Acton Institute Powerblog

Canada’s Faltering Freedom

Share this article:
Join the Discussion:

The problem is not unique to Canada, nor entirely absent from the US, but our neighbors to the north seem to be doing their best at the moment to lead the so-called free world in denying what Americans call the First Amendment rights (speech, religion, etc.). In fact, the Canadian government’s quashing of the expression of opinion—executed through its “human rights commission”—is downright frightening. It is trite to describe this kind of thing as Orwellian, but that’s what it is.

In Canada and elsewhere, the unpopular opinions most in danger of being declared verboten tend to revolve around two issues: Islam and homosexuality.

The case of Mark Steyn, in hot water for criticizing Islam, has gotten some press, because he’s a well-known writer attached to powerful friends. See here and here.

This recent piece by David Warren in the Ottawa Citizen recounts some other cases, equally disturbing, which have gone less remarked.

Kevin Schmiesing Kevin Schmiesing, Ph.D., is a research fellow for the research department at the Acton Institute. He is a frequent writer on Catholic social thought and economics, is the author of American Catholic Intellectuals, 1895-1955 (Edwin Mellen Press, 2002) and is most recently the author of Within the Market Strife: American Catholic Economic Thought from Rerum Novarum to Vatican II (Lexington Books, 2004). Dr. Schmiesing holds a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A. in history from Franciscan University ofSteubenville. Author of Within the Market Strife and American Catholic Intellectuals, 1895—1955 (2002), he serves as Book Review Editor for the Journal of Markets & Morality. He is also executive director of


  • daddio

    As Canada goes, so goes the world? (heh, heh!)

  • I’ve recently joined a coalition of bloggers who are speaking out (while we still can) against these kangaroo courts. Please lend your support by keeping up with the issue (and donating to legal defense funds if you can!) – some good blogs to visit are: Ezra Levant and Free Mark Steyn! – from these you’ll find links to others blogging for our freedom.

  • Constitutional Federalist

    Thanks, Linda.

    First they remove the Bill of Rights (no taxation of income, and senators selected other than by mob-vote), then they squelch harmless speech cause it causes someone a tear. It’s their decisions that bring tears!

  • Colin

    This is why I support organizations that fight “thought policing”.