Canada is Free and Freedom is Its Nationality

Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My Letter to the Editors

Letter to the Editor I sent to The National Post, The Ottawa Sun, The Ottawa Citizen, and The Toronto Star. We shall see who, if anyone, publishes it.

Dear U of O students.

That was brilliant.

Last night I, as a young Canadian, was ashamed for my country. Ashamed of how pitiful, petty, and totalitarian we were going to look on the world stage because of your actions. We pride ourselves on being polite and courteous, then we welcome a visitor to our nation by threatening them and shutting down their attempt to speak.

You don't have to like Ann Coulter. I don't necessarily agree with everything she says either (although when I hear her explain what she said as opposed to what people said she said I tend to agree much more). But you didn't have to trample on freedom of speech to do so. There are appropriate ways to deal with speakers you don't like. Vote with your feet, either don't go or walk out if it gets outrageous. Protest peacefully. Use the Q&A session to ask hard questions. Write articles or invite speakers of your own to give a counter perspective. Yes I know that some of this stuff takes more brains and effort than shouting slogans like "Free Speechers go home" but you are in university after all!

Francois Houle is looking for hate speech. I suggest he look at his own desk. Ann Coulter was not going to say anything that would actually incite people to violence. Mr. Houle came within half an inch of doing so. Is that a criminal offence Mr. Houle? Inquiring minds want to know.

What happens, dear students, when you want to host your own controversial speaker? Would you enjoy a much anticipated feminist speaker not being allowed to speak for fear that she might say something offensive to men? Would you enjoy having hordes of angry men outside pounding on the door, threatening your safety, and forcing you to sneak out the back?

Maybe you don't think you need freedom of speech because you think that any liberal ideas are automatically nice, politically correct, tolerant, non-offensive, unanswerable, and self-evidently true. Your own bigotry reveals your need to hear Ann Coulter, if only to find out that your ideas are controversial too. Maybe Ann Coulter could have shaken some of the smug complacency out of you. Maybe not. It would have been nice to find out.

We all need free speech. We need it, you need it. What do you think gave you the right to protest against Ann Coulter?

Free speech.

Rebekah Hebbert


  1. Great work Rebekah.It's very encouraging to know that there are young people like you willing to use your considerable critical thinking ability to counter the very dangerous idea that we shoudn't say or even hold the views that we do.The U of O students showed their true colours and the people may wake up and become engaged.Francois Houle is a disgrace to have given the students legitimacy in their misguided actions.His immediate firing should be demanded,Seeing that he is a public servant payed by the taxpayers,I think it is our right to demand this.Lets keep the ball rolling,the majority of the population can see that the politically correct thought police have gone too far.We can win this battle
    because as my late father used to say ,when you are up against a mentally weaker opponent you can win that battle with one hand tied behind your back.Keep up the good work

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  3. Keep going. Learn from us Kiwis. It took three years of concentrated ridicule to get rid of the Labour Gummint of Helen 1 (the PM) and Helen 2 (her private secretary).

    In the last year they banned political speech. So we moved our webhosts to the USA and kept on going. You will win...

    (Oh, and can someone vote out the Moron who is the MP for Ottawa South. What is in the drinking water down there?

  4. Thank you very much. I'm sure we can win, as long as we brace ourselves to pick on people who don't fight fair.

  5. Way to go, little big sister!