University of Waterloo apologizes to Christie Blatchford: “freedom to speak and to learn is fundamental”

The University of Waterloo has issued a strongly worded apology to Helpless author Christie Blatchford after a small group of students were able to intimidate the university into cancelling her Nov 12/10 appearance at the Humanities Theatre:

Apology after author is silenced  

University officials issued a statement yesterday in the wake of a Friday night incident in which Globe and Mail columnist Christie Blatchford was prevented from speaking at a scheduled event in the Humanities Theatre.

A group of protesters took exception to what they called the “racist” attitude of her book Helpless, which deals with the four-year standoff over native land claims in the village of Caledonia in Ontario’s Haldimand County. Blatchford had been invited to campus by the university bookstore to speak about her book. After some time, it was announced that her talk would be rescheduled.

The events of the evening were live-blogged by the Wilfrid Laurier University student newspaper The Cord, and got some media attention yesterday.

Says the statement that was issued by the university yesterday: “The University of Waterloo was disappointed that a guest invited to share a particular perspective on a topic of importance to Canadians was silenced by protesters. Globe and Mail columnist Christie Blatchford was scheduled to appear at the university on Friday night to discuss her new book Helpless: Caledonia’s Nightmare of Fear and Anarchy, and How the Law Failed All of Us. Due to safety issues, the university decided to reschedule the event.

[…]

Read the rest of this article (and the university’s apology)…

Mark Vandermaas, Editor
VoiceofCanada
info@voiceofcanada.ca

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One response to “University of Waterloo apologizes to Christie Blatchford: “freedom to speak and to learn is fundamental”

  1. …”Helpless, which deals with the four-year standoff over native land claims in the village of Caledonia in Ontario’s Haldimand County…”

    This book is not about a four year native land claim, it is about the plight of the non-native residents of Caledonia. Ms Blatchford herself says she did not delve into native land claims as her book was about the lawlessness and the opp’s reluctance to do as the non-native residents of Caledonia wished them to do.
    I am always surprised to see how your website (and those connected with it), will twist the necessary facts into some incredible slight against anyone who disagrees with your positions.

    VoC REPLY: Hate to tell you Bella-b, but the quote you cite as evidence that I “twist” facts into “some incredible slight against anyone who disagrees” with my position wasn’t written by me – it was written by the University of Waterloo as part of their public news release. Oops.

    Second, even if I did write it, how does that mean I’m slighting anyone? Third, I hate to tell you, but Caledonia is all about a group of thugs using a land claim – an imaginary land claim to be sure, but still a land claim nonetheless – to terrorize an innocent community, so ‘stand-off’ is more than an appropriate term.

    Of course, you already knew that didn’t you. 😉

    If you’re looking for someone to blame for twisting the truth into slights against people, how about checking out your mirror?

    Mark