Dr. Joseph Facal take on censorship in Canada: “What surprised me the most in 2022” [“Ce qui m’a le plus étonné en 2022”]

The powerful article, featured in this post, summarizes what has surprised Dr. Joseph Facal in 2022. It is food for thought about the increasing censorship in Canada.

Dr. Facal’s article (https://bit.ly/3I5VX1X) was recently published in the Journal de Montréal. With the assistance of her faithful friend Mr. Google Translate, Bambi will first present his article in the language of Shakespeare. Second, she will share a song she discovered this morning while preparing part of this post.

This musical discovery is entitled Liberty and it is by Ms. Lauren Kellie. Its lyrics are powerful and its music beautiful. At the very end, following Kellie’s superb song, you can find its lyrics, as copy-pasted from YouTube.

From the lyrics, the following sentence resonates in Bambi’s mind:

“It’s in our DNA to be free, we’re not made to live this way” .

As a society, why are we collectively accepting the unacceptable, which is censorship? Are we doing so out of fear or is it out of a desire to please and conform? We can perhaps add to the latter a lack of critical analysis in addition to a distortion or a corruption of the use of principles. Stated differently, principles like freedom of expression and/or academic freedom apply for thee and not for me. Censorship is for thee and not for me. The violence of cancellation, or cancel culture, is tolerated for thee and not for me.

So, what is the best antidote to the above? It may be simply respect for all. This means for everyone’s opinions, no to violence for anyone, yes to individual rights for all/anyone, AND, most importantly, a re-commitment to principles for the the sake of principles. This means the latter apply to anyone with any opinion, including unapproved political or scientific ones.

Indeed, it is vital to constantly protect freedom for all. If we stop venerating the latter, as a cherished principle or value, especially in so-called “controversial” cases with which we disagree, like Bambi’s own story, it is only a matter of time until each one of us will lose freedom in our society.

All this being said, Bambi will stop her own initial thoughts here because it is time to share Dr. Facal’s sharp and wise words now. Please remember the musical treat following his article!

“War in Ukraine? I confess that I did not believe it until the last minute.

But that a tyrant invades his neighbour is not particularly a novelty.

For me, the most disturbing, the strangest, the most insidious event of the past year has been the continuation and deepening of censorship in our Western societies.


Instead of slowing down, it seems to me to have accelerated.

Lexicons of now banned words are produced.

TV shows are banned for hearing “offensive” words.

Artists guilty of being white are removed from museums.

Books disappear from reading lists submitted to students.

Even yours truly had his picture taken down from a wall in my old CEGEP [or college in the province of Québec. He is a politician, academic, and journalist. He was a Parti Québécois member of the National Assembly of Québec (1994-2003) and a cabinet minister in the governments of Mr. Lucien Bouchard and Mr. Bernard Landry]. It was only put back because people started asking questions.

Obviously, censorship is nothing new, but who expected such a comeback?

I’m not sure that today’s young people, many of whom have become so embedded in the software of self-censorship that they don’t realize it, realize that they can say less than you and me in the year 2000 or 1990.

Have them watch a sketch by Yvon Deschamps or RBO [the former is a famous comedian and the latter is Rock et Belles Oreilles, a radio, television and stage comedy group that was very popular in the 1980s and 1990s] and see their bewildered reactions.

We are experiencing a perfect storm, that is, the meeting of elements that combine to produce maximum effect.

You have, on the one hand, a properly religious thought, which divides the world into good and bad, which has an answer to everything and which never doubts.

You have, on the other side, cowardly administrators, who bend before the slightest protest, no matter how outlandish, and who will justify their cowardice in the name of “respect” due to the “feelings” of a handful renamed “the community”.

However, I will bring a nuance immediately.

As people retire and are replaced by younger people indoctrinated with wokeism, who rise to positions of influence in newsrooms, on campuses, in human resources departments, etc., censorship is no longer just the work of people who are afraid, but of executives who are on the same wavelength as the protesters.

It is, moreover, fascinating to see the extent to which wokeism, now well established in power, persists in presenting itself as the struggle of the “dominated”, as the legitimate struggle of those below against the oppressive power of the capitalist and liberal society.


It is equally fascinating to see their instrumentalization of the meaning of words.

These people only have the words “listening”, “dialogue” and “openness” in their mouths.

But for them, “listening” means agreeing with them.

“Dialogue” means imposing their monologue.

The “opening” is one-way. Have you recently heard of a censor who acted out of conviction and not out of fear to admit that he was wrong?

The fight, I fear, will be long, as the struggles against religious obscurantism have always been”.


How did we get here?

Inside the masquerade

Pretending we’re not afraid

Behind safety’s veneer


Are you awake?

While they’re handing out yellow stars

The history book’s screaming out

We’ve seen this before


Under the thumb

We’ve forgotten who we are

It’s in our DNA to be free

We’re not made to live this way

Pushed to our knees

Cause we’ve fallen fast asleep

Can’t stand for liberty, bowing to Tyranny

It’s not meant to be this way


We’ve traded free hands

Fought by the blood of man

For illusions of guarantees

Just to be slaves again


Liberty’s flame

Still burns through the darkest night

Will we open our eyes to see

Will we be brave again


Has Fear become the new religion

We’re passing on to our children

Oh, I’m calling to the people

Wake up and hold the line

Will you join me turning tables

While we still have time

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