Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Report Claims Free Speech at Canada’s Universities is Abysmal


You would think college campuses would be the epicenters of free speech. You may picture student activists passing out pamphlets. Or heated debates in lecture halls. Sadly, that doesn’t seem to be the case. A new report says free speech on Canada’s university campuses is “abysmal.”

The 2012 Campus Freedom Index was put together by the Calgary-based Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms. It awarded grades to 35 Canadian universities, based on the state of free speech on campus. Surprisingly, they awarded only 3 grades of A, out of 35 universities.

“When it comes to defending Canada’s valuable heritage of campus free speech, the barbarians are not at the gates. They are inside the walls,” wrote the authors in the report.

“The Index sheds light on the significant role that Canada’s student unions play in damaging the free speech climate on campus. In almost every case that the authors have studied, it is student unions which control the registration, certification and resource allocation processes for student groups.”

The report did hand out its share of Fs. The following schools earned failing grades of F for restricting campus free speech in both their policies and principles, as well as their actions and practices.

  • Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA)
  • Lakehead University Students’ Union (LUSU)
  • Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU)
  • University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union (USSU)
  • The University of Victoria Students’ Society (UVSS)
Ryan Leclaire
Author: Ryan Leclaire
Ryan has been writing for 7 years and has been featured in Chatelaine, Canadian Living and Cottage life.
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