Heritage Minister James Moore letter to Mark Vandermaas re Canadian free speech

Minister of Canadian Heritage & Official Languages James MooreAfter the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages James Moore stepped in to ensure intimidation from the Iranian embassy would not prevent the showing of the movie Iranium by the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa, I called his office and wrote to thank him for his staunch defence of Canadian free speech which sent chills down the spine of every right-thinking Canadian who is concerned about the preservation of that most vital component to democracy and evolution of human progress.   

If you haven’t seen this before, sit back and enjoy:    

  • CBC, Jan 19/11: Show will go on [9:12] (tough-talking Heritage Minister James Moore says foreign gov’ts don’t dictate which movies will be shown in Canada) YouTube [LINK]

The (very) Honourable James Moore writes back…   


Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages
Ottawa, Canada  K1A 0M5

March 02, 2011  

Mr. Mark Vandermaas

Dear Mr. Vandermaas:    

Thank you for writing to me about the screening of the documentary film entitled Iranium at Library and Archives Canada (LAC). I appreciate you taking the time to share your views with me.    

LAC is an agency in the Canadian Heritage Porfolio responsible for its own day-to-day operational decisions, under the direction of the Librarian and Archivist of Canada. In this case, the role of LAC in the event was to offer a space within its facilities for a movie screening.I am pleased that LAC decided to offer the Free Thinking Film Society the opportunity to reschedule the viewing of the film. This decision reflects the fact that the principle of free speech is one of the cornerstones of democracy, which Canadians value. It is in this spirit that we support the ability of our democracy, which Canadians value. It is in this spirit that we support the ability of Canadians to screen and to view films representative of different points of view.  

Iranium movieAs you are already aware, there were attempts to prevent this event from happening. I would like to reiterate that our Government will not bend to pressures or threats of violence and will not allow others to dictate which films will and will not be shown in Canada.  

I have taken the liberty of forwarding a copy of our correspondence to Dr. Daniel J. Caron, Librarian and Archivist of Canada, so that he is also aware of your views.  

Please accept my best wishes.  



The Honourable James Moore, P.C., M.P.  

cc: Dr. Daniel J. Caron  


 VoC Comment   

Free Thinking Film SocietyI have been very critical of the current government over its failure to speak out on Caledonia and its appointment of Julian Fantino, but one simply must give credit when it is due, and James Moore certainly has earned my greatest respect. It was a pleasure to watch him defend free speech so vigorously and to receive such a strongly-worded commitment to defend it.     

Coincidentally, the Free Thinking Film Society is a co-sponsor of our upcoming ‘Caledonia: No More Nightmares’ presentation [SEE ALSO] which will also be held at the Library and Archives Canada room where Iranium was screened. 


Mark Vandermaas, Editor

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