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You are here: Home Canadian Values More Freedom of Speech John Carpay: Canadian universities are far too tolerant of obstructionist behaviour that shuts down free speech

John Carpay: Canadian universities are far too tolerant of obstructionist behaviour that shuts down free speech

It seems there is a new doctrine rapidly gaining acceptance at universities across Canada: Silencing people you disagree with is OK, as long your tactics of disruption and obstruction are not violent.

In recent months, there have been a growing number of incidents of university presidents blithely condoning the silencing of speakers who have unpopular views (or at least views that are unpopular with a vocal minority).

To cite just one example, this past March a mob of loud protesters effectively shut down a presentation at McMaster University by University of Toronto psychology professor Jordan Peterson.  They rang bells and beat drums, chanting "Shut him down!" and "Transphobic piece of s--t!"  Peterson could not be heard in the classroom.  He eventually went outside, and the loud mob followed. Peterson had been invited to speak at McMaster about freedom of speech and political correctness.

More worrisome than the noisy mob was the response of Patrick Dean, president of McMaster University. Dean characterized the loud bell-ringing, drum-beating and disruptive chanting as "peaceful protest." He said McMaster should allow such activities, and will continue to allow them in future.

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