A controversial Conservative Member of Parliament with was blocked from discussing his stance against abortion by university students who somewhat ironically claimed they were using their freedom of speech to shout down his freedom of speech.
The National Post reports that anti-abortion Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth was blocked from giving a lecture by University of Waterloo student protesters, including one "dressed as a giant vagina."
The student who dressed like a part of the female anatomy told the Post, "That kind of speech, that kind of facts, are not acceptable."
It is a rotten, terrible, horrible kind of day when a student openly declares that any “kind of facts” are unacceptable for debate. But here we are.
The school is investigating the disturbance and the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is demanding the university crack down on students who refuse to allow visiting lecturers speak.
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The issue is somewhat reminiscent to a recent lecture given by political professor Tom Flanagan, in which he advocated lesser punishment for those who watch child pornography.
In that case, students, while outraged, allowed the lecture to continue. It wasn't until the following day that the public boiled in anger over the comments.
Woodworth, like Flanagan, is a public figure known to hold contentious beliefs. Last year, he introduced a motion to rebrand what is considered a human, in an attempt to have fetus’s protected from abortion.
Agree or disagree with Woodworth's stance, the man has a right to speak when invited to an event. He is a lawmaker, being paid by taxpayers. If you don't like his stance, debate him, protest him, or please campaign against him. But don’t stomp and pout and refuse to let him speak. It makes everyone look foolish, not just you.
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It is troubling that this is not the first time a controversial speaker has been shouted down by University of Waterloo students.
Journalist and author Christie Blatchford was stopped from speaking by protesters in 2010 from discussing her book on the Caledonia standoff.
She received an apology from the university the following days, which said "the freedom to speak and to learn is fundamental to the institution."
Following the Blatchford affair, the Rex Murphy wrote in the National Post:
The University of Waterloo lost something on the night the anti-racists were allowed to pose, instead of Blatchford getting to speak — something the university’s apology only begins to repair. The preening self-righteousness and the hyper arrogance of the protesters put a blot on the university’s reputation, dented the exercise of free speech in Canada and gave the rest of the country one more ugly example of “progressive” intolerance.
Instead of working to repair that dented reputation, the students at the University of Waterloo have elected to double-down. We get it, Waterloo students; your university is a free speech-free zone.
Now stand down, and return the vagina costume to whatever store it was rented from.
Photo courtesy of YouTube
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