Throw Ann Coulter in jail!

UOttawa’s provost should educate himself on Canada’s hate speech laws.

It isn’t just the student union that is having a fit over Ann Coulter’s planned visit to the University of Ottawa. Francois Houle, vice-president academic and provost at the U of O, has sent Coulter an email warning her to watch her mouth, lest she find herself behind bars.

Coulter has posted the email online, which reads:

I would, however, like to inform you, or perhaps remind you, that our domestic laws, both provincial and federal, delineate freedom of expression (or “free speech”) in a manner that is somewhat different than the approach taken in the United States. I therefore encourage you to educate yourself, if need be, as to what is acceptable in Canada and to do so before your planned visit here.

You will realize that Canadian law puts reasonable limits on the freedom of expression. For example, promoting hatred against any identifiable group would not only be considered inappropriate, but could in fact lead to criminal charges. Outside of the criminal realm, Canadian defamation laws also limit freedom of expression and may differ somewhat from those to which you are accustomed. I therefore ask you, while you are a guest on our campus, to weigh your words with respect and civility in mind.

There is little question that Coulter has written many things considered provocative, rude and inflammatory. For a few examples see here and here. But has she ever said anything criminal? Something so offensive that it would actually attract the attention of the police? Our criminal hate-speech provisions no doubt require an arbitrary line be drawn between what is acceptable and what is not. But the way the law has evolved is that it has become reserved for the most egregious and vile offences, like this case.

When Section 319 of the criminal code, the hate speech provisions, was subject to a Charter challenge and reviewed by the Supreme Court some two decades ago, it survived only because the judges reasoned that, as written, it should not have an overly broad interpretation, and that only the most extreme cases should be subject to prosecution. Such cases typically include a sustained effort by the accused to willfully promote hatred over a period of time, and, in such a way that there would be no redeemable political speech. Hate speech has to be near fully void of relevant comment on issues of public interest. In fact this is written right into the criminal code and anyone charged with promoting hatred has recourse to several defences. The defences include truth, commenting on religious topics, making comments that stem from religious beliefs, and making comments that are on a topic of public interest.

Even if Coulter repeated every inflammatory thing she ever wrote during her visit in Canada, she likely still wouldn’t be charged. And, if she was, she would have several legal defences at her disposal.

Provost Houle wants Coulter to educate herself on our hate speech laws, I would suggest he take his own advice.




Browse

Throw Ann Coulter in jail!

  1. Yes, Ann Coulter is a total right wing nut job. Why would anyone invite her to a university is unbelievable. She is nothing more than a cheap fox network opinion pundit that is there to trash people. She is trash herself.

  2. Actually, Mr. Jerema, I believe Ann Coulter has participated in a wide variety of hate-speech over the years. I applaud the provosts for having the balls to call her on it and give her a stern warning.

  3. Her followers are delusional sycophants. She attacks the science of evolution. She says things that are so sickening it actually causes people to gag. It’s like a modern day freak show.

  4. MacLean’s is the one that needs to do some research. The following are all sourced quotes from Ann Coulter:

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Ann_Coulter

    About Women: I think [women] should be armed but should not vote…women have no capacity to understand how money is earned.

    Referring to Muslims: “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.”

    Bill Clinton “was a very good rapist”

    Being nice to people is, in fact, one of the incidental tenets of Christianity (as opposed to other religions whose tenets are more along the lines of ‘kill everyone who doesn’t smell bad and doesn’t answer to the name Mohammed’).

    Bumper sticker idea for liberals: News magazines don’t kill people, Muslims do.

    The third showed Muhammad with a turban in the shape of a bomb, which I believe was an expression of post-industrial ennui in a secular — oops, no, wait: It was more of a commentary on Muslims’ predilection for violence

    About Muslims: Their immediate response to all bad news is mass violence. The ‘offense to Islam’ ruse is merely an excuse for Muslims to revert to their default mode: rioting and setting things on fire.

  5. “I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it?”

    If I have not offended anyone with my opinion, is my opinion worth more or less?
    For a debate to take place, you need to have both sides represented, no matter how much you like or dislike the other’s point of view. To try otherwise is to enact a totalitarian regime of what ever ideology or political leaning.
    If I have not offended anyone with my opinion, is my opinion worth more or less?

  6. Ideally anyone should be able to come here and freely express their opinions. However if our govt can ban someone like Galloway from coming here why not ban a freak like her.

  7. So many lovers of freedom here…Oh, that’s right, you believe in freedom but only for people who think exactly like you do.

  8. I thought these university campuses were bastions of free speech?? I guess that only applies if you toe the dead-beat liberal line. Explains why Canada is in the state that it is in, we tolerate all, as long as they see things my way….

  9. I can’t wait to see her. She has interesting opinions and she is against communism. I left a communist country but those creeps are following me even in land of free.

  10. I agree she’s a nutbar. But we have free speech in Canada for everyone. If some says she cannot speak; someone may be telling you next.

  11. I suggest we all read both examples from the article above then comment. I read them, They were nothing more than someones opinion. I agreed with 99% of the articles.

  12. That’s great MK,

    but why must there be only two sides? That’s like a journalist showing a climate scientist and a mineral engineer duking it out on tv and presenting the assumption that there are the only two points of view in this debate and they are both equally valid. Both assumptions would be false.

    I totally despise Coulter myself, but would defend her right to say whatever she wanted. However, that does not mean she should go unchallenged nor should she receive special treatment or respect or even special airtime. Her views are totally off the radar and could inspire the same kinds of terrorist actions as some imams do.

  13. A well-written piece, Mr. Jerema. Ann Coulter occasionally uses humor and hyperbole for their entertainment value, but I’ve never found her to be off the factual mark—and I read her works carefully. For your naive readers (who may well have no understanding of what a “Constitutional Republic” [the USA] even is) to spout off about her attitude—without acknowledging the accuracy of her statements, is childish. It was called “hate speech” when White House Communications Director, Anita Dunn, was identified as a fan of Mao Tse Tung, just as the term, “hate speech,” was applied to the comments of those who outed Obama’s Green Jobs Czar, Van Jones, as a card-carrying member of the Communist Party.

    Both very appropriately lost their jobs, but as evidenced by some of the comments here, those who bravely keep the USA within the bounds of its Constitution, don’t always attract the degree of respect they’ve earned.

  14. Jack! The science of evolution?? What are you on? Evolution is a religion, and it’s followers are lap-dogs. Put your head out the door, open your eyes and view creation.

  15. What part of “invade [Muslim] countries and kill their leaders” doesn’t qualify as hate speech?

  16. Ok I’m sure when people call right wingers Nazi is not a HATE crime… it’s TRUE!!! cause Nazi’s were Right Wingers!!! :)

    it is wrong to say Invade Muslims and convert them to become Christians… I remember a man in the 30-40′s that said something similar about the Jews… hahahah to me that’s HATE crime and should be silence to talk like that in public.. that’s not FREEDOM of speech!!! that’s FREEDOM to spread HATE and Anger into people…

    Hell I say if she’s allowed to talk like that in Canada then we need more HITLERS to start talking too!!!

    To all my fellow Canadians… Free speech is one thing but FREEDOM to spread HATE, Anger and manipulate the crowd is unfair/and unjust…

    If she’s saying the things that were quoted in articles I’ve been reading.. She should be stopped… otherwise, tell me what will stop any Muslim to start their own hate speech gatherings!!!

  17. The “theory” of evolution surely. How easily we go from theory to fact without any compelling evidence.

  18. Talk about Hate-Speech!! The left-wing comments about Coulter are criminal if anything is – amazingly blind 2-facedness by the thought police hypocrite idiots who think they are so smart and so cool. When you grow up you’ll realize you don’t have a lock on the truth.

  19. Well, “me”, I think that’s a fairly simplistic way of evaluating the right wing. I’m not silly enough to say Obama is a Communist merely because he is left wing. As an aside, Nazism also came from National Socialism, clearly a left wing ideology. I’ve always thought that the divide between right wing and left wing totalitarian regimes is somewhat artificial anyway, but I digress.

    Anyway, I think it’s preposterous to ban her for something that only “might” happen. What she has said has been no doubt inflammatory, but I wouldn’t call it criminal.

  20. Jail Ann Coulter? No wonder I never liked Macleans.

  21. Hey Me: In your post you are exercising your freedom to spread hate – or can only the left be allowed to spread hate?

    By the way, Nazis were left-wing socialists, and Fascism is the government forcing business to do their dirty work, like the new US health care bill. Listen, read, and learn, instead of jerking your knee.

    And what makes you thing radical Muslims are not already expressing hate at some of their gatherings?

  22. I like Anne. She does go out of her way to provoke but she generally tells the truth.

    By the way, Nazis are socialists and Anne is not a socialist. Hitler joined the German Worker’s Party which merged with the National Socialist Party to become the National Socialist Germany Worker’s Party. (NSDAP) Both parties considered themselves sociialist parties.

  23. AMAZING that people would call Anne Coulter a nazi… This proves how utterly stupid people are! When did Hitler promote free speech, exactly?

  24. Both the Democratic and Republican Parties operate under fascist ideology. They pretend to differ only to fool the illerate masses who educate themselves through 20 second sound bites on CNN or Fox. It is the illusion of freedom.

    The only reason fascist ideology (aka Keynesian) is chosen over traditional textbook socialism is due to it being slightly more efficient because it mimics aspects of Capitalism. But make no mistake, what we see in the West is by no means a true free market society. This planet has not seen that in centuries.

    Look at the health care bill, pure fascism as it cements the partnership between government and Big Pharma and Insurance firms.

    There are probably only 2-3 non fascists in US Congress with Ron Paul being the most visibile and only hope for real change in America.

  25. Is there a book that has ruined the ability to have a political discussion more than “Liberal Fascism” has? It’s just made it absolutely impossible for people to speak the same language when it comes to politics and has made news paper article comments simultaneously hilarious and frustrating to read.

  26. Does this seal the deal? Is Macleans.ca now the Fox News of Canada? Is Carson Jerema our (less literate) Ann Coulter? Me says maybe.

  27. A close reading of the letter written by the provost shows that it is a courteous reminder to Ms. Coulter to moderate her speech with “respect and civility” as she delivers whatever her message is, so as to conform with the law. That is hardly an infringement on her right of expression. If, as the article alleges, she would not have run afoul of our laws anyway, what does she have to worry about?

    On the other hand one of the links leads to an article in which Ms. Coulter appears to advocate the slaughter of every man, woman and child in Syria on the grounds that some Muslims in Syria rioted over the Danish cartoon. If this is what she is advocating maybe she does need to review our laws.

  28. Ann Coulter is undoubtedly an obnoxious individual and her comments are often self-serving, vulgar and offensive.

    However, Ms. Coulter should have a right to offend.

    It is important to respect her right to speak openly and without fear of prosecution. Individuals who disagree with what she has to say should also have the right to challenge Ms Coulter’s comments openly and without fear of prosecution.

    That’s how we protect our fundamental rights. We debate them openly and without fear of reprisal.

    There are limits to free speech and Canada’s Criminal Code is adequate for dealing with these cases.

    Canada’s hate speech laws are more offensive than Ann Coulter’s invective.

    Nazi propaganda portraying Jews as rats during the purges of the late 1930s and Rwanda radio station propaganda portraying the Tutsis as similarly sub-human in 1994 were instrumental in inciting violence against these groups. The result was the Holocaust and the Genocide in Rwanda. Words can definitely cause harm.

    However, the Criminal Code in Canada provides enought protection against these kinds of crimes in Canada.

    Speech codes are also dangerous. They suppress the truth. Google has just announced its intention to relocate its China servers in Hong Kong to avoid mainland China’s censorship policies and practices.

    Google policy makers are to be commended for their courage in standing up to anti-democratic policies.

    I am more concerned about the recent failure of the Harper government to grant a visa in time for Dr. Barghouti’s visit to Canadian universities than I am about Ann Coulter’s silly diatribes.

    Dr. Barhouti is a moderate with an important message. He is a rational critic of the Israeli government. We need to hear what he has to say about the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians. And before this case, consider how George Galloway, a British MP, was barred from visiting Canada on the grounds that he was a threat to national security according to the Canadian immigration minister’s office in 2009.

    These are dangerous precedents in a country that has always valued free speech and freedom of expression.

  29. Exactly, when a war criminal like Bush wants to speak, us Canadians welcome them with open arms, but when a man who preaches justice for his people, such as the Barghouti is not allowed, we should be asking exactly who makes these decisions and what is their thought process.

  30. Ann Coulter has a right to speak whatever she wants. If you disagree, then speak your mind. Francoise Huile is very misinformed. Here’s his information:

    Telephone : (613) 562-5800 ext. 5737 
Fax : (613) 562-5106
e-mail: francois.houle@uottawa.ca

    Please call and email him today!

  31. The essential purpose of a speech code is to repress speech. It serves other
    ends, of course, such as making its arbiters feel moral, powerful, or simply
    safe from the attacks of those who would criticize them. It also demonstrates,
    for all to observe, who controls the symbolic environment of a place – a heady
    feeling for the wielders of power, and a demonstration, of course, that also
    succeeds in silencing others.

    John Stuart Mill said it best, in On Liberty (1859).
    Everyone, Mill noted, claims to believe in freedom of expression, but everyone
    draws his or her own boundaries at the obviously worthless, dangerous, and
    wrong. Why should we tolerate speech that offends our sense of essential value,
    security, and truth? Mill answered four compelling grounds for doing so: 1) the
    opinion might be true and “to deny this is to assume our own
    infallibility;” 2) the opinion, though erroneous, might, indeed, most
    probably would “contain a portion of truth,” and because “prevailing opinion” is
    rarely, if ever, “the whole truth,” censorship denies us that possible
    “remainder of the truth” that only might be gained by “the collision of adverse
    opinions;” 3) even if prevailing opinion were the whole truth, if it were not
    permitted to be contested – indeed, if it were not, in actual fact, “vigorously
    and earnestly contested,” it will be believed by most not because of “its
    rational grounds,” but only “in the manner of prejudice;” and 4) if we were not
    obliged to defend our belief, it would stand “in danger of being lost, or
    enfeebled, and deprived on its vital effect on the character and conduct,”
    becoming a formula repeated by rote, “inefficacious for good . . . and
    preventing the growth of any real and heartfelt conviction, for reason or
    personal experience.”

    Mill also argued against using coercion to make sure that voices were
    “temperate” and “fair.” As Mill noted, such “boundaries” are impossible to
    define, and surely would be drawn by all in a manner favorable to themselves. If
    one took the notion of “temperate” and “fair discussion” truly seriously,
    what ought to be banned would be arguments that stigmatized one’s opponents
    “as bad and immoral men.” Mill argued presciently, given what has happened on
    our campuses, that the denunciation of “invective, sarcasm . . . and the like .
    . . would deserve more sympathy if it were ever proposed to interdict them
    equally to both sides; but it is only desired to restrain the employment of them
    against the prevailing opinion.” Ultimately, Mill concluded, it should be left
    to public opinion, not to “law and authority,” to determine the dishonesty,
    malignity, or intolerance of someone’s “mode of advocacy.” In short, it was
    “imperative that human beings should be free to form opinions, and to express
    their opinions without reserve.” Mill has much to say about the struggle for
    liberty on American campuses.

    The ultimate intention of the “marketplace of ideas,” and of any society in
    which expression is unfettered, is that those ideas with merit will be accepted,
    and those without merit will be cast away.

    Repressing free speech, especially if it is about vitally important issues that are of fundamental importance to their respective societies leads to in the least extreme bitterness and cynicism and to it`s extreme riots like those in Chicago, L.A., Detroit and revolutionary movements like the F.L.Q., the I.R.A. etc…. and to ultimately situations like the 1789 and 1917 revolutions.

    Repressing ideas no matter how extreme or marginal is precisely the opposite thing to do when what is far more preferrable is open debate, even major league border line fistfights without even the fear of shaming as this could have a cathartic effect. Far worse is the marginalization of politically incorrect thoughts, theories and expressions and worse their criminalization as an untreated wound tends to get infected and possibly to gangrine.

    Pure logic/reason is poetry as coherent sound is music. Chaotic sounds are noise just as a lack of logic and poor reasoning are noise.

    The Mcarthyism of our time, Political Correctness` true danger to society is to cut off the microphone of whatever party and or person who is suddenly labelled as politically incorrect irrespective of the fact that some elements of their argument may have validity and those in power could be acting out the fear of the whole truth being made available. It is highly unlikely that any one person or party has a monopoly on the truth but it is not unlikley for a person/party to have a monopoly on power.

    An example of logic coming from an unlikely source.

    A man gets a flat near a mental institution and accidently kicks the 4 nuts into the sewer. He is exasperated and desperate as to what to do. A nearby tells him that if he took 1 nut of off each of the remaining tires he would have 3 on each wheel and be more than capable to reach home. The man with the flat tells him it`s a great idea and asks him what he does. I am a patient here.

  32. They trully allowed her here?

    She is clearly someone with radical and unacceptable point of view and the fact Mr Levant, a Jewish person, supported her coming in our country is frightening.

    He must have forgot her views about Jews and how they should be “perfected” to become Christians.

    Remember Mr Levant, that train is NEVER late.

  33. seems like a lot of hate speech here on this blog. maybe you all would like to burn certain books, eh?

  34. Correction to above last paragraph, It’s hard to not make mistakes online.
    A man nearby tells him that if he removed 1 nut off of each of the remaining wheels he would have 3 nuts on each wheel and surely reach home. The man with the flat tells him it`s a great idea and asks him what he does. I am a patient here

  35. Evolution is a religion. Evolution is just a theory. LOL The typical arguments that have been refuted 1 x 10^6 times.

    A theory in science is something that has been proven. Yes, it’s 100% real, it’s a fact. If you understood the least bit of what evolution is, then you would be able to see where it’s product can be observed.

    In creation, you look at life on earth and say “duhhhhh this is complicated, must be created” while evolution looks at the cold hard facts. You can back up evolution simply by dissecting a series of animals (for example, a salamander, crocodile, pigeon, cat, shark, a bony fish [osteichthyes] and a lamprey). I actually did it, and made a phylogenetic chart from what I observed (better read up on biology if you plan on doing it). No surprise that my phylogenetic chart matched the scientific consensus and that the ‘physical’ biology is all backed up with DNA analysis data. Are you familiar with hox genes? Or maybe with the basic mechanisms of genetics? Or maybe you know what sarcopterygians are and their significance? Do you know how bilateral and radial blastulas differ and how this is reflected in organisms (and how it can be observed anytime with organisms)? Or maybe you know that eukaryote cells (plants, animals, fungi, …) contain units with important functions, and that these units have residual genetic material meaning that they used to be independent organisms?

    Do your research, lazy bums.

  36. “that only the most extreme cases should be subject to prosecution. Such cases typically include a sustained effort by the accused to willfully promote hatred over a period of time, and, in such a way that there would be no redeemable political speech. Hate speech has to be near fully void of relevant comment on issues of public interest. ”

    First you say that the law doesn’t apply to Ann Coulter and then you describe her when you state what would trigger the law. Which is it?

  37. It seems to me in reading the comments here that many people confuse *offensive* speech and *hate* speech. The former is certainly an important part of a civilized discourse, the latter is not. Hate speech is not criticism, it is speech that creates a real danger to an identifiable group of people.

    People talk of the right to free speech, but fail to acknowledge that rights often clash. The right of an individual to incite violence against somebody else, through speech, violates the rights of safety of that somebody else. Freedom of speech and expression do not automatically trump the rights of peace, order, and good government, nor of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, whichever social view you hold.

    The obvious answer, and the one that follows from reason, is to *balance* rights. None are absolutes. When they clash we need to make compromises. The limitation of free speech by hate speech laws — not offensive speech — is justifiable in a civilized society.

    What we see in the United States is a culture that spreads fear, hatred, aggression, and propaganda that marginalizes groups in order to achieve goals. I much prefer a country in which goals are achieved through civilized discourse, but even that does not mean avoiding causing offence. The problem with judging offensiveness is that it isn’t an objective measure. It is a combination of the intent of the speaker and the sensitivity of the listener, and often the problem is the sensitivity of the listener. You can see this, for instance, in the juvenile reaction of some religious groups and individuals towards criticisms of their religion, including death threats, attempted homicides, and actual homicides.

    By contrast, hate speech is generally an objective measure, one that can be evaluated based on both the content and likely outcome. If the content lacks reasoned points but instead has baseless inflammatory statements it *might* be hate speech if it meets other criteria. If the outcome is also likely to incite action by listeners against the identified group, that’d tend to make it hate speech. Reasoned speech or speech that wouldn’t likely cause any action against a group is perfectly fine, even if it causes offence.

    And herein lies the beauty of hate speech. Nobody would argue that their own thoughts and opinions are *unreasoned* and solely intended to cause listeners to act out against a group of people. So how can anybody defend hate speech? It all comes down to ignorance over just what the actual limitations are.

  38. Mr. Hennecke,

    The punch line to that is

    “Why are you an inmate here?”

    “I may be crazy, but I’m not stupid.”

  39. “As an aside, Nazism also came from National Socialism, clearly a left wing ideology.”

    “By the way, Nazis are socialists and Anne is not a socialist. Hitler joined the German Worker’s Party which merged with the National Socialist Party to become the National Socialist Germany Worker’s Party. (NSDAP) Both parties considered themselves socialist parties.”

    Just because they call themselves something doesn’t mean it’s true. Is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (a.k.a. North Korea) actually democratic? Was the German Democratic Republic (a.k.a East Germany) a bastion of freedom?

    Nice try with the attempt to place German political parties guys. If you’re going to play historian, at least have a clue about what you’re talking about.

  40. I have never read any of A. coulter’s writings but by the reactions I am reading herein she certainly hits a nerve with a large number of people who do not agree with her or find her “frightening!”.

    I for one will listen for myself and form my own opinions when I watch her live tomorrow night (March 23) at 6pm on the Michael Coren show on CTS tv.

    Thanks to the person for posting the John Stuart Mill quotes above. I find his views refreshing but observe they are very much out of date. They don’t seem to be compatible with current society.

  41. With the law as it is and public sentiments being as they are, what Coulter says is not hate speech in Canada. Had she directed her words against Jews, it would be a completely different story. Ask Mustafa Barghouti what mild criticism of Israeli policy got him.

  42. bah said “Just because they call themselves something doesn’t mean it’s true. Is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (a.k.a. North Korea) actually democratic? Was the German Democratic Republic (a.k.a East Germany) a bastion of freedom?

    Nice try with the attempt to place German political parties guys. If you’re going to play historian, at least have a clue about what you’re talking about. ”

    Actually in this case, what they call themselves is true. The most common definition of Socialism is “government ownership and/or control of the means of production”. National Socialist Germany fits this description quite nicely.

    The founder of the party Anton Drexler was a rabid anti capitalist (like many of the posters on here).

  43. I’m no fan of Coulter, that’s for sure, but she can be…um, entertaining. But here’s the point. The faculty and student federations are getting their knickers in a knot quite selectively. The same “warnings” are never issued to far left and anti-Israel groups who routinely spew their vitriol on Canadian campuses. Why can’t we as Canadians go back to what we used to be – fair, balanced and unafraid.

  44. “And, if she was, she would have several legal defences at her disposal”
    __________________

    Fine article, but you ended it poorly. Your penultimate sentence needs the subjunctive – “And, if she WERE, she would have several legal defences at her disposal.”

    Plus, what proof do you have as to its gender. I happen to think it is Limbaugh-in-drag.

  45. GDW states: “but I’ve never found her to be off the factual mark”

    Try this on for size, GDW

  46. To Kevin from Montreal who wants Mcleans to do their research and then sources some wikki quotes. I suggest you do your research and find the context for those little quotes. It is called sarcasm. Coulter is a political comedian. That is what she does. She has a half dozen or so equivalents on the left who all say things equally as outrageous as she does. Would Bill Mar or Margaret Cho have gotten this letter? Of course not. They mock the approved people. Coulter mocks the establishment people who thrive in their own myth of moral superiority and there’s the rub. And the source of the real hatred you see going down here.

  47. To Texas and everyone. You are right about the punch line of my last paragraph. David’s youtube post is telling to be sure. My objective was not to indicate my support for Mrs. Coulter but the very idea of anyone having the right to speak irrespective of their standing in society. My last paragraphy was meant to indicate that even someone who is ill informed and or propagandizing should still be allowed to air their views if only for as Mill pointed out to challenge the established viewpoints and to possibly get at a portion of the truth that otherwise has yet to come to light. I actually believe her to be ill informed and to generally insulting but therein lies the opportunity to challenge her views which could be more widely held than otherwise believed and thus provide a good opportunity to educate her supporters. If there is only 3 % of what she says becoming the known truth but yet to come to light then all of society is the loser by not allowing her to speak. There is also the possibility that the powers that be are uncomfortable with their postions in society being challenged and would prefer criticism to be in the shadows. To John; Mill is most definitely not out of date unless you don’t mind Canada slowly drifting to being a more totalitarian and intolerant society which has occured to a certain extent since 9-11.

  48. My advice to all the readers of this column as well as the author is the following (and this was taught to me by an elementary school teacher and has guided me through life and raising children):

    Everyone in this country has the freedom to say and do as they so desire however, this freedom must always be tempered with the undertanding that your freedom must not trample on the freedoms of others”

    When I read / hear people suggesting that an entity such as Coulter be allowed to spew venomous hatred against others as this is a sign of ‘freedom’; what I am hearing is you are free to trample on the freedoms of others. For that reason alone I do not believe that she should even have been allowed in this country. However, I fear this is a sign of the times and a sign of how Canada’s fundamental freedoms have been eroded by the hatred and fear mongering of the far-right! Thank you Mr. Harper, your assault on the true Canadian values is working.

  49. Evolution is real. There is solid scientific proof. You’re an idiot if you think otherwise. Chickens are small, delicious, feathered Tyrannosaurus Rexes. You came from a monkey, and before that, a fish, and before than, some goo.

  50. Provost Houle’s e-mail is perfectly reasonable. He is merely informing her, ahead of time, that things are done differently here. He is *not* telling her that she has committed a crime – telling someone the speed limit on a road is 70 is not the same as telling them they are speeding.

    Sure, perhaps all of her previous foolishness might not violate the criminal code, but you never know what she’s going to say. I don’t understand what Mr. Jerema’ problem is.

  51. Galloway was not banned. When he asked for an advanced ruling from the Canadian officials in London prior to coming here, he was told that according law, he would likely be turned away at the border because he associated with Hamas, a group listed as a terorists organization. He was cordially invited to come anyway and try his luck.
    His court case against the government officials conveens April 26.

  52. The saddest aspect of all this is that people actually showed up and applauded. She is not a satirist that one can laugh off knowing they are only going for the laugh. She is an ideologue whose rhetoric is an aimed at denigration and demonizing. For those who were pleased by her appearance I remind you that the border is still open and don’t let it hit you in the bum on the way out.

  53. I may not be as educated as some of you folk. But this is a truism you all need to think about. “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem” I have yet to hear, or read, anything Ann Coulter has ever tried to convey to the masses that remotely shows her to be a person of advanced thinking. She is recycling old hate material in order to inflame us into purchasing her books. You all know her opinions are only ment to inflame and really have nothing to do with free speech. I would hope that Canadians use their good sense and would not try to use Ann Coulter, of all people, as a sound example for the argument of free speech.

  54. You speak like a true communist, afraid of debate, afraid of opinions that differ from yours. Leftists like you are stupid for protesting free speech. Your boneheaded lack of thought and opposition to democracy are clearly evident. Forget the criminal code. It doesn’t apply to Ann Coulter’s (or anyone elses) right to say what they like even if it may offend. Obviously you lack even the most basic mental tools required to understand the law or abide within it. Fools like you are a dime a dozen, and if the student body of Ottawa U thinks as you do then it certainly is a bush-league university run by and attended by fascist idiots. Perhaps it’s time to permanently shut the doors of this trashy, obscene institution and toss the brainless weak-kneed morons within to the dogs.

  55. Pingback: Rejoicing in Christopher Hitchens’ cancer | Robyn Urback

  56. Just a quick reminder to all. Free speech is not a right, it is a privilege and like all privileges must me be earned and can be withdrawn. If you have any doubt of this you have only to look at how the overwhelming majority of world lives. All of our so called “rights” have varying degrees of applicability beyond our borders. You only enjoy this freedom because no one is currently taking it away. As with any freedom the more spectacular it’s excesses (such as Anne Coulter), the more ammunition it gives to those seeking to curtail or remove it. Enjoy your “right” while you’ve got it.

  57. Actually, free speech is a right. Just read the constitution.

Sign in to comment.