3 Questions for London mayoral candidates re Mark Steyn cancellation by London Convention Centre

UPDATE: As of 1500 Oct 25/10 – Election Day – neither mayoral candidate has responded to the 3 questions herein.

Anne Marie DeCicco-Best - London mayoral incumbentThe issues associated with a city-owned venue restricting the Charter rights of non-Muslims who want to bring in a speaker for a lawful speech are serious ones so, as a London resident, I felt the two leading contenders for the city’s Mayor’s chair should have a chance to make their positions known about the London Convention Centre’s refusal to rent a room for Strictly Right’s presentation of Mark Steyn (see References below). 

Joe Fontana - London mayoral candidateI sent the email below containing three questions to Joe Fontana and Anne Marie DeCicco-Best (incumbent), and then followed up with a phone call to ensure the message didn’t get lost in a spam file.

VoiceofCanada asks London’s mayoral candidates 3 questions about LCC refusal to host Mark Steyn event


From: Mark Vandermaas, Editor – VoiceofCanada.ca [info@voiceofcanada.ca]
To: info@joefontanaformayor.ca; annemarie@votedeciccobest.com
CC: Andrew@StrictlyRight.com
Subject: Q for candidates re LCC refusal to rent room for Mark Steyn event

Dear Ms. DeCicco-Best and Mr. Fontana:

I am a London resident (371 Vesta Place) and I am the editor of VoiceofCanada.ca.
As you may be aware, the London Convention Centre recently refused to rent a room to Mr. Andrew Lawton and his organization Strictly Right for a speech by internationally-known author and commentator Mark Steyn.
Mr. Lawton was told by the LCC representative that he was denied the room after Muslims complained and a decision was made by the Board of Directors not to rent the room to him for the event.
The general manager of LCC told VoiceofCanada yesterday that they did so only out of concern that the event might disturb other venue users, an argument is simply silly given that LCC hosted the 2009 Sexapalooza event. During my conversation with the GM the word ‘security’ or phrase ‘security concerns’ never came up even though I specifically asked if LCC was threatened or intimidated into cancelling.
Today, the National Post reports that LCC is now claiming that security concerns were, indeed, a factor so it appears LCC management was deliberately misleading me.
One could certainly take the view that the refusal of the London Convention Centre to refuse to rent to non-Muslims for a political speech is an actionable violation of the Charter of Rights, so this is an important issue.
Questions for Mayoral Candidates
I would be very appreciative if you both would answer the following questions which will be published on VoiceofCanada:
1. Do you support the argument that non-Muslims’ Charter right to ‘Freedom of Expression’ should be violated or restricted by any city-owned venue as an alternative to protecting this important right?
YES or NO, and WHY?
2. Do you feel it is acceptable for the LCC to host ‘Sexapalooza’ but not permit Mr. Steyn to appear for a speech about free speech?
YES or NO, and WHY?
3. If you are elected, are you prepared to direct the London Convention Centre to uphold the Charter rights of all citizens by requiring it to rent to any group – including non-Muslim – that does not have an unlawful intent or a history of unlawful behaviour?
YES or NO, and WHY?
I would like your responses in writing please so as to avoid misquoting you. They will be posted in their entirety – unedited – online at VoiceofCanada.ca as will this email.
You can find more information about this issue at these links: 
Strictly Right, Oct 22/10: National Post: Centre refuses to host Steyn lecture on free speech
VoiceofCanada, Oct 21/10: Who’s telling the truth about Mark Steyn cancellation at London Convention Centre?
I have copied Mr. Lawton on this email which will also be published on VoiceofCanada.
Thank you,
Mark Vandermaas  519.457.0709



VoC Comment

As promised, I will publish the candidates’ responses in full without editing them.



NEW - London Convention Centre-inspired 'Steynapalooza' banner, SteynOnline.com, link to Strictly Right Presents Mark Steyn!

NEW - London Convention Centre-inspired 'Steynapalooza' banner, SteynOnline.com, link to Strictly Right Presents Mark Steyn!

 Mark Vandermaas, Editor

3 responses to “3 Questions for London mayoral candidates re Mark Steyn cancellation by London Convention Centre

  1. I will fall over in a faint if you get any sensible answers to your questions, or if you get any answers at all.

    VoC REPLY: Didn’t ask the questions because I expected answers. Asked them because I didn’t. I always give people the opportunity to do the right thing, which they almost never do. If so I can use their refusal to do so against them later. But, yes, I’ll fall over in a faint, too, if they do. Mark

  2. I hope you are not holding your breath waiting for a direct answer (or any answer) Mark. After all London is the city of the “empty nut sack official” – your august personage excluded of course. 😉

    BTW it’s Harper’s home town too wink wink nudge nudge 😉

    VoC REPLY: re ‘breath’ holding – see reply to comment above. Didn’t know PM was from here. I’ll check later to make sure I’ve still got mine. Mark

  3. Dear Mark V.
    It appears to me that we are witnessing the thin edge of the wedge in Canada,
    to the erosion of our democracy and freedom of speech by actions such as this one by the City of London.
    As citizens of Canada we should be seeing firm, positive action, from all levels of government NOW! to avert subversive actions by any group who are determined to destroy our Canadian values, democracy and society.
    But like you, I will not hold my breath, we unfortunately will not see any
    responsible action from our elected representatives until we are in a dire situation.
    Peter Epps

    VoC REPLY: Thanks for writing, Peter. Don’t have much time to respond, but the bottom line is that we must force those who refuse to do the right thing – whether they are politicians, venues, police – to pay a price. That’s what we have tried to do in Caledonia. Whatever it takes. There can be no allegiences or loyalty with those who refuse to take a stand. Mark