Sep 28th, 2019
The Justice Centre has written to the President of Mohawk College to rescind the imposition of “security fees” on the organizers of an event occurring at the College’s Fennel Campus this weekend involving Dave Rubin and Maxime Bernier.
“Freedom of expression is not merely an aspiration or ideal; it is the lifeblood of liberal democracies and the cornerstone of higher education. There should be no greater celebration of, and protection for, freedom of expression, including the expression of minority or unpopular viewpoints, than at institutions of higher learning such as Mohawk College,” explains the Justice Centre’s submissions to the College, sent on Friday, September 27.
While resisting calls to cancel the event, Mohawk College has increased the security fees it is charging the event organizers in response to further threats of protests.
The Justice Centre’s submissions explain that Mohawk College has an obligation to uphold free speech and the rule of law on campus. “Mohawk College is subject to constitutional obligations to uphold the rule of law and freedom of expression on its campuses. It should not respond to increasingly frequent disruption tactics by imposing security fees on those who abide by the rules and seek only to express their views in a peaceful manner,” states Justice Centre lawyer James Kitchen. “If Mohawk College wishes to collect security fees, it should collect from the rule-breakers who seek to silence views they disagree with.”
Freedom of expression is a core component of intellectual inquiry and the basis for academic freedom. It must include the right to discuss and criticize all issues and ideas, however much others may disagree.