UPDATE: As of 1500 Oct 25/10 – Election Day – neither mayoral candidate has responded to the 3 questions herein.
The 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).
I 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 [firstname.lastname@example.org]
To: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Posted in Freedom of Expression, MUST SEE, Racial Profiling, True North - NOT free!
Tagged Andrew Lawton, Anne Marie DeCicco-Best, Joe Fontana, London Convention Centre, Lori Da Silva, Mark Steyn, Mark Steyn cancelled in London, Mark Steyn in London, Strictly Right
RELATED: 3 Questions for London mayoral candidates re Mark Steyn cancellation by London
In my previous article, Who’s telling the truth about Mark Steyn cancellation at London Convention Centre?, I reported on my conversations with both Andrew Lawton of Strictly Right, organizer of the Mark Steyn event, and Lori Da Silva, general manager of the London Convention Centre who clearly led me to believe that the only reason they refused to rent the facility was because they did not want other guests disturbed.
I thought it seemed silly for a convention centre which had hosted the 2009 3-day Sexapalooza event to be worried about how other users might be disturbed by someone giving a speech, and observed in my commentary that the argument didn’t have what lawyers and judges call ‘the ring of truth’ to it.
‘The Ring of Truth’ – its power revealed…
The National Post today is reporting that London Convention Centre’s GM Lori Da Silva expressed concerns – in part – about security for the event in addition to concerns about “rowdy” Mark Steyn fans.
“London Convention Centre general manager Lori Da Silva said denying next month’s Mark Steyn speech was a “business decision” in part due to concerns for security, and fairness for the centre’s other clients who might not enjoy a “rowdy” crowd at the same time.” Asked if the content of Mr. Steyn’s work had anything to do with the Convention Centre’s decision, general manager replied, “No, we’re looking at the security risk.”