Government has no place in determining the truth for all

The truth of the Holocaust should not blind us to the danger of truth being legislated by government, by way of criminalizing the public expression of falsehoods. In the “free and democratic society” which the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms holds out as its ideal, it is the Canadian people themselves, not their governments, who determine what is true or false, right or wrong, good or evil. When governments declare — and impose — what they deem to be true in the realms of science, philosophy, art, culture, literature, politics, theology, medicine or history, the result is authoritarianism rather than freedom.

Repressive regimes around the world, past and present, impose their own conception of truth on citizens. Jailing people for expressing opinions the regime deems to be false is the hallmark of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes. Whether the authoritarian regime is right-wing fascist, left-wing communist, or some form of theocracy, the regime violates the fundamental freedom of individuals to express their opinions and challenge prevailing orthodoxies.

Of equal or greater significance, authoritarian regimes also rob their citizens of the fundamental human right to hear, listen, consider, ponder, and decide for themselves as to the merit (or lack thereof) of competing opinions, assertions, theories and analyses.

Read the Report: Government has no place in determining the truth for all