Peckford: The State of Freedom of Speech in Canada

I Was Denied The Opportunity To Speak At A Canadian University

A law student friend of mine thought it would be a good idea to have me come to his law class and explain my involvement with the Constitution Act 1982 ( last surviving First Minister who helped craft it and whose signature is on its foundational document ) especially given the recent national interest in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms , a main feature of the Constitution Act mentioned. 

Well , the student was quite excited and was under the impression that the Professor would endorse the idea. When the student approached the Prof about the idea he seemed interested and said he would call me and work out the details. 

Aware of the strange world we now inhabit I contacted the student to remind him that he should make sure his professor has the endorsement of his ‘bosses on the idea.

The student has since contacted me to say that the opportunity for me to speak has been denied . The student explained that in the days leading up to the Professor ‘s answer the Prof seemed aloof and avoiding him. When the student finally got to speak to the Professor ———here are the students words : ‘

‘To my surprise my professor hinted strongly at the fact that the university had not approved of your presentation, and he had not reached out to you.’

Sadly , there are many Canadians who still believe this kind of thing does not happen in this country. Some would even doubt my honesty in the matter or that surly there much be something more to it. 

Well, there is not!!

Of course, this follows other like rejections this past year including the local high school where approval had been given for me to speak but withdrawn two days before the event , the local Mayor rejecting my offer to brief the city council, and the local Provincial Legislative Representative who put obstacles in the way of me providing my constitutional position on Provincial Mandates and the history of The Charter of Rights and Freedoms to the Provincial Government caucus. 

Such is the state of freedom of speech and hence democracy in our country today , one with which sadly , it seems , many Canadians are in agreement. 

Sent from my iPad

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