Campus Freedom Index 2011 now available online

From the introduction:

The Campus Freedom Index seeks to measure the commitment of Canada’s public universities, as well as student unions, to upholding the rights of students to express their beliefs, opinions and philosophy on campus in a peaceful manner. (It’s a report about Freedom of Expression, a professional and ethical value and commitment shared by many librarians).

A couple of lowlights:

“…Universities in Ottawa, Montreal, Waterloo, Halifax, Vancouver, and Calgary have turned a blind eye to people physically obstructing and disrupting speech they disagree with.  This failure to uphold the rule of law sends a very clear message in support of mob rule: “if you disagree with someone, then silence that person and prevent that person from expressing her or his views.”  Whether universities themselves restrict controversial and politically incorrect speech, or whether they fail to uphold the rule of law on campus, in both cases the end result is censorship.” (2)

University of Ottawa is rated as follows:

University Policies and Principles = Mediocre

University Actions and Practices = Poor

Students Union Policies and Principles = Poor

Students Union Actions and Practices = Moderate (8)


Of the 18 universities included in this Index, only six received a ranking of ‘Good’ in their Actions and Practices:

  • University of British Columbia
  • Simon Fraser University
  • University of Western Ontario
  • University of Toronto
  • Carleton University
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland (13)


The University of Ottawa was noted for having sent a threatening letter to Ann Coulter prior to her 2010 appearance at U of O as well as failing to provide adequate security during her appearance on campus, thereby actively contributing to the cancellation of the event. (14) There was also an incident regarding a Burmese human rights activist who was banned from our campus for critiquing the business practice of one of the university’s donors.

Read the report here.


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