You see, Ann Coulter is appearing on my home turf for a series of speaking engagements this week.
Why, Canada, why?
I believe in a fair and intelligent exchange of ideas. I believe that people who disagree with me should be heard. I also believe that Ann Coulter does not contribute to the former and is too headline hungry to represent the latter.
At $10,000 per engagement, our universities could have selected a better speaker to represent conservative views. What about Meghan McCain, for example?
Do we have to give a platform to every nut out there to ensure freedom of expression? Sure, you may be saying, but who will make that decision?
Given that the provost of Ottawa U, where Coulter is appearing tonight, felt the need to write a letter to encourage Coulter to brush up on Canada's free speech laws, I suspect this one speaker might have been an easy call.
According to today's Globe and Mail:
"After mentioning the Charter of Rights and Canada's free speech laws, Mr. Houle invited Coulter to 'educate yourself, if need be, as to what is acceptable in Canada” and noted, by example, that “promoting hatred against any identifiable group would not only be considered inappropriate, but could in fact lead to criminal charges'"This apparently led Coulter to email newsmax.com (a conservative online news site) that “The provost of the u. of Ottawa is threatening to criminally prosecute me for my speech there on Monday – before I've even set foot in the country!”
Coulter is known, at least in my country, for saying Canada is: “"lucky we allow them to exist on the same continent' after the Canadian government refused to join the 2003 invasion of Iraq." (G&M)
The Globe also prints two other Coulter bons mots:
'“not all Muslims may be terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims,'
'the government should be spying on all Arabs, engaging in torture as a televised spectator sport, dropping daisy cutters wantonly throughout the Middle East, and sending liberals to Guantanamo.'"
Aside from the obvious inaccuracy of the first statement, in Canada, both could be interpreted as propagating hate, which is against the law.
I wonder if the guy who flew his plane into a federal building a few weeks ago would even stand a chance at not being labeled a terrorist if he was Arabic or Muslim.
C'mon Ann. I know you like to stir the pot, but would a bit of accuracy hurt now and again?
And to Canadian Universities: yes, we must promote discussion. Is this our best attempt to do so?