May 06, 2019

Jason Kenney wants to strengthen campus free speech — and a newspaper comes out against it

Ezra LevantRebel Commander

I used to live in Edmonton, Alberta, and from time to time I visited the luxurious downtown offices of the Edmonton Journal. What a holdover from an era when newspapers actually used to make money — and when they were the center of a city.

And right there in the lobby was the honorary Pulitzer Prize won by that newspaper way back in 1938. It was for the Edmonton Journal’s resistance to laws introduced by Social Credit premier Bill Aberhart.

Aberhart couldn’t stand critics of his government, so he passed a series of laws, including one that would force newspapers to run “editorial content” written by Aberthart’s government to “correct” the wrong ideas in the papers.

The Edmonton Journal, refused, and railed against this. The laws were soon enough struck down by the Supreme Court.

But look at this, from today's Edmonton Journal

UCP prepares to roll out Ford-flavoured post-secondary changes in Alberta

The UCP government will require Alberta post-secondary institutions to adopt controversial free speech policies based on U.S. principles that allow speakers, no matter how “unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive,” say what they like on campuses.

Is free speech a U.S. principle? Is that what our Supreme Court of Canada said in the case of the Press Act and Bill Aberhart? Have you ever — you know — read the Charter of Rights? It’s right there in section 2 b! Or the Canadian Bill of Rights? It’s right there in section 1, d and f!

These policies, the Edmonton Journal continues:

...are called the Chicago Principles.

Hailed by Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides and others as the “gold standard,” they were developed by the University of Chicago in 2014 to demonstrate a commitment to free speech on U.S. college campuses.

But some worry they don’t allow universities to distinguish between groups or individuals who want to speak on campus, be it a flat-earth society, racists or a celebrity.

Here's an example of what the Chicago Principles are all about:

It is not the proper role of the University to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive. Although the University greatly values civility, and although all members of the University community share in the responsibility for maintaining a climate of mutual respect, concerns about civility and mutual respect can never be used as a justification for closing off discussion of ideas, however offensive or disagreeable those ideas may be to some members of our community.

Can you disagree with that? Well, the Edmonton Journal does.

And having just mocked free speech as something un-Albertan, it goes on to quote one "Professor Sigal Ben-Porath, a University of Pennsylvania free speech scholar, helped Ontario institutions develop Ford-mandated policies."

“We are serving more and more diverse students…. (and) we need to be thoughtful in the ways in which we organize the environment in which they are learning,” she said.

So she’s saying that minorities or new immigrants can’t handle freedom.

Sorry, that’s the soft bigotry of low expectations.

There's more to this Edmonton Journal story, as I'll show you tonight.

I found this newsworthy because I used to live in Edmonton, and I’ve seen that Pulitzer Prize plaque; and I know how a premier tried to shut down the free press by calling it fake news. I loved my Alberta history, my pride in knowing that someone fought back, and lived up to the provincial motto, fortis et liber, strong and free.

Now that same newspaper is ridiculing free speech as a foreign idea, a wacky idea, even an illegal idea.

Sorry. That’s a disgrace.

And you oughta know about it...

NEXT: Joel Pollak of joins me to talk about the hundreds of rocket attacks on Israel this week.

FINALLY: Your messages to me!

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commented 2019-05-06 21:47:21 -0400
Sounds Good , the Edmonton Journal is no longer allowed to publish.
commented 2019-05-06 21:42:46 -0400
Ezra stated, “So she’s saying that minorities or new immigrants can’t handle freedom”. Unfortunately ‘She’ is right but they sure know how to handle people who were once free, Canadians for example, who.are cast aside as garbage if they get in the way of Islam and it’s good friend Trudeau. The same Trudeau whom will declare himself King, just before the next election is due.
commented 2019-05-06 21:41:11 -0400
The left wing liberals are elevating religions such as Islam to eradicate Judaism and Christianity. It’s as basic as that.
commented 2019-05-06 21:39:36 -0400
I wish people knew palestine isn’t a indigenous culture. It never existed. It’s part of syria. Arabs. The very people Columbus fled from
commented 2019-05-06 21:33:32 -0400
The Edmonton Journal has disgraced itself. We are not going to let these twisted cultural Marxists take away our free speech. It will not happen.
Strong and Free is our birthright. Ford and Kenney must stand their ground. We are counting on all good men to stand up for our long held, hard won, rights and freedoms. Don’t make us go to war again to protect them.

Really good opener Ezra.
commented 2019-05-06 21:32:37 -0400
Awesome ‘swearing’ reply and Rex Murphy story.
commented 2019-05-06 21:29:59 -0400
The liberals will bring any scum to increase their votes
commented 2019-05-06 20:58:04 -0400
I do agree that you, Ezra, should stop swearing. There are sledgehammer words for even the most reprehensible of people. Using gutter language just cheapens your argument. Also, why copy Rex Murphy? Swearing just makes people cringe.
commented 2019-05-06 20:29:08 -0400
Joe Howe’s speech(es) were ghost written by Jock (Will the Ranter of Craiglee) Craig…executive secretary of the Nova Scotia Separatist Party and controversial pamphleteer (which he quit when it became the federal Liberal Party)….my great grandfather.
commented 2019-05-06 20:07:54 -0400
Typical scab socialist’s trying to block free speech all the while pumping students heads full of climate crap and gender bending!!!