Free Speech

A little while ago I got an invitation on Facebook to a group that supported Bruce Allen, a radio broadcaster on our local talk radio station, CKNW. To provide a little background, CKNW is the local talk radio station in Vancouver where the hosts are old enough to reminisce about the glory days of the British Empire. Some of them have a little too much nostalgia for it. In one of Mr. Allen’s many commentaries, he opined that Canada was being over-run by “special interest groups” and that immigrants should “fit in or get out.” Mr. Allen of course was referring to people who wished to wear religious head-gear for passport photos, voting, and the like. This commentary released a firestorm of controversy, with many immigrant groups calling for Allen’s removal from his position in Vancouver Olympic Committee which would oversee the 2010 games’ opening and closing ceremonies.

The Facebook group called for members to write the CRTC and CKNW to voice their support for Bruce Allen and his defense of “Free Speech”. I suppose that I had been invited to join this group because I write commentaries myself. I should support Bruce Allen, since I would expect the same to be done for me when I would say something like this. Suffice to say, I declined the invitation.

Since Bruce Allen still has his commentary job, and presumably his position at VANOC, he does not need one whit of my support on this issue. Furthermore, *I* found his rant to be offensive. Mr. Allen displays a rather thuggish interpretation of democratic rule of law. Even natural-born citizens have the right to change the laws that they have a problem with. Besides, religious headgear in passport photos is not an issue that affects me in the least. The fact that someone wears a turban doesn’t affect my right to go without one. If Bruce Allen really needs his free speech rights protected, he can find himself a very good lawyer to pretend to care for $200 an hour.

CBC- Radio commentary draws fire from B.C. Sikhs

CKNW’s Reality Check Sept 27 2007