Like every other Tory leader, he’s been Ottawashed…
OTTAWA — After controversial events were cancelled at two Toronto campuses this week, Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer says universities have the right to determine which “outside groups” they give platforms to.
In an interview Friday, the National Post asked Scheer to clarify a policy idea floated during his leadership campaign: to make federal grant money for universities dependent on fostering a culture of freedom of speech on campus.
“I respect the right for universities to determine which outside groups they give a platform to. And so that’s within their purview,” Scheer told the Post.
After Scheer narrowly won the Conservative mantle at the end of May, insiders from his campaign cited the policy as a reason he gained late traction in the race.
Prompting Scheer to propose the policy were apparent infringements on conservative voices being heard on campuses, an issue near and dear to his base.
A pro-life event had been cancelled at Wilfrid Laurier University. Pro-Israel articles were being barred from a McGill University student paper. Protests were engulfing University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson over his controversial views on gender pronouns.
Scheer said little about the policy after becoming party leader, with parliament rising for the summer and his office still working on hiring staff after an exodus that followed former interim leader Rona Ambrose.
But recent events have prompted new questions.
This week, the University of Toronto said it would not open space on its campus for an event hosted by the Canadian Nationalist Party, which is not a registered political party. According to the white nationalist group, a rally was being planned on campus grounds for Sept. 14 but is being cancelled due to “risk of violence and vandalism.”
A counter-rally planned for the same day, called the Unity Rally to Silence White Supremacy in Toronto, had well over 5,000 attendees listed as of Friday. It noted in a Facebook event description “we will absolutely be moving forward” even though the nationalist event was being barred by the university.
Pathetic. Proving once again that Tory leaders have no fixed principles…