I wasn’t surprised to hear that Ann Coulter’s speech at the University of Ottawa was cancelled last night. Two thousand students showed up to protest her appearance and authorities were afraid rioting would break out, so they canned her:
“What Ann Coulter is practicing is not free speech, it’s hate speech,” [one student] said. “She’s targeted the Jews, she’s targeted the Muslims, she’s targeted Canadians, homosexuals, women, almost everybody you could imagine.”
Conservative political activist Ezra Levant was slated to share the stage with her. After the cancellation of her speech, he said, “This is an embarrassing day for the University of Ottawa and their student body… who chose to silence her through threats and intimidation.”
Levant blamed the whole thing on Francois Houle, the University’s provost who sent Coulter an email reminding her of Canada’s hate speech laws. Coulter was thrilled, of course, and used it to argue that Houle’s email was hate speech against conservatives.
The provost’s email was ridiculous and absolutely the wrong way to handle someone like Coulter; he ignited this firestorm. Coulter, as one constitutional lawyer in Canada recently called her, is a self-promoting polemicist who loves to play victim so she can ‘prove’ that liberals are horrible.
As you can tell, I’m not exactly a Coulter fan. Nevertheless, the leadership at the University of Ottawa — and particularly the provost — should be embarrassed. They fell right into her trap, and look ridiculous for having done so.