September 01, 2008
It IS time....
U.S. political scientists fear Canadian Human Rights Commission
Posted by: P.M. Jaworski
Saturday, August 23, 2008
The American Political Science Association - the largest association for political scientists in the world - is planning to host its 2009 annual conference in Toronto. That has some political scientists sufficiently concerned to start a petition to keep the event out of Canada.
What are they afraid of? According to an article by former Western Standard editor Kevin Libin, these political scientists are concerned that some of their fellow academics will get ensnared by Canada's Human Rights Commissions.
"Our belief is that most Americans - even APSA members - have no idea how precarious the rights of freedom of speech and conscience are in Canada," said Bradley Watson, professor of American and Western political thought at Pennsylvania's St. Vincent College.
Marquette Warrior has the entire text of the petition. A couple of excerpts:
"And whereas Canada’s Human Rights Commissions (HRCs) have recently sought to suppress speech and impose legal penalties on speakers for expressing opinions on issues ranging from the morality of homosexual conduct and the question of legal recognition of same-sex unions to the threat to freedom posed by violent extremists acting in the name of Islam - speech that, according to all accounts, would be protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States;
"And whereas, while we know of no direct suppression of academic freedom that has yet occurred in Canada, yet the writ of Canada’s HRCs runs without evident limit to encompass any speech, academic or otherwise, to which potential complainants take “offense” - and whereas, the arbitrariness and procedurally unconstrained practices of the HRCs create an air of uncertainty regarding whose speech, on what subjects, before what audiences, will be targeted next;
"And whereas members of the Association ought to be able at the 2009 annual meeting to present research and argument on controversial topics, such as public policy concerning homosexuality or the character of and proper response to terrorist elements acting in the name of Islam, without fear of legal repercussions of any kind,
"THEREFORE we petition the Council and staff of the APSA to take all steps necessary to ensure that academic freedom and free speech, even on controversial topics such as these, are not threatened at the 2009 annual meeting, including soliciting legal advice and seeking the assurance of the Government of Canada and local authorities that the civil rights and liberties of members to free speech and academic freedom will be secure."
My thoughts: I am embarrassed by the Canadian Human Rights Commissions. That a group of academics would fear speaking freely in Canada on controversial subjects is outrageous. It is time for us not to look to fiddle with the Canadian Human Rights Commissions to make them work.
It is time to abolish this un-Canadian and humiliating organ of Orwellian state speech suppression. Not amend, not adjust, not "make reasonable changes," but abolish.
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