Justin Trudeau says he is fine with free speech — “but”

In the eyes of Canada's prime minister, free speech comes with a catch — you have to agree with him.

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This is a free episode of The Ezra Levant Show, which airs Monday–Friday @ 8 p.m. ET | 6 p.m. MT. To watch new feature-length, ad-free episodes, become a subscriber to RebelNews+. This episode originally aired on December 13, 2022.

Very exciting day — our friends at The Democracy Fund are having a town hall meeting with Dr. Jordan Peterson about the state of civil liberties in Canada. Huge event, almost 2,000 people signed up, some online, most in person. It’s being hosted at the Canada Christian College, which is about 30 minutes outside Toronto which is a bit of a shlep, though anything in Toronto is inconvenient from anything else — that’s how traffic is.

But I tell you that for two reasons — to show that Jordan Peterson fans are a dedicated bunch and will go to meet him wherever he is; and, to remind you that not everywhere is a place of free speech and discourse. You could hardly find a more august event than this — Peterson is a PhD, a professor, a best-selling author. The evening is being hosted by Conrad Black, the former newspaper tycoon and now author and historian. Rex Murphy will be there, too. These are serious men of ideas, public intellectuals. But each of them, in their own way, has been blacklisted, deplatformed and cancelled.  

In some ways the worst of it was Rex Murphy, whose own newsroom at the National Post had a petition, signed literally by the majority of journalists, calling for him to be silenced about issues of race and multiculturalism. 

Canada is not a racist country, despite what the Liberals say. To any fair mind, Canada is a mature, welcoming, open-minded and generous country. It would be helpful if these Liberals kept the full story of this country in mind when discussing racism.

First of all, imagine disagreeing with that; second, imagine saying that you shouldn’t be allowed to publish such an opinion, because you’re a white male. Third, imagine that all happening in the supposedly conservative newspaper, the National Post, founded by Conrad Black. Fourth: imagine the vast majority of signers of that censorship demand being white liberals themselves. What an utter disgrace that was. 

So yeah. Free speech and the threats to it. We don’t even know the half of it — we’re learning so much more about how censorship really goes on in the 2020s — it’s done by woke activists embedded within big companies, like yesterday’s story about Yoel Roth, the chief censor at Twitter until Elon Musk took over the place. What an extreme weird activist he is — and now we can guess why he banned conservatives, but not child pornography. Just creepy.

I hope Elon Musk releases the “Twitter Files” as they’re being called, regarding their Canadian operations. I’m interested in how we were censored or throttled or whatnot. But I’m even more interested in who contacted Twitter to get them to censor us; what they said; what they threatened or promised in return. I bet they didn’t have to pressure too hard to get Twitter to do what they wanted. But I bet they pressured them anyways. That’s how governments censor in 2022. They outsource it, they contract it out. They do it quietly, sneakily. I hope we see those documents one day. 

But look at this. A story, as usual from Blacklock's, one of the few independent news sources in Canada. 

Free Speech Is Okay, “But…"

I really don’t need to read further, do I? Here’s my point, made by Salman Rushdie.

The but brigade. You knew that Justin Trudeau would be a free speech but guy, didn’t you? What’s so sad is that 90% of the media is that way now, too.

I remember when I published the Danish cartoons of Muhammad in the Western Standard magazine a decade and a half ago. I was interviewed probably 100 times about it; 98 of those interviewers supported me. Even the CBC did. Even them!

A polling company called COMPAS interviewed dozens of journalists for a special survey. I remember: 70% of working journalists back then said not only was I right to publish them, but they said that every media ought to have published them too, to stand with me, and stand against terror!

That was just 17 years ago to be precise. We are in a different world. The journalists are the censors. No need to blow up editorial cartoonists to silence them. They will silence your opponents for you.

Here’s the story in Blacklock's.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “believes in free speech, but” is upset by social media content that is “difficult to counter,” he said. Trudeau’s remarks follow a proposal to regulate legal internet content deemed hurtful.

Listen to Rushdie. Ignore everything before the word but.

The remarks are detailed in an Interview Summary of a September 9 meeting between Trudeau and six lawyers with the Public Order Emergency Commission. The Summary said Trudeau was upset by unregulated internet content.

The poor dear! He’s upset.

I’m so glad Trudeau is going to relieve you and me of the burden of distinguishing between the right facts and the wrong facts. I’m so glad he’ll do that for us. Because he’s never wrong, and his critics are never right. And don’t you know, that’s the reason there is no “real” debate.

He’s the guy who bans reporters he doesn’t like from attending press conferences — and to ban us from leaders debates, speaking of debates. But trust him — he really would like a real debate. Just not with liars or people who are wrong.

He’ll absolutely debate with people who agree with him and who are right. Though that’s not much of a debate. Which is how he likes it.

“The government believes in free speech,” said Trudeau. “But with social media there is a new way to foment anger and hate that is different from anything we have seen before, difficult to counter, and it is destabilizing our democracy. He raised the examples of spoof websites that look real.”

He seized bank accounts, deployed riot police, literally invoked the Emergencies Act, something not even done on 9/11 — and then he looks you in the eye and blames you for claiming he’s suspended civil liberties. While he’s suspending your civil liberties, and at a public inquiry into why he suspended your civil liberties. There you go with your wrong facts again. Why can’t you just be right, and say what he says? He’ll gaslight you until you do.

The document reviewed by Blacklock's today is not a secret document; in fact it was published by the Emergencies Act commission a couple of weeks ago.  The fact that it was not front page of every newspaper in the country tells you a lot, doesn’t it?

When asked, the Prime Minister advised that the situation that was unfolding in the Ukraine at the same time did not have a direct bearing on the government response to the convoy situation. He reflected, however, that there were many commonalities between the two events, such as the role of misinformation and disinformation, the amplification of rhetoric through social media, and the exploitation of division.

Got it. The truckers were comparable to a brutal military invasion. Got it. And both were built on “wrong facts”. Yeah, those spoof websites caused the war on Ukraine. Got it. And for him, the “should we even tolerate them” guy, to say that others exploit division, is quote something.

So yeah. Trudeau. He’s not even part of Rushdie’s but brigade.

But the brigade at least pretends to care about freedom of speech. I don’t think Trudeau even pretends. I mean, seriously have you ever, ever heard him even mention the concept, proactively, positively, ever? 

He doesn’t. Because he doesn’t.

GUEST:  Linda Blade, author of Unsporting speaks on the NHL transhockey league that left a women concussed. 

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