Canadian Gov’t: Don’t Offend Anyone, Ever

A true Canadian, as we all know, loves hockey, Tim Horton’s, and flapjacks…with the proper kind of bacon. Maybe curling as well. But a true Canadian is also widely-regarded around the world – whether with derision, admiration or detached bemusement – as being utterly incapable of providing offense. For American college students taking their rite of bourgeois passage of getting drunk, smoking marijuana without fear of incarceration and visiting museums in Europe over Summer break, a Canadian flag sown onto their backpack can automatically render them the nicest people ever to walk into a cafe (as well spare them catching a boatload of hostility from the locals regarding whatever unpopular war the US is currently embroiled in).

It’s a good thing the French can’t tell a Newark accent from a Newmarket.

But sometimes our need to be liked approaches that of a 14 year old unattractive girl. Ingratiatingly helpful or neurotically apologetic – depending on the situation – has become the collective Canadian SOP. Nowhere south of the border will someone apologize to you after you bump into them.

While Canadians largely pride themselves on this reputation – usually presented in contrast to the ignorant-boor caricature of the “average” American – this national character attribute, like too much sugar in a cookie, can often become a character flaw.  Indeed, this good-thing-turned-bad phenomenon reared its head yet again when a right-wing speaker was disallowed from appearing at a convention center in London. The owners referenced “security concerns” and, rather unfairly, presumed that the attendees would be too “rowdy.” The real reason? Obviously extremist – and maybe even a few moderate – moslems  (Canadian or otherwise) would surely have been offended.

“Call out the RCMP, the NASCAR-loving, non-Canadian Canadian traitors are coming! There’ll be Skoal spittle all over the floor and probably a lynching of some minority to boot!”

The characterization-prior-to-evidence of the presumably right-wing crowd that would have attended as “rowdy” is not the issue; rather, the fact that a government-owned convention center would adopt a non-neutral political view and prohibit the event infringes on the Charter right of Freedom of Speech (found in section 2). Hate conservative thinker Mark Steyn if you like – even attend and boo until your hoarse if voice – but he should have been allowed to speak. If the convention center (centre…this is a Canadian-focused article, after-all) had been owned by a private individual, then he or she could have allowed or disallowed any speaker for virtually any reason- they pay the property tax, not “us.” However, again, when the venue in question is a government-owned  facility – with a mandate to serve the Canadian public – forbidding the appearance of anything short of a speaker who planned to incite hatred or violence is unacceptable. The ingrained leftism of the Canadian political establishment (even, apparently, resident as it is here among the municipal authorities of London, Ontario) is also to blame. Would the “converse,” an event featuring a discussion of the “indignities historically inflicted” upon the moslem world by the developed, have gone ahead as planned? Almost certainly. But this leads one to a whole different subject…

The “security risk” the convention centre authorities cite is, of course, a reference to either the unlikely scenario of angry left-wing picketers making an appearance or the equally improbable – but real – threat of some enraged moslem fanatic blowing up the convention during or after the right-wing event (where, presumably, a castigation of Islamofascism around the world would have occurred). The former completely goes against the apolitical stance a government-run forum for public debate should take and the latter…well, if the free world were collectively terrified of ever offending moslem extremists and restricted freedom of speech to this end, then one could safely say that a major objective of these extremists had been achieved…with more than a little of our own assistance.

More on the incident: http://www.nationalpost.com/Centre+refuses+host+Steyn+lecture+free+speech/3709430/story.html

One Response to “Canadian Gov’t: Don’t Offend Anyone, Ever”

  1. Sgt. Barnes says:

    Is it possible to be a cocky jerk and a complete wimp loser at the same time? Yes! They’re called Canadians!!!

    “We’re so much better than Americans. Americans are stupid. Americans are racist. Americans don’t even know who the third Governor General of Canada is, pshaww, so stupid, and ummm ignorant, and like totally not aware of what’s going on in the world. They’re all really, really, stupid. Each and every one of them. Plus their health care and recycling programs are like, totally worse than Canada’s. Stupid Americans. Everyone knows, Canadians are the world’s most respectful and polite people on earth.”

Leave a Reply