Media freedom doesn’t come free

Media freedom doesn’t come freeTo say that Canada needs journalists is simply to state the obvious. Of course, Canada needs journalists who are free to uncover, discover and convey news from our neighbourhoods on up to the international level. Canada also needs commentators who are free to provide points of view or analysis. But how can we have good…

It’s time we all stood up for Julian Assange

What message do we send dictators and the people who live under their tyranny if we don’t have the courage to live up to our own ideals?

It’s time we all stood up for Julian AssangeIt’s very rare to hear Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson and scholar Noam Chomsky agree on anything but a largely underreported topic brings both ends of the political spectrum together: the Julian Assange affair. In a recent interview, Carlson’s guest Glenn Greenwald pointed out that efforts to silence Assange go back to the administration of…

Spotting and tackling prejudice

Move away from false statements and over-generalizations and recognize everyone as individuals

Spotting and tackling prejudiceRacism exists in Vancouver. How much, how bad and how widespread it is we can debate. That there are other places where the situation is much worse we can agree. But we still have room to improve here. In case there’s any doubt, Fairchild TV has produced two videos (here and here) documenting expressions of…

China targets everyone in the world

The Communists have issued arrest warrants for six pro-democracy advocates living outside Hong Kong

China targets everyone in the worldIn a little noted move, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) flexed its imperial muscle – criminalizing criticism of it anywhere on the planet – by issuing an arrest warrant for U.S. citizen Samuel Chu, a pro-democracy advocate for Hong Kong. In fact, by publishing this op-ed, this media outlet and I are breaking CCP laws…

Cancel culture equivalent to infamous Hollywood blacklist

Pushing back against emboldened righteousness isn’t a task for the timid. J.K. Rowling is not timid

Cancel culture equivalent to infamous Hollywood blacklistJ.K. Rowling – the British author who created the stunningly successful Harry Potter series – is a political liberal. In 2008, she donated £1 million to the U.K. Labour Party. In 2016, she campaigned for Remain in the Brexit referendum. She’s a professed admirer of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. And so on. Despite these…

Statue-toppling and the narrowness of righteous minds

Just because someone else’s history makes you uncomfortable doesn’t give you a moral licence to erase it from public space

Statue-toppling and the narrowness of righteous mindsIf I were a Brit – which I’m not – I’d be materially annoyed at the vandalization of Winston Churchill’s statue and the related attempts to remove it from its perch in London’s Parliament Square. And in keeping with today’s enthusiasm for rhetorical hyperbole, I’d be tempted to consider it the thin end of the…

Gagging social media won’t halt criticism

Donald Trump recently lashed out at Twitter, claiming the company was interfering with his freedom of speech

Gagging social media won’t halt criticismThe First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Section 2…

How far should we go to stop the social media chaos?

Maybe the problem isn’t the mischief-makers who are planting claims. Maybe it’s the social media themselves that are the problem

How far should we go to stop the social media chaos?Did you know that the Covid-19 virus was created by the emergence of 5G networks? I know this information may come as a bit of a shock to you, but it’s from a doctor in the U.S., so, you know, we have to take it seriously. Dr. Thomas Cowan claimed in a video released on…

Democracy can’t afford to stifle dissent and discussion

Protesters have silenced free speech through a combination of media pressure, inflated security costs claims, boycotts, riots and violence

Democracy can’t afford to stifle dissent and discussionThe Cancel Culture has claimed another victim. Renowned poet George Elliott Clarke has backed out of giving the University of Regina’s Woodrow Lloyd Lecture over accusations from Indigenous activists that he associates with another poet with a criminal background. His talk was to have been titled ‘Truth and Reconciliation;’ versus the ‘Murdered and Missing’: Examining…

Intolerance is the new tolerance

New tolerance demands that we accept either the most popular view or the view of the most vocal group or shut up

Intolerance is the new tolerance“I am intolerant of intolerance” has become something of a mantra for suppressing unpopular opinions. Today’s “new tolerance”, as it is called in academic circles, is redefining our understanding of tolerance and shaping our behaviour in public spaces, but it is no friend to the exercise of conscience and freedom of speech. In the past,…
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