Thursday, April 29, 2010

U of Ottawa Does a Burma Shave

At the height of the Coulter contretemps at the U of Ottawa, Allan Rock, the institution's Grand Poobah and a former LPOC leader-in-waiting, issued a statement in which he insisted that, on his campus, the doors are always open to "contrversial" speakers. Bollocks! (or words to that effect) say those who know better, as reported in the National Post:
A Canadian human rights group is accusing the University of Ottawa of "spying" and attempting to stifle free speech after top university administrators considered preventing a well-known Burmese activist from speaking on campus.

Canadian Friends of Burma says it will ask the Ontario government to grant provincial ombudsman Andre Marin power to investigate the conduct of the University of Ottawa administrators in relation to the event.

More than a dozen internal emails, reaching as high as the university's former president and obtained through freedom of information requests by the Canadian Friends of Burma, show that the school was concerned about a speech by human rights activist Ka Hsa Wa at a December 2007 campus event discussing alleged human rights abuses by a French oil company in Burma.

The emails show that when the student federation-sponsored event went ahead, the university administration sent at least one unidentified person to monitor what was said, take notes and report back.
Hardly what I'd call a warm welcome, Mr. Rock. More like a cold, cold shoulder--and a single finger extended upward (unlike the heartfelt howdy accorded to, say, the "controversial" president of the Canadian Wood Council--who I'm sure gave a riveting speech).

1 comment:

Jim R said...

I can picture you choosing this, ahem monument, as your final and forever defiance scaramouche. :)