Stifling free speech is making Wilfrid Laurier University unsafe

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David Millard Haskell writes at the Toronto Star:

The motto on the crest of Wilfrid Laurier University, where I’m employed, is Veritas Omnia Vincit. Translated, that means Truth Conquers All.

At one time my university may have elevated the pursuit of truth as its highest ideal but now I’m not so sure. The pursuit of truth requires that faculty and students allow ideas, even those deemed repugnant by some, onto the campus to be aired in open discussion. It’s in a contest of competing ideas that the best facts win or, “truth conquers.”

However, a few days ago some colleagues at my university showed that they place other values ahead of truth. I wish I could say it was the first instance of its kind on my campus. However, an internet search of “Wilfrid Laurier and freedom of expression” will show it’s not. And the problem is growing.

Most recently, the media reported Lindsay Shepherd, a grad student and teaching assistant in Laurier’s communications program, ran afoul of her university bosses while instructing a first-year class. She showed a clip of a debate between U of T professors Jordan Peterson and Nicholas Matte. The debate, which previously aired on public TV, had Peterson explaining his objections to the use of non-gendered pronouns while Matte argued in favour.

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