Lawyer Bruce Pardy joins Liberty Coalition Canada to explore the “quiet and unopposed” revolution that has transformed Canadian society, with a focus on the Josh Alexander case, where a student at St. Joseph’s Catholic High School in Renfrew was suspended as well as banned for a month because he questioned the non-binary use of bathrooms at his school. On the surface, what may seem like a dispute over bathroom use and trans rights is more fundamentally a dispute about the expression of ideas in speech, says Bruce.
What is freedom? “Freedom is supposed to be universal and reciprocal,” says Bruce. “You are allowed to call yourself whatever you want. You’re allowed to dress however you want. You’re a free person. That’s what being in a free society means. But everybody else is free, too. If they don’t want to call you what you want them to, they have the freedom to do that. We’ve lost that idea. Freedom only travels, apparently, in one direction.” The test for free speech, he says, “is not truth but what you think.”
From a legal perspective in Canada, formal equality has been rejected in favour of substantive equality. If the focus is on equality of outcome, that means different rules for different people to achieve a same result. But, says Bruce, everyone is infinitely different, and the equality of the rule of law (or “blind justice”) means different outcomes according to those infinite differences. To achieve equality of outcome, the state inevitably steps in to manage, regulate and dictate in areas of our lives it has no business to – an outcome that is the very opposite of freedom and free society. Listen via the link below for the full discussion and for recommendations on how to advocate for the return of open debate and the free flow of opinions and ideas.