“The principle of free speech is one of the cornerstones of our democracy.” And at last we see a Western official standing up for it.
OTTAWA — Heritage Minister James Moore has instructed Library and Archives Canada to show the documentary film Iranium after “threats of violence” caused a screening of the film Tuesday to be cancelled, the minister’s office has announced.
Both Mr. Moore and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney had earlier criticized Library and Archives, a federal Crown agency, for cancelling the screening.
“The principle of free speech is one of the cornerstones of our democracy,” MR. Moore’s office said in a prepared statement. “Minister Moore took action as soon as he heard that the film was cancelled. The minister has instructed the Library and Archives to honour their commitment to show the film, while taking all appropriate steps to ensure security. Canada does not accept attempts from the Iranian Embassy to dictate what films will, and will not be shown in Canada.”
Pauline Portelance, a spokeswoman for Library and Archives Canada, said the Iranian embassy had sent a letter to the federal institution on the weekend asking that the film be cancelled. The request was denied.
Then, people — whom Ms. Portelance described as “members of the public” — started phoning Library and Archives complaining about the planned screening and threatening to protest. “The threats were getting too serious,” Ms. Portelance said.
A decision was then made to cancel the screening.
Asked about the issue during a press conference on Wednesday morning, Liberal house leader David McGuinty said he supports a “free and open society.”…
Let’s hope it stays that way.