Political correctness – The enemy of free speech
When a person is politically correct they avoid “language or behaviour that any particular group of people might feel is unkind or offensive.” While political correctness can be reasonable in opposing offensive words, it becomes the enemy of free speech when it does not allow for ideological diversity.
Political correctness divides people into groups
Politically correctness is rooted in binary thinking that divides society into groups: oppressor vs. oppressed, advantaged vs. disadvantaged, privileged vs. underprivileged etc. When the world is viewed through this binary lens, any speech that portrays an “oppressed” group in a negative light is considered a violation. The person with a politically “incorrect” viewpoint is seen as taking the side of the oppressor.
To those who are politically correct, oppressor groups often include white males, rich people, corporations, conservatives, and pro-life Christians. Free speech is welcomed when these groups are criticized. However, any criticism of an oppressed group (or member of that group) is not tolerated, even if it is true. Disagreement is conflated with hatred.
Political correctness is reasonable when it treats minority groups with dignity and respect. On both sides of the political spectrum, there is agreement that certain words used in the past are no longer appropriate today. For instance, we no longer call a mentally-ill person a “lunatic” or a disabled person a “cripple.”
Political correctness is also reasonable in opposing racist language. Roseanne Barr, in a racist tweet, compared Valerie Jarrett, an African-American woman, to the offspring of an ape. Barr may have been exercising her right to free speech, but people also have the right to respond to her speech. No one should tolerate racist insults.
Political correctness silences different worldviews
The problem with political correctness is not in opposing offensive words, but rather in trying to silence different worldviews, in particular, conservative and Christian beliefs. When political correctness seeks ideological conformity, it becomes a form of tyranny.
Its primary strategy to achieve conformity is through public shaming. For example, if someone criticizes the teachings of Islam, they are often labelled an Islamophobe or a racist. The shame of being stigmatized pressures many people into silence, resulting in politically correct viewpoints becoming the norm in public discourse.
A second tactic of political correctness to silence other viewpoints is by being triggered. In many American Universities, certain beliefs that “trigger” a negative emotional response are considered microaggressions.
At the University of Minnesota, saying “I believe the most qualified person should get the job” is considered an act of aggression to a non-white person. To the politically correct mind, ideas that trigger negative emotions must be eliminated.
A final tactic of political correctness to restrict free speech is through protesting. In the United States, when a conservative speaker is invited to a University, students have often protested until the speaker is disinvited. Rather than allowing for public debate and discussion, the politically correct “mob” tries to silence anyone they disagree with.
Nobody has a monopoly on the truth
Whether politically correct or incorrect, left-wing or right-wing, no one has a monopoly on the truth. Unfortunately, those who are politically correct can be so convinced their point of view is right that they feel morally justified in silencing other views by any means possible.
The only way to discover the truth is to consider all sides of an issue: both left and right. However, when political correctness succeeds in silencing opposing viewpoints, the truth can often be lost. People who possess the truth are deprived of the right to speak, and others are deprived of the right to hear.
For good or ill, political correctness is a means of social control. In George Orwell’s novel, 1984, the state controls how people think through Newspeak: the elimination of words that are considered harmful. Similarly, political correctness controls how people think by eliminating both words and ideas from public discourse. Hence, it is a means of thought control.
The chief error of political correctness is that if an idea is offensive to someone, it must be wrong. In reality, when people believe something that is false, the truth can sometimes offend them.
The only way to combat political correctness is by exercising one’s right to free speech. In the marketplace of ideas, the truth—if it is not silenced—will eventually defeat falsehood.
Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer ripped Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s inaction over anti-pipeline blockades in the House of Commons Tuesday.
“Will our country be one of the rule of law? Or will our country be one of the rule of the mob?” Andrew Scheer said in response to Prime Minister Trudeau’s recent statement regarding the anti-pipeline protestors who are currently blockading several railways and ports.
“Let me be clear Mr. Speaker, standing between our country and prosperity is a small group of radical activists, many of whom have little to no connection to First Nations communities. A bunch of radical activists who won’t rest until our oil and gas industry is entirely shut down.”
“Now they may have the luxury of not having to go to work every day. They may have the luxury of not facing repercussions for skipping class, but they are blockading our ports, our railways, and our borders and roads and highways. They are appropriating an Indigenous agenda which they are willfully misrepresenting.”
This comes in response to Trudeau’s statement on February 17, wherein Trudeau gave little insight into what action would be taken. “We had a good meeting with morning with the incident response group, discussions with ministers, I made some phone calls to Indigenous leadership as well as a number of premiers. I understand how worrisome this is for so many Canadians and difficult for many families across the country. We’re going to continue to focus on resolving the situation quickly and peacefully, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
Protestors at this point remain blockading several crucial areas of travel for Canadians as well as routes necessary for transporting millions of dollars worth of goods.
Scheer called Trudeau’s inaction the “Weakest response to a national crisis in Canadian history.”
“I listened to the Prime Minister’s word salad just now, and at least two key things were missing: a clear denunciation that the actions of these radical activists are illegal, and some kind of an action plan that will put an end to the illegal blockades and get our economy back on track.”
Scheer called the statement a “complete advocation of responsibility and of leadership.”
Scheer also highlighted that the majority of members of the Wet’suwet’en people were in support of the coastal gas link project. “every single elected band council on the gas link route supports this project. The majority of hereditary chiefs support this project.”
Ontario has come out with a new licence plate that is being criticized by many on social media as the plate is virtually unreadable at night. Many have been posting pictures and videos of the plates at night showing only a blue rectangle with illegible letters and numbers on it when light shines on them.
The new design is supposed to be on the road on Feb. 1. The plates are blue and have white letters and numbers across them.
Sgt. Steve Koopman of the Kingston police took a photo of a car with the new plate and posted it to social media with the caption: “Did anyone consult with police before designing and manufacturing the new Ontario licence plates? They’re virtually unreadable at night.”
Another officer for the OPP, Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, disagreed noting that he was monitoring Highway 401 on Tuesday and said that he can see the plates during the day as well as the middle of the night.
“They’re something to get used to. I haven’t had any problems,” said Officer Schmidt.
He also mentioned that the old plates could be hard to read when the blue chipped off over the white background.
A Minister of Government and Consumer Service spokesperson emailed CBC saying: “We have been made aware that some Ontarians are reporting concerns with readability to the naked eye under certain light conditions. We take this feedback seriously, value the input of Ontario drivers and law enforcement stakeholders and are currently looking into this.”
The government said that before they went through with the new plates they talked to “key stakeholders, including our law enforcement partners, to test the readability, reflectivity and functionality of the new high-definition plates.”
Ontario Safety League president Brian Patterson said that being able to read the plate at night should be a basic requirement. He added that he was unable to see the plates in clear daylight sometimes.
“You have to be fairly close to read them with precision,” he said. “If you’re calling in an impaired driver you want to make sure you give the licence plate correctly… [this] multiplies the complexity of doing that and it may discourage people from reporting [drunk drivers] to police.”
Ontario Liberal Party Interim Leader John Fraser said that the new change was “a poorly thought out decision, done too quickly.”
Vancouver Island Extinction Rebellion appeared outside the home of British Columbia Premier John Horgan claiming they would be attempting a citizen’s arrest on the premier.
Protestors said they were attempting to prevent Horgan’s attendance of the provincial budget announcement at the BC legislature Tuesday.
RCMP vehicles were on scene, as well as members of Horgan’s security personnel.
Protestors have been spotted holding signs outside of Horgan’s home, with others laying down across Horgan’s residence.
The premier was seen arriving at his home at around 8 a.m. PST, getting in a verbal argument with protestors there to arrest him.
According to CTV News, the RCMP created an “exclusion zone” and threatened to arrest anyone who remained on the premise. Protestors were then arrested, while others remained outside the street.
Horgan reportedly left his home with his security detail at 8:30 a.m.
The action outside the premier’s home Tuesday comes after numerous displays by the eco group that have disrupted Canada.
On Feb. 11, hundreds of activists blocked the entrances to the B.C. legislature as the government was set to deliver its throne speech.
The Extinction Rebellion demonstration were in solidarity with anti-pipeline Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs.
“The events of the past week on Wet’suwet’en territories have been an extreme demonstration of colonial violence, approved by the Trudeau and Horgan governments in contravention of Wet’suwet’en, Canadian and international law,” said a statement released Monday night by the group.
“We join the Wet’suwet’en in urging the Horgan government to stop privileging corporate interests over indigenous sovereign rights and the integrity of the Yintah.”
Extinction Rebellion has garnered negative attention recently, as the group has participated in railway blockades that have inconvenienced the travel of an estimated 90,000 VIA Rail travellers and countless CN Rail cargo shipments.
A new motion will soon be introduced to Parliament by the Bloc Quebecois asking the government to call off the Frontier Teck mine that has been proposed in northern Alberta, according to the Western Standard.
The motion will be introduced by Bloc leader Yves-Francois Blanchet. The motion suggests, “That the House call on the government to not authorize the Teck Frontier mine development, as this project can not be reconciled with the Paris Agreement targets.”
Bloc MP Alain Therrien has also supported the motion.
Two more motions will be brought forward by the Bloc, though only one will be chosen to be put up for debate in the House of Commons. The Bloc has not yet specified the motion that will move ahead.
Non-political regulators have already given their approval for the $20.6-billion northern Alberta project. The Liberal natural resources minister noted that their approval of the project may be delayed if Alberta continues to oppose Ottawa’s carbon tax. Many eastern Liberal MPs do not want the project to go through it all.
The federal government has indicated it may be abandoning the project, though Teck claims that it will help the GDP of the province and create approximately 7,000 jobs.
A statement was just released by Teck noting that by 2050 it plans to be a net-zero emitter.
The statement on the company’s website says the project, “will consist of surface mining operations, a processing plant, tailings management facilities, water management facilities, and associated infrastructure and support facilities.”
The project is estimated to generate around 260,000 oil barrels in a single day.
All of the 14 Indigenous communities in the project area have come to agreements with Teck.
According to the federal government, they will not be giving an answer any time before late February.
Federal Environment Minister Johnathan Wilkinson said that environmental impacts would be taken into account before the project is approved.
“With respect to (Frontier), we need to look at all the environmental impacts, we obviously need to look at the economic opportunities, and we need to ensure we’re taking both into account,” said Wilkinson.
“Certainly, one of those issues is how does this project fit with Canada’s commitments to achieving the reductions we are committing to (for) 2030, and the net zero commitment to 2050? I would just say again that it’s important that all provinces are working to help Canada to achieve its targets.”
Wilkinson noted that every province should be expected to help the country achieve those goals.
The industrial emitter plan, TIER (Technology, Innovation and Emissions Reduction) was revealed by the UCP government in bill 19.
This plan came in place of the NDP’s climate Leadership Plan by revoking carbon tax on residents and some businesses while keeping the tax on the big emitters.
The TIER plan gives facilities a number of options such as reducing emissions or paying $30 per tonne in a TIER fund.
The federal carbon tax challenge was brought forward by the Alberta government in 2019. Arguments went ahead in Alberta’s Court of Appeal on Dec. 16-18.