Free Speech in Canada?

What mistake did these students make? They forgot to identify themselves as bombastic foreign Members of Parliament whom have provided material support to Hamas. Silly students… freedom of speech on the campus of a school at which you attend and live? Preposterous!

Ezra Levant, Mark Steyn, Human Rights Commissions, the public works protection act, pro-life voices shut down on campus…

Is it time we had a serious review of how flexible our rights to speech and assembly have become in this country?

Upcoming political books

Today I received a list of upcoming books from Random House Canada for their fall season. The list is sent out to potential reviewers to provide publicity for the upcoming titles.

Here are a few that you might be interested in,

by George W. Bush (11/9/2010)
George W. Bush’s presidency in his own words. From rallying a nation after 9/11 to bringing it’s troops across the Tigris river in Baghdad. From tax cuts that stimulated the economy (and debate) to the continued growth of government and the banking sector bailout, this presidential account is sure to cause discussion.
by Ezra Levant (8/17/2010).
Ezra will do a multi-city tour to promote this book which makes a case for the Alberta oil sands against environmentalists who turn a blind eye to oil extraction in places such as Saudi Arabia and the Sudan where from it’s wars and genocide, Ezra calculates that each barrel of Sudanese oil has a tablespoon worth of blood spilled for its production. While the world inevitably continues to use cheap energy from oil, diminishing Canada’s production share only supports unethical alternatives.
by Tarek Fatah (10/19/2010)
Canada’s most famous ‘moderate Muslim’ voice speaks out against anti-Semitism in Canada and around the world held strongly among some of his co-religionists.
by Bob Rae (10/26/2010).
I’m going to read this book so I can figure out what the Liberal Party may be proposing in their platform on the foreign policy front (under Ignatieff or Rae as leader). We wonder if the book will rehash many of the guiding nuanced soft-power principles of the DFAIT establishment or if Rae (like Ignatieff used to) now believes in certain cold hard facts about the modern world and the actors now bent on destabilizing it.

CRTC drops references to egregious abuses by HRCs from final report on broadcasting in new media

The CRTC released a report on June 4th, 2009 titled “Review of broadcasting in new media, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2009-329.”

However, on the CRTC website the following notice appears,

Broadcasting regulatory policy:

The Commission replaces the concurring opinion appended to Review of broadcasting in new media, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2009-329.

What was the amended document that with which the CRTC replaced the original? Here’s is the new version of the report:

What changes were made?

I’ve run a software-based PDF comparison tool on both documents and I’ve found that the documents are almost identical except for the following omission from the final version:

“The history of the regulation of speech in this country does not engender confidence that such powers will be used wisely. Canada has experienced several instances in recent times where regulatory commissions of another type and armed with a different mission have challenged the right to say controversial things. The struggles of Ezra Levant,14 Mark Steyn15 and others have served as important warnings that regulatory authorities charged with combating racism, hatred, and other evils have consistently expanded their mandates, have abused their powers and eroded fundamental liberties. Wherever there is official orthodoxy, disagreement is heresy, and where there is heresy, there is usually an inquisition to root it out. After centuries ridding ourselves of thought control agencies, 20th century Canada re-invented them.”

Now that’s interesting. Why did the CRTC feel that it was necessary to omit references to Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn’s battles with “regulatory authorities”?

Levant vs. Folco, sorta

Today, Ezra Levant’s lawyers sent the following notice to Liberal MP Raymonde Folco

Read this doc on Scribd: SCAN6808 000

There’s some quality Liberal research, non? Ezra Levant was never an MP in Stephen Harper’s riding. It seems that the Liberals unloading it all against the Conservatives to see what sticks. Parliamentary immunity comes in handy.

Here are two other scandals uncovered by Liberal research in the past week:
Scandal I
Scandal II

The world needs more Ezra Levants

For those of you who thinks “he does not speak for me”, remember that when you cannot speak for you.

Here, Ezra is interrogated before the Alberta Human Rights Commission for publishing the Danish Cartoons.

“Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.” — John Milton

“Of all the so-called natural human rights that have ever been invented, liberty is least likely to be cheap and is never free of cost.” — Robert A. Heinlein

“The use of “religion” as an excuse to repress the freedom of expression and to deny human rights is not confined to any country or time.” — Margaret Atwood

Second LSS Podcast – Ezra Levant talks about the Western Standard

Here’s another podcast from Peter Jaworski’s Liberty Summer Seminar series. In this podcast Ezra Levant talks about the Western Standard conservative newsmagazine and its foundation in the ideals of liberty.

This podcast was recorded and produced by Peter Jaworski and is hosted by me and is available on the Blogging Tories podcast feed.

It is preferable to download the podcast from the feed (instructions are here). However, if the technical details aren’t your thing, you can download the audio file directly.

Also, comments are welcome and encouraged!

Podcast – Ezra Levant, Marni Soupcoff, Michael Taube, Karen Selick

lss-media-panel-thumb.jpgThis past weekend I attended Peter Jaworski’s Liberty Summer Seminar and had the opportunity to listen to and be a part of talks given by the leading conservative/libertarian thinkers in Canada. Peter recorded eight podcasts from the seminar and I’ll be releasing them over the next couple of weeks. While this particular seminar was attended by less than 100 people, the power of the internet will allow the talk to reach thousands (my Monte Solberg/Andrew Scheer podcasts had a considerable reach).

This podcast was of a favourite seminar: the media panel. This topic is of particular interest because Conservative/Libertarian media is in the process of being born and shaped in this country, and sites such as Blogging Tories will be integral to the new media (while not replacing the MSM, it will redefine it through centralized and propagative efforts).

The panel consisted of:
Ezra Levant – Publisher, Western Standard newsmagazine
Marni Soupcoff – Columnist, American Enterprise Online, and editor of the National Post
Michael Taube – Freelance Columnist, Toronto Sun
Karen Selick – Columnist, Western Standard and Canadian Lawyer Magazine

Remember, you DON’T need an iPod to listen (your computer’s media player will work just fine). To get set up with Blogging Tories podcasts go here for instructions.

Or… if you just want to listen to the audio file (without having to worry about other technical details), click here for the media panel seminar at the LSS.

UPDATE: Odeo doesn’t seem to like the podcast, so please use a standard podcast aggregator insteadsuch as the Blogging Tories iPodder, which can be downloaded here

Liberty Summer Seminar – Summary of the event

What if the “establishment” was left-wing?

Yesterday I returned from a camping trip with some friends in Orono, ON. More specifically, our particular group gathered with other like-minded individuals and discussed ideas, activism and how to effectively oppose those that make the rules and those that are in power. The gathering represented various activist groups that sold either sold t-shirts emblazoned with hip slogans, gave speeches that stirred the crowd, or performed stirring songs that promoted the common agenda.

Now don’t worry, I haven’t joined the hippie hoard, but you might be surprised if I told you that everyone present found themselves firmly on “the right”.

This weekend I attended the 5th annual Liberty Summer Seminar, hosted by Peter Jaworski. The cause of the event was liberty and it was well-attended. Speakers at the seminar included Ezra Levant of the Western Standard news magazine, Marni Soupcoff of the National Post, Tasha Kheiriddin of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, Mark Mullins (executive director of the Fraser Institute) and Gerry Nicholls of the National Citizens Coalition, among others. Certainly, the attendees were supporters and leaders in liberty and libertarian ideals in Canada. Perhaps the most notable invited guest was the one who didn’t show: Marc Emery, who faces extradition to the United States.

The event had the well intended feel and character of activism, so often practiced only on the left. Quite characteristic of the feeling of the event, one of those t-shirts sold at the event proclaimed (with a bar across the iconic Che Guevara), “Real rebels don’t support centralized state authority”. Our country has been disabled by those on the left that seek to give more power to the federal government, that seek to restrict personal freedom and reduce choice in healthcare and education.

What if “the establishment” was left-wing?

It is.

The libertarian philosophy finds itself squarely within the Conservative Party. It is often at odds with social conservatism but shares its disdain for liberalism and the gluttony of the state. Stephen Harper has also been described as a libertarian as his resume both boasts a master’s degree in economics and a stint as the president of the National Citizens Coalition. In a letter to Preston Manning, before he was even a politician, Harper advised the Reform party leader that socially conservative issues, such as abortion and traditional family values, cannot distract from the actual intentions of the Reform party, (fiscal liberty, reduced government and democratic reform).

I enjoyed the weekend incredibly and would like to thank the Jaworskis for their hospitality (and the best sauerkraut I’ve ever tasted). I represented Blogging Tories at the event and was surprised and humbled by how many of the invited speakers cited the website as a perfect example of how Liberty- and Conservative-minded individuals need to organize to take back the government in order to make a freer country for us all.

The next Governor General?

The PMO has announced that Paul Martin will be naming the next Governor General tomorrow. I’ve started a pool of candidates (both good and bad) and I need your help adding to them. Please add your candidates for Governor General in the comments and evaluate the odds that I (and/or others in the comments) have placed on their candidacy. I’ll add the best good/bad/funny suggestions below.

Bob Rae – 10:1
Preston Manning 25:1
David Frum – 300:1
Ezra Levant – 450:1
Lise Thibault – 5:1
Monique Begin – 5:1
Naomi Klein – 100:1
Wayne Gretzky – 50:1
David Suzuki – 20:1
John Manley – 10:1
Peter Mansbridge – 20:1
John Ralston Saul – 100:1
Warren Kinsella – 32,146,547:1

Comment submitted:
Carolyn Parrish – 32,000:1
Dave Nichol – 560:1
William Shatner – 7,000:1
Brian Mulroney – 200:1
Ralph Klein – 300:1
Ken Dryden – 12:1
Celine Dion – 150:1

Personally, I’d give Shatner better odds.