On May 3, 2018, the Humanist Association of Ottawa (HAO) successfully hosted a panel discussion under the banner Freedom of Expression Under Fire: Academia and Media the New Battlegrounds. The event was held at the main branch of the Ottawa Public Library. Speakers included Dr. Christopher DiCarlo, Lindsay Shepherd, Dr. Rick Mehta and Henry Beissel. (For Biographies of these speakers, see our previous coverage). Dialogue was moderated by JP Westlund of HAO.
HAO has posted additional pictures on their Facebook page.
For HAO and at least one of the speakers, successfully speaking at an event may be considered something of a coup. Lindsay Shepherd, who has received much coverage for her challenges at Wilfred Laurier University, was “in transit” to speak at the HAO event while a propent of free speech at Wilfred Laurier University stepped away from WLU’s free speech task force in protest of WLU’s policies. Christie Blatchford (National Post) covers this recent development.
Left-leaning individuals and groups continue to attack free speech at universities through a variety of tools and strategies ranging from outright attacks, informal bullying (as faced by Lindsay Shepherd), formal human resources investigations (as experienced by Rick Mehta) and now economic disincentives.