How refreshing to read Dr. Jordan Peterson’s work in Arabic in Lebanon’s An-Nahar and learn about his successful talk in Ottawa, despite calls to cancel it by federally-funded NGOs

No to cancel culture; yes to democratic pluralism.

How sad to see some individuals or organizations in Ottawa, our charming capital, pushing to make it look more like a banana republic when it comes to freedom of expression, democratic pluralism, and intellectual debate.

Indeed, several NGOs and interests groups, many of which are federally-funded, called for the cancellation of his talk. However, Mr. Rex Murphy informed us, in an article published in the National Post entitled “Goodness, gracious, Ottawa survived Jordan Peterson” of the following happy outcome: Dr. Peterson’s talk was a full house event at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa ( Bravo for the successful public event!

Yes, Bambi described the outcome above as being “happy” because, like the friend who shared this article with her, she strongly believes in the value of freedom of expression. For her, it is very simple: you like to listen to Dr. Peterson, go to his public event(s). You do not like Dr. Peterson’s ideas or even character or whatever else related to him, do not go to his public event(s). However, for God’s sake do not impose your intolerance of different ideas on all of us. Do not make us more and more look like a banana republic than a free, democratic country.

Luckily, even countries at risk of becoming failed states or true banana republics, at least economically speaking, still have freedom of the press. For instance, An Nahar published an article entitled “Where every dollar makes the best gains; in Arabic: حيث يحقق كل دولار أفضل المكاسب. ( co-signed by our own Dr. Jordan Peterson. Guess what? The article was professionally written. It did not include highly charged terms, like “a controversial professor”, as the Canadian mainstream media do. It only stated this professor’s name, title, credentials, and titles of books. It is up to people to decide whether they wish to read his text or any of his books. It is not up to the media to direct their thoughts into rejecting or endorsing his thoughts or findings. Why can’t we do the same in Canada anymore?

Luckily, to end on a more joyful note, Canada now has at least two provinces with either a bill (Québec, as shown below) or a promise for a legal action (Alberta; to protect academic freedom. It is both refreshing and absurd when we need governments to interfere to remind academics of the value of academic freedom and freedom of expression. Nevertheless, it is a move in the right direction, even if applications of bills may not be optimal in the end. Will it be enough and what is next for Canada? Only time will tell, of course. For now, Bambi wants to celebrate the hope for brighter days ahead.

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