A former conservative M.P. speaks out on Free Speech
By Stephen J. Gray
“…ultimately the judgment of history always sides with free speech, warts and all, with its ability to insult, provoke, challenge and inspire.”
Monte Solberg, former conservative M.P. writing in Toronto Sun, March 29, 2010
Mr. Solberg should tell that to his former boss, Stephen Harper. Mr. Harper’s “conservative” government was an intervenor against free speech.
Consider this: “The Attorney General of Canada, the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the Canadian Jewish Congress, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre and B'nai Brith Canada will be intervening in the Lemire case in support of Section 13, arguing that it is a reasonable restriction on freedom of speech” (Canadian Constitution Foundation Letter of April 28, 2008).
On freedom of speech, Mr. Solberg, now speaks out. But where was he when he was part of Mr. Harper’s government? Was he one of the muzzled minions? Still, it’s good now that he has left politics that he has the courage to speak out.
Speaking out in the “conservative” government for free speech appears to be subject to some kind of censorship.
A Lifesite news article of February 12, 2008, by John-Henry Westen, had this to say about the Conservative government’s stand on Human Rights Commissions: “Internal Memo Tells Canada’s Conservative MPs to be Noncommittal on Human Rights Commissions: Specifies that Conservative MPs are not to stand up publicly for freedom of speech for Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant.”
The article stated: “An internal memo to Conservative MPs sent last week will be sure to disappoint freedom-loving Canadians. The memo, confirmed by LifeSiteNews.com as legitimate, originated from the office of the Minister of Justice Rob Nicholson. The
‘talking points’ memo directs Conservative MPs to remain noncommittal on support for Liberal MP Keith Martin’s motion M-446, which would put an end to the growing and dangerous abuse of human rights commissions….”(see full article here:
Human Rights Commissions are an aberration in a supposedly free and democratic society. It was politicians that brought these unelected, appointed bureaucratic monsters into being. Politicians, if they had the political courage, could disband them. But, political courage is lacking in Canada today. Witness the recent debacle at the University of Ottawa where the Ann Coulter speech had to be cancelled because of anti-free speech mobs. Still, it is not surprising to see this type of jackbooted behaviour--it is happening on university campuses all the time--in Canada. The thugs know the politicians will not defend free speech, and therefore they realize they can invade, attack and impose their brown-shirted tactics at will. After all, if those who are elected to public office will not defend free speech, but instead interfere against it, who will?
Still, kudos to Mr. Solberg for speaking out, maybe other Harper conservatives will now find their voice in defense of free speech.
Stephen J. Gray