Dr. Mathieu Bock-Côté: Steven Guilbeault against freedom of expression? [Steven Guilbeault contre la liberté d’expression?]

Below is a quick translation of Dr. Mathieu Bock-Côté’s article published today in the Journal de Montréal:


“The freedom of expression feud made its way into “Tout le monde en parle” [it means Everybody’s Talking and it is a Radio-Canada TV show] Sunday night.

Asked to comment on the debate surrounding the censorship of La petite vie [a very funny and famous old TV show], Steven Guilbeault [[https://pm.gc.ca/en/cabinet/honourable-steven-guilbeault] went there with this startling statement: “Our right ends where someone else’s hurt begins.”


This statement is serious and I have to ask him a few questions to invite him to clarify his thinking. Otherwise we will have to find that he has just submitted to the “tyranny of the susceptible.”

Let’s start: if a man feels hurt by a critical speech about his religion, is he entitled to ask that the one holding him be silenced?

If he feels hurt by the use of a word in an academic context, can he demand the dismissal of a professor?

If he doesn’t like a show from 25 years ago, can he ask to be taken off the air?

Surprise question: if I feel hurt by the delusional discourse of the activists of the systemic racism lobby against the Québec people, am I entitled to ask them to finally stop? If not, am I to conclude that some communities have a greater right not to be harmed than others?


The issue of freedom of expression is not complicated. Apart from defamation and the call for violence, nothing should be prohibited [Bambi will allow herself to add here that she fully agrees. Indeed,  if you wish, you can insult her small size, her ethnolinguistic background, her religion and the religion of all those she is related to and there are many of them!]. This does not prevent being polite and respecting the rules of decency. No one in Québec is claiming the right to insult blacks, for example.

But pronouncing the title of a book should never be considered indecent or an insult, no matter what the hypersensitive may say.

Stop pretending that the issue is elsewhere.

And no “community” should have the right to impose its definition of blasphemy on the whole of society” [Bambi agrees, contrary to Ms. Ségolène Royal’s words in France yesterday].

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