Douglas Christie is Canada’s most prolific defender of free speech, having appeared in the Supreme Court of Canada in the defense of freedom of speech more times than any other counsel in Canada, where he has consistently argued against laws repressing free speech, and for individual liberty.
In April 2010, right after American Christian Zionist Ann Coulter was told to shut up, Mr. Christie appeared at the University of Ottawa, Canada. In a shining speech for freedom that matched any speech of the founding fathers of the USA or Canada, his student audience listened with rapt attention. For Canadians who have lived for over 30 years with Communist/Zionist-inspired “hate laws”, Mr. Christie’s opening sentences were well understood by freedom of speech advocates. Said Christie:
I’m here to talk about free speech. I’m not here to practice it.
Unlike Ann Coulter, I don’t need a warning from the provost. I am a Canadian, trained by law in the way of silence, sullen silence, and code language. I have been trained by the Supreme Court not to engage in hate speech, even though no one can define it in advance, so I can avoid it.
After a short speech that ought to be recorded in the history books, Mr. Christie concluded by saying:
I have not said anything. More than anything, I have been allowed to speak here without interruption on the belief I would be ineffectual and secondly I would make the administration look better than the last speaker who was cancelled. I realized this at the beginning, but it is an opportunity to make the point that the redemption of an individual like me, or a society like your university, or of a country like Canada, is only possible if we listen to each other and talk openly about all of our serious and sensitive issues. Unless this really happens, Canada isn’t worth saving and neither is this university.
I will leave here knowing more than anyone in this room about the battles for free speech that have gone on in this country in the last thirty years. I see only minor changes occurring. This is your chance to ask what you need to know to make a difference.