Now you’re all a bunch of girls named Francois

The title of this post is taken from an interview Ann Coulter gave to the Globe and Mail, a Toronto newspaper that in better times fancied itself Canada’s Wall Street Journal, but which has devolved into a politically correct version of the New York Times.

A more complete quote is:

She also took a swipe at Canadians, saying this country has lost its edge.“You guys used to be so cool. You were smokers. You had epic hockey fights. We had half our comedians from Canada. Now you’re all a bunch of girls named Francois.”

I mention this interview because TOC has written a fair bit in the past about Canada’s “hate” speech laws, notably involving Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn.

Coulter was in Ottawa to give a speech at the University of Zero, as she now refers to the institution whose Provost, one Francois Houle, did his best to incite a riot. He succeeded and the speech was canceled.

Mark Steyn had this to say:

Freedom of speech is in grave peril in Canada. In the Coulter fracas, almost all the major societal institutions behaved poorly:1) François Houle symbolizes a decadent academy that is the very antithesis of honest enquiry and intellectual debate that the university is supposed to represent.

2) The Ottawa Police have declared that there is no equality before the law. If you belong to certain groups, they’ll stand by as the mob shuts you down.

3) The dinosaur media are vast lumbering eunuchs too cowed by political correctness to do even elementary research. Fatima Al Dhaher, the poor wee thing traumatized by Ann Coulter’s camel joke, turns out to be a Jew-hater who wants to eliminate the State of Israel. But that’s too complicated for the media to fit into their Sesame Street narratives.

Between them, the media, the law and the education system are actively shriveling Canada’s liberties. It doesn’t lead anywhere good: Ghost of a Flea’s title – “Fascist Canada” – is no exaggeration. If you say, “Oh, c’mon, if you’re not a troublemaker like Coulter or Levant or Guy Earle or Douglas McCue, Canada’s very pleasant”, well, so were large parts of Mussolini’s Italy and Franco’s Spain. But they were not free, and few pre-Trudeau Canadians would have entertained trading ancient liberties for soft totalitarianism euphemized as “diversity”.

The saddest aspect of this sad day is the number of people who’ve sent e-mails denouncing the Ottawa bullies but ending with the words “If you print this, please don’t mention my name.” Don’t you realize that that’s part of the problem? In a sane world, it would be François Houle and Fatima Al Dhaher and Susan Cole who would be ashamed to have their names mentioned. But they’re not. They’re proud to nail their colours to the masts of state censorship, Israeli eliminationism, and mob violence – while your support for free speech and other traditional liberties can only be expressed sotto voce and anonymously. That right there tells you how much of Canada you’ve already lost.

But read the whole thing.

Coulter herself got a good column out of it:

Since arriving in Canada, I’ve been accused of thought crimes, threatened with criminal prosecution for speeches I hadn’t yet given and denounced on the floor of the Parliament (which was nice because that one was on my “bucket list”).Posters advertising my speech have been officially banned, while posters denouncing me are plastered all over the University of Ottawa campus. Elected officials have been prohibited from attending my speeches. Also, the local clothing stores are fresh out of brown shirts.

Welcome to Canada!

The provost of the University of Ottawa, average student IQ: 0, wrote to me – widely disseminating his letter to at least a half-dozen intermediaries before it reached me – in advance of my visit to recommend that I familiarize myself with Canada’s criminal laws regarding hate speech.

This marks the first time I’ve ever gotten hate mail for something I might do in the future.

Apparently, Canadian law forbids “promoting hatred against any identifiable group,” which the provost, Francois A. Houle, advised me, “would not only be considered inappropriate, but could in fact lead to criminal charges.”

I was given no specific examples of what words and phrases I couldn’t use, but I take it I’m not supposed to say, “F— you, Francois.”

Again, RTWT.

Kathy Shaidle has a series of great posts with lots more info, here‘s a place to start.