Scott Thompson: Why is free speech an issue in 2019?

Click to play video: 'Kingston area colleges react to free speech policy'
Kingston area colleges react to free speech policy
On January 1st, Loyalist College and St. Lawrence College must develop, implement and comply with the freedom of speech policies designed by the provincial government – Dec 17, 2018

I remember being a little kid in the ’60s and ’70s and watching college students on the nightly news fight to have their voices heard across North America.

Remember Kent State? Remember the burning of bras? Remember the protest music?

As society progressed, those voices were heard, and although never enough, change has come in many ways as we have evolved.

READ MORE: Ontario post-secondary schools expected to now have free-speech policies in place

“A voice for all” was a common cry then, and still is for places in the world not as blessed as us for taking the journey.

In present-day Canada, I never thought free speech was something that had to be demanded anymore. Do we take it for granted?

The Ontario premier announced last summer that all universities and colleges must have a mandatory policy to protect free speech on campus.

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All have agreed, and some already had a policy in place.

Didn’t we go down this road several decades ago?

Why is this an issue now?

Have we regressed? Are we confusing free speech with hate speech, which is against the law?

READ MORE: Colleges in Ontario develop free speech policy ahead of government deadline

Or has Canada created such a utopian world that there is no more progress to be made and no more opinions to be heard?

Free speech means more than boasting to the world that your country allows the practice. It means hearing the bad with the good and creating a society that is smart enough to know right from wrong.

Has our quest for political correctness taken away the very right it was trying to protect?

A voice for all.

Scott Thompson is the host of The Scott Thompson Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML​.

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