Alberta to review universities’ draft free-speech policies

New rules governing free speech on post-secondary campuses in Alberta, Canada, will soon be in place, as the province is reviewing policies drafted by all of Alberta’s 26 publicly funded institutions, writes Stephanie Babych for the Calgary Herald.

Earlier this year, the United Conservative Party government requested the province’s colleges and universities to adopt freedom of speech policies similar to that of the University of Chicago. Seen as the gold standard of free speech, the ‘Chicago Principles’ were penned in 2014 to demonstrate a commitment to free speech on United States college campuses. However, the document as it stands cannot apply in Canada as it does in the US because of Canadian hate-speech laws since it states free speech cannot violate the law.

Alberta’s Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides said last Tuesday the government wants to create a strong standard for free speech that will make it clear what is welcomed and what crosses into hate speech on campus. “Nothing can occur on campus that contravenes federal law and federal definitions of hate speech; that’s why it’s important that we are robust in the development of these policies,” said Nicolaides.
Full report on the Calgary Herald site