Canada’s Heritage Minister Stands up for Free Speech
Thank you, James Moore!
When officials at the Iranian Embassy attempted to shut down the screening of the documentary “Iranium”, a film critical of Iran’s regime, James Moore, Canada’s Heritage Minister stood firm against the bullies and stood up for the freedom of speech rights of Canadians.
The Minister was clear and concise in word and deed as he informed officials at Library and Archive Canada that the show must go on. To wit, he said: “We’re not going to be dictated to by the Iranian Embassy, and we’re not going to be dictated to by those who threaten violence.”
Concerns about suspicious packages, arriving at the last minute as they did, made it difficult to ensure the safety of the attendees which resulted in the second and final cancellation but the Heritage Minister did not back off, informing Library and Archives that they must work with Fred Litwin of Free Thinking Film Society to secure a future date for the screening as soon as possible at his convenience.
Good! We wish to offer our unqualified appreciation for the Canadian government’s response in this matter.
We would be remiss however if we did not take this opportunity to note, given our own experiences with bullies and thugs, that standing up to such an unpopular regime appears relatively easy while dealing with our own homegrown bullies seems a bit more of a challenge for the Canadian government.
The rain date (or should we say the “pain date”?) for the Ottawa screening has been set for February, 6th, and we understand that efforts are being made to hold a Toronto screening. No doubt the free publicity created by the would-be censors ensures future screenings will be well attended. These censorship attempts, especially when they are accompanied by threats of violence, usually become a rallying cry to freeborn Canadians to come out and show their support by standing with the aggrieved parties and joining them in defying the bullies.
There will of course be security at the event in order to guarantee the safety of those who wish to exercise their freedom to hear and see whatever they want. As we asked when Christie Blatchford was shut down at the University of Waterloo, who are these fascists and what makes them so bold in their disregard of the free speech rights of those they disagree with? Why do they feel they can ignore the rule of law with impunity? Why do they believe they are justified in using physical threats to compel others to agree with them?
We believe that our homegrown bullies who shut down events with alarming regularity, feel emboldened to utter rubbish about “safe spaces” and feel justified in using any means necessary to secure their safe spaces from the presence of dissenting opinions because an example has been set for them by human rights commissions. The CHRC, which houses the bureaucratic machinery provided by the state to quash views that diverge from those held by the ideologues that run these institutions, has taught them that the end justifies the means.
The officials at the Iranian Embassy have learned that Canada is not a nation to be trifled with when it comes to freedom of speech.
Now would be a good time for the government to show the same kind of steely resolve in facing down our home grown bullies by dismantling the CHRC, if we are indeed a nation that will not tolerate the suppression of speech either from inside or out.