Last evening, Sunday September 29, at the Mohawk College in Hamilton, PPC held a massive rally and event on freedom of speech. It was an event arranged in which Maxime Bernier engaged in an hour long conversation with Dave Rubin, host of the Rubin Report that has become a Youtube phenomenon in the United States. They were on stage accompanied by Frank Vaughan and David Haskell, both PPC candidates in Peterborough and Cambridge, Ontario respectively. I was invited to open the evening by giving a presentation from the podium and set the stage for the evening conversation.
The event was planned over six weeks ago by PPC activists in Hamilton, following the immense interest aroused by the release of Dave Rubin's one-on-one conversation with Maxime done in late summer at Rubin's studio in the States. Once the event was announced and the auditorium of the Mohawk College booked there began an organized attempt by the forces on the left, joined by the thugs of Antifa and other anarchist groups, including the union of staff and faculty of the Mohawk College, to compel the cancellation of the event on threats of violence. The escalating threats led the Mohawk College to demand ten times the cost of the rent for the auditorium contracted for by the PPC organizers. It became a matter of huge contention in Hamilton over the past month as intimidations and smears and threats of violence against the event escalated. It was in these circumstances that the PPC headquarters in Ottawa stepped in, joined by Dave Rubin, to give full support to the local organizers to hold the event and not allow the leftwing forces disrupt and cancel a free speech event.
The event took place last evening as planned and scheduled, despite the immense crowd of leftwing agitators, Antifa thugs, union members and anarchists mounting demonstrations and blockades to enter the event location. The event organizers had to hire adequate police support, private security members and volunteers to provide for security and safety of people prepared to dare the agitators and exercise their right of free speech to attend the event.
The Mohawk College auditorium seating capacity is 1000 divided into the main ground level seating of 700 and balcony capacity of 300. The seating at the ground level was packed to overflowing, and the balcony was more than half-full. So over 800 people from near and far made their way to the Mohawk College in support of Maxime Bernier and the PPC, defied the agitators, and demonstrated their determination to keep secure our constitutionally protected rights of free speech in Canada. It was in this sense a landmark event, and another vivid demonstration of how the PPC stands apart from the Establishment parties (the Liberals, the Conservatives, the New Democrats, and the Greens) on the most important issues of our time, and none is more important than free speech to keep secure and protected our liberal democracy.
Below is the transcript of my remarks in opening of the event. The video of the evening will be available soon, and I will post it.
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Remarks at the Hamilton event on 29 September 2019
Here this evening we were to meet and listen to a conversation between Dave Rubin, the well-regarded host of his show in America on Youtube video, and Maxime Bernier, our much loved leader of the People’s Party of Canada.
It was arranged as a follow-up to an earlier conversation between the two that aroused immense public interest in both our countries, Canada and the United States.
We simply assumed in our Canada we could gather openly and engage in any conversation we wish to have without contemplating that what we take for granted in our day-to-day lives, in one of the oldest democracies in the world, would stir a nest of hornets, of gnats and worse in our midst to stop us from doing what generations of Canadians have done in peace and in harmony.
So here we are met at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario, not simply to attend a conversation between Dave Rubin and Maxime Bernier, not simply to show our resolve that we Canadians – and we will not demean ourselves now or ever to stoop to the diversity crowd in labelling with prefixes of colour and gender and ethnicity who we are as Canadians, for we are Canadians one and all pledged to our country True North, Strong and Free – will not be intimidated, coerced, threatened with violence to not do what is our God-given and constitutionally protected right to do, but also to stand on guard for our much loved Canada, the Dominion of peace, order, and good government from sea to shining sea.
Here we are met for what was scheduled to be a joyful event of sharing and exploring and learning about issues that bring us together across Canada under Maxime’s leadership, into a test of of where we are headed as a country, a test of our democracy, a test of who we are as a people and whether as Canadians we are truly worthy to protect the legacy bequeathed to us by Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir Wilfrid Laurier.
So as we meet this evening and go forward from here, upon us is the added burden of being Canada’s defenders of freedom of speech. We take this burden proudly and with quiet determination as Canadians have done before us. And so we are resolved as the progeny of those Canadians who stood their ground at Vimy Ridge, who stormed the beaches in Dieppe and in Normandy, who fought and died in defending freedom and saving Europe twice from the forces of totalitarianism in the last century, that we in the PPC will not be silenced by smears, or intimidations, or threats of violence, in protecting free speech for all Canadians.
Note, my friends, that the Establishment parties and their leaders in our parliament – the Liberals, the Conservatives, the New Democrats, and the Greens – are missing, their silence in defending free speech in Canada rings painfully loud across our land, and Canadians can now without ambiguity distinguish that apart from Maxime and the PPC, and common hard-working, law-abiding, tax-paying citizens of our great country, the Canadian elite in politics, in business, in the media, in the academia, have gone to bed with those who seek to wreck our basic rights while pandering to the Globalists and Islamists with their borderless one world UN contrived agenda.
But why is this so? The answer is not too complicated. The struggle for freedom, or between the right to be free as an individual, as a people, on the one hand and to abridge or constrict freedom, or coerce people and deny their right to be free on the other hand, is as old as the story of Cain and Abel, or the flight of the Hebrews led by Moses from the oppression of the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt.
It is quite significant that we meet this evening on Rosh Hoshannah in the Jewish calendar, the day that commemorates the Lord’s creation of our world. It is fitting that on this holy evening of Rosh Hoshannah we commit ourselves once again to keep secure our free speech as never before.
This commitment of ours is also not complicated to explain.
Maxime understands well what Liu Xiaobo, the late prisoner of conscience in Communist China and the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate observed, that freedom of speech is the mother of all freedoms. If free speech is abridged and constrained and whittled down, then all of our other freedoms are consequently shriveled and contracted.
Maxime also understands what the other great Nobel Laureate in Literature, Elias Canetti who survived the Third Reich, wrote that the origin of freedom lies in breathing.
Maxime and we, in the PPC, will not stop breathing, nor allow anyone to coerce us not to breathe. We will breathe. We will hold secure our freedoms.
So I am here addressing my remarks to all my fellow Canadians, but especially to those who are in your thirties or younger.
It is very likely your fundamental value is personal freedom – freedom of speech, freedom of belief, freedom of movement, freedom to explore and innovate, freedom from government of any sort that tell you what you are allowed to think, or think about, and what you are not allowed.
Freedom is fundamental for growth, freedom is to be alive, and freedom is God’s gift to each one of us. God gave us free will to be free and not be submissive as serfs or slaves to anyone, to love freely and not to be coerced into submission and fake love out of fear of anyone.
Sadly today, if you look at the policies and practices of the present Liberal government and the main opposition parties, the Conservatives, the New Democrats, and the Greens, our freedoms are being eroded on the basis of political correctness.
This is how it works. First one of the parties introduces a “non-binding motion,” such as Motion-103 on Islamophobia, that sounds like it is protecting a perceived persecuted group. Then this non-binding motion or resolution is given teeth through government funding to support the same lobbyists and NGOs who initially came up with the idea of the motion.
Then the academics join in and argue that if you want to disagree with any or all of this and lecture at a university or college, you have to pay an exorbitant security fee for privately sponsored events, as you may be attacked verbally or physically by those who might disagree with you.
I have experienced this personally as have others, such as Jordan Peterson of the University of Toronto. The sponsors had to double or quadruple the security payment close to the last minute before the event in which I spoke, and escort me after the event to the subway for fear of an attack.
Is this freedom of speech? Is this where our country has been heading of late?
Is this right that in the natural course of disagreements, when individuals who refuse to bend to political correctness are smeared as racists and bigots? Such were, and still remain, the modus operandi of governments in Communist China, Cuba, Iran, Turkey, the Arab Middle East, Russia or the once former Soviet Union, North Korea, etc., and that this is the direction in which we are headed unless we firmly defend our freedoms before we are dispossessed of them.
And, of course, I am not telling you anything new by relating the fact that the present Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, with little or no opposition, decided to subsidize the already largely pro-government media to the tune of nearly $600 million.
Do you think for a moment they will subsidize their critics?
Let me tell you bluntly the People’s Party of Canada is the only party in the country that wants to increase,not decrease, your personal freedom. Maxime Bernier is the only leader and Member of Parliament adamantly opposed to any curtailment of our freedoms.
I will conclude with a hymn or song, a prayer, composed by modern India’s greatest poet, Rabindranath Tagore. He was the first Asian in 1913 to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. The great Irish poet, William Butler Yeats, also a Nobel Laureate, hailed Tagore as the embodiment of the great ancient sages of the East in his time. Here is the hymn in English translation:
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow and domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever widening thought and action –
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
God bless Canada.
PPC Candidate, London North Centre
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