Stop Doug Ford's Orwellian "Free Speech" Policies

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This past week, Doug Ford's office issued a directive negatively impacting all University and College students in Ontario. It calls for "Upholding Free Speech on Ontario's University and College Campuses", except it does the complete opposite by villainizing campus protests and student unions.

It requires schools to develop new free speech policies "modelled after the University of Chicago Statement on Principles of Free Expression", except this was a non-binding vision statement which did not call for student groups to be stripped of their funding if they failed to comply. Not only does this stifle free speech on campus, it is an Orwellian interpretation of free speech that is an unprecedented abuse of university autonomy and only stands to undermine institutions' learning environments.

Some news outlets have been musing that this is simply a follow-up to campaign promises made to appease alt-right groups following the removal of Tanya Granic Allen as a PC candidate, well known for her homophobic views, during his spring campaign. Motivations aside, this move simply serves to promote Doug Ford's social conservative agenda.

In practice, it will mean that campuses will become safe-havens for the likes of Milo Yiannopoulos or neo-Nazi Richard Spencer who have frequently been interrupted by protestors on their speaking tours across North America.

Please sign this petition to send a message to Doug Ford that University campuses are not his to tamper with! Universities will not be bullied into promoting his brand of politics; this policy needs to be repealed.



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