Free speech is being threatened in Canada, and nowhere is that felt more strongly than the college campus. Knowing that something must be done, some of our student leaders affiliated with Students in Support of Free Speech, decided to organize a summit dealing with the importance of freedom of speech. Students in Support of Free Speech is an organization founded by Toronto-based SFL campus coordinators.
The event featured Jordan Peterson, professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, and conservative pundit Ben Shapiro as speakers. Multiple Canadian media outlets took note of the event, giving it a prominent position in the national headlines. As Debra Soh, a Toronto-based sex and political writer put it, “Academia is a place where ideas should be free to roam. Good ideas will stand the test of debate and scrutiny, and those that don’t are better off forgotten.”
All over Canada, protesters descend upon venues providing students with the opportunity to hear from libertarians, conservatives, and all but the most extreme of the politically correct crowd. These protesters have resorted to tactics such as blowing rape whistles and sounding sirens to drown out any chance of the speaker being heard. Threats are levied towards these speakers and, at times, the universities come out in support of censorship.
The situation seems grim. This summit, its attendance, and its success show that there is another side to the debate in Canada. In the end, free speech will need to drown out censorship. That change starts with students and ends with a freer Canada.