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is – for kneeling during the playing…

No-go zones around abortion clinics are unconstitutional

Free societies don’t dictate the correct answers to difficult questions, nor protect people from discomfort over their choices

No-go zones around abortion clinics are unconstitutionalAlberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman recently claimed that banning peaceful anti-abortion protests near abortion clinics is not about freedom of expression. Yet she has also expressed confidence that her new law would withstand a constitutional challenge. By speaking of a constitutional challenge, it seems that she knows that this new law tramples on free expression…

The modern quest for equality sacrifices freedom

In societies where economic equality exists, individual liberty is highly restricted. Communism is the perfect example

The modern quest for equality sacrifices freedomEquality is one of the hallowed values of the post-Enlightenment west. It's celebrated in the French revolutionary slogan, “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,” and in the American Declaration of Independence, which asserts that it is “self-evident” that “all men are created equal,” as well as that all men have “inalienable Rights” such as “Liberty.” The Canadian Charter of…

Social justice warriors love diversity, except of opinions

Would you want your favourite sports team to choose its players based on diversity, or on the best players out there?

Social justice warriors love diversity, except of opinionsTwo academic conferences have recently been criticized for not being sufficiently diverse. A conference to empower women and train them for leadership was cancelled by St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minn., because, according to school officials, the lineup of speakers did “not reflect the diverse St. Kate’s community of today nor the world of…

Students should be challenged, and humbled, by knowledge

The education system has an obligation to put typically arrogant and ignorant students on a collision course with hard truths

Students should be challenged, and humbled, by knowledgeYouth is arrogant. The photograph on my phone is proof. In the photo, a young man hangs by one hand off the side of a skyscraper. He’s using his other hand to take a selfie. This is called roof-topping. It’s a kind of sports photography that encourages adrenalin junkies to climb skyscrapers and take photos…

Bill C-59’s overreach allows security to trump freedom

Bill C-59, Canada’s new spy legislation, threatens the freedom of expression, the right to life, liberty and the security of the person

Bill C-59’s overreach allows security to trump freedomOne-time prime minister John Diefenbaker said, “We must vigilantly stand on guard within our own borders for human rights and fundamental freedoms which are our proud heritage. … We cannot take for granted the continuance and maintenance of those rights and freedoms.” But critics warn that Bill C-59, Canada’s new spy legislation, threatens the freedom…

Canada falling into the anti-Trump trap

As Canadians try desperately to prove we’re not Trump’s America, we make grievous social and political errors

Canada falling into the anti-Trump trapThe election of President Donald Trump in the United States is changing the political world in Canada. To his critics, Trump’s the worst of everything a human being can be. His detractors call him names that would have been considered extreme even for a president as divisive as Richard Nixon. According to his supporters, he…
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