It's only been a few days since Ontario's post-secondary institutions announced that they had enacted new policies on freedom of speech, as per Doug Ford's request. Free speech at Ontario university and colleges has become a hot topic as a result of controversial incidents such as Faith Goldy's failed appearance at Wilfrid Laurier University, as well as Jordan Peterson's attempt to speak at the University of Toronto.
But, it didn't take long for a controversial group to use the new free speech laws to their advantage. The group in question is called the Canadian Nationalist Party (CNP) and the university they have set their eyes on is none other than the University of Toronto.
The party has some controversial opinions, to say the least. Their website claims that the party stands for maintaining the majority of people who are of European descent. On the landing page, the party even disclaims "We reject the doctrine of multiculturalism because we believe any political stance is rooted in identitarianism."
The leader of the group, Travis Patron, announced the CNP's plans to visit U of T on his Facebook page, where he claimed the group had requested a room at the university. It's clear that they had been waiting for the new free speech laws to drop, considering Patron started off his post on Facebook by saying "In accordance with the Ontario Provincial Government's recent mandate."
The purpose of the Canadian Nationalist Party's visit to the University of Toronto has to do with establishing the party's platform for the upcoming federal election according to Patron via his post. As of now, according to both Patron and the Canadian Nationalist Party, the extent of the response they have received from the University of Toronto is that their request is pending and they will receive an answer in the next few days.
Judging by the response of controversial figures arriving at the University of Toronto in the past, it's likely that if the Canadian Nationalist Party does get permission to speak at the university, it's going to get messy. What will be increasingly interesting is if their request gets rejected, and how the University of Toronto will explain their reasoning considering Doug Ford's intense stance on free speech on school campuses.
Regardless, students and bystanders will have to wait to see if the Canadian Nationalist Party does end up getting the green light from the University of Toronto.
Though it's clear that the university is in a difficult position, considering that whether they say yes or no, there are going to be plenty of people angry about their decision no matter which one they choose.