It goes without saying that the Canadian right to “free expression” entails the fundamental freedom to speak one’s mind without fear of censure or punishment by State authorities. The other less advertised aspect of “free speech”, however, entails the ability to have clear, unencumbered access to information or “expressive material and to hear and see information and opinions as protected by section 2(b) of the Charter”. This latter aspect of the two-sided “free speech” coin is being tested by two C3RF founding members in the form of Madeline Weld and Valerie Price (nee Thomas). Recall that they are taking the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) to task through a Divisional Court Judicial Review of the library’s decision to cancel the presentation of the documentary film, “Killing Europe” in November, 2017. By the way, if you’d like to support C3RF efforts to help Madeline and Valerie in their brave cause please consider our May, 2019 funding drive referenced below or accessed here.
The film was controversial as it dealt with first hand, eye-witness accounts of the social dislocation caused by EU “open door”, mass migration policies. The wheels of justice truly move slowly, and while cross-examinations of both parties (Valerie and Madeline; CEO of OPL) took place on March 13th, the hearing for the legal arguments has not yet been scheduled. Fact remains; the case is central to the “free speech” debate in Canada as the right to “hear” opinions is just as essential to the maintenance of a free society as is the right to express them. Just look at what happens when the former right is short-shifted by a callous and self-serving government. There are many examples in Canada including those that touch upon the nation’s security interests.