Brian Peckford was scheduled to give a talk at the local Ballenas High School nearby in Parksville BC. The talk was organized by one of the teachers and approved by the principal … and then the day before the talk …
“Ballenas School Cancels My Talk After Agreeing To It !
Many were fearful including Carol [wife of Brian] and I about whether this would actually occur.
And sure enough the teacher who was organizing it, and had the Principal’s approval, was called into the Principal’s office yesterday and was informed the talk was off. When asked why , the teacher was told that I [Brian] am in the news a lot lately and that they could not risk ‘someone asking the wrong question or Brian saying the wrong thing.’
There you have it democracy on full display —I mean no democracy —and predicting ahead something as grounds for cancelling? You know now that free speech in a tax payer financed place —-no more.
Of course, the City Council of Parksville refused my offer of giving them a presentation on the Charter and our MLA refused to arrange a presentation on the same subject to his caucus unless I agreed to his conditions of time , only 30 minutes and using certain technology. And, of course, we don’t know whether caucus would agree or were aware of these conditions.
So here we have an architect and signatory to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, one of our sharpest political minds, living in a little Canadian town and willing to give a talk to local high school students. Such opportunity! Then he is refused because something he might say would be controversial. And I have to ask what is wrong with controversy, open minded contrary discussions challenge young minds, young minds that we are supposed to be building not sheltering. Controversy is exciting and stimulating, setting your brain awhirl.
This is the same school a few years ago that pulled kids out of their classrooms to listen to Green Party angst about how we are destroying the planet with our ‘gasp!’ emissions and that the solution is to reset the economy by eliminating pipelines and fossil fuels, replacing them with wind and solar. My grandsons were in the audience they survived this drivel and went on to understand that some very self important people can say the most stupid stuff. We still have a good laugh years later.
Kids are made of sterner stuff. Brian, as one of our great Canadians should not be censored by a hand wringing administrator. “Oh my, what if he says something the school board doesn’t agree with or gets a parent upset?” Kids deserve better, how will they ever develop critical reasoning if there is nothing to criticize.
Let Brian talk, his judgement is based on copious fact, logic, and experiences that few have had. Don’t close down your mind, listen and think, then, if you still disagree, ask challenging questions or get in an expert to give another talk. If you find what Brian has to say challenges your beliefs, you should be intellectually honest enough to change your mind and admit that you were wrong. This is called ‘free speech’ and it is way better than being told what to think.