Madeline Weld and Valerie Thomas were scheduled to host a screening of a documentary called "Killing Europe" in an Ottawa public library back on November 25, of 2017.
You can watch a trailer for the film, here.
The film’s producer Michael Hansen was scheduled to give a presentation following the viewing of the film, and to take questions from the audience. It was going to be a public debate. People could buy tickets to attend.
The library approved — they even signed a contract.
But just one day before the screening, the event organizers were informed via an email from library staff that the film screening would be cancelled.
The email read as follows:
"[a]s a result of a number of complaints that have been raised, Library staff have undertaken a further review of the presentation entitled, Killing Europe, which you have proposed to screen at the Ottawa Public Library’s Main branch tomorrow... it is my view that the content falls within the category of material that the Library is not prepared to have displayed or screened on its property. As a result, I must advise that the Library is immediately cancelling the booking in question.”
Sorry, that’s censorship.
It’s the opposite of what libraries are supposed to be about — especially in our nation’s capital.
Luckily, John Carpay and the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms has agreed to take the case. They’re Canada’s leading public interest law firm fighting for freedom of speech. And they’re suing the Ottawa Public Library — a government institution — for violating the freedom of speech of Madeline, Valerie, and all the people who bought tickets.
Public libraries are just that public, they can not simply cancel a film screening because staff do not support or agree with the views expressed in the film.
No matter what side of the debate Canadians are on, we still believe in a debate — something the Ottawa Public Library has forgotten.
If you think this legal battle is important, please contribute below and help us pay the JCCF's legal fees.
You can also contribute by cheque to support this initiative. Please make cheques payable to The Rebel, add "Library Ban" to the memo section, and send to:
PO Box 61056 Eglinton/Dufferin RO
Toronto, ON M6E 5B2