Vegan billboard complaint causes Canadian Food Inspection Agency to admit they can't limit free speech

How censorious and drunk with power have Canada’s federal agencies become under Justin Trudeau? Well, I am siding with vegans today so that should give you some idea!

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency tried to find a way to extend its mandate to include regulating the political speech on a pro-vegan billboard sponsored by the group Vegan Education in Halifax.

A series of billboards went up across the Maritimes last summer, depicting a small calf and reading that the “Dairy industry took his mom, his milk, then his life.”

Sounds like a delicious country song!

All kidding aside, I am no fan of animal rights activists. I’m sure those blender jockeys and I would disagree on everything from what’s for dinner to politics, but that’s no excuse for a government agency to overstep its role to try to shut the vegans up.

From the Blacklocks article on the government plot to silence the vegans:

Records show the Agency contemplated sending a federal inspector to examine the billboards, threatened to cite Vegan Education under the Fair Labeling Practices Program, and claimed the reference to “plant milk” breached Food And Drug Regulations.

“Regulations define the term ‘milk’ as the lacteal secretions of the mammary gland of the cow,” wrote the Agency. “With this regulatory definition, there are certain ways the term is to be used.”

Internal emails indicate even Agency staff questioned taking action over the billboards. “I am not sure where this stands,” wrote a Saint John inspector. “For the Agency, do we regulate advertising materials in this situation?”

Normally the government allows it’s proxies at the CBC to go after billboards it finds distasteful. It happened with pro-Bernier, anti-immigration billboards last summer. It’s happening now will some cheeky “lock him up” anti-Trudeau billboards here in Alberta.

CBC finds some lone cranks who are offended, and then the mothercorp writes articles until the billboard companies pull the billboards down.