Defending Freedom of Speech on Campus

Back during the CPC Leadership Race, I had committed to protecting students freedoms on campus’s by signing the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms petition.

And now, we have learned that those freedoms were under attack at Wilfred Laurier University. A young teaching assistant, Lindsay Shepherd, publicly disclosed how she was reprimanded for showing students a YouTube video of University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson, who has refused to use gender pronouns other than “he” or “she.”

During a meeting earlier this month, faculty and administration at the university accused the TA of showing hate-filled content to students. They said Shepherd created a toxic environment for transgender students and called her transphobic.

Andrew Scheer said in a statement with Global News, “To think that we’ve got to the state in Canada where a university would have an inquisition on a young grad student and make comparisons to Hitler, to bully her, to tell her that she committed acts of violence by showing a clip from a public broadcast on a public broadcaster, is ridiculous. I think the stifling of free speech is of growing concern to many people on all sides of the political spectrum,” he said.

“Free speech has become kind of a right-wing issue, and with Andrew Scheer kind of taking it on as one of his prime issues,” she said. “And that’s fine, I have common ground with those people, I mean of course I appreciate free speech, too.”

But Shepherd said she hopes those on the other side of the political spectrum will also support free speech.

“I just think it’s unfortunate that people who would be left-leaning on this spectrum of political thought don’t see this as something worth supporting.”

“I think the culture of leftism has kind of become if you don’t like an idea it’s OK to suppress it. If this idea could possibly offend someone, then we don’t have to discuss it, it’s not up for debate and we suppress it.”

Here is one of the videos of Jordan Peterson, the professor that Ms. Shepherd had showed a video of in her class:

Please consider signing the petition below in support of Freedom of Expression: