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Ann Coulter on Fox (Image courtesy Fox)
A Canadian college official is warning popular columnist and speaker Ann Coulter to take heed of the country’s hate-speech laws and watch her mouth during her three appearances on Canadian campuses this week.
According to the National Post, University of Ottawa Vice President Francois Houle warned Coulter about possible criminal charges that could result from her speech at the school tomorrow.
“Our domestic laws, both provincial and federal, delineate freedom of expression (or ‘free speech’) in a matter that is somewhat different than the approach taken in the United States. I therefore encourage you to educate yourself, if need be, as to what is acceptable in Canada and to do so before your planned visit here,” Houle wrote to Coulter.
The Post said it obtained a copy of the e-mail from Houle to Coulter, who has on her calendar appearances at the University of Western Ontario in London tonight, Ottawa tomorrow and the University of Calgary Wednesday.
“Promoting hatred against any identifiable group would not only be considered inappropriate, but could in fact lead to criminal charges,” Houle warned. “I therefore ask you, while you are a guest on our campus, to weigh your words with respect and civility in mind.”
He continued, “Hopefully, you will understand and agree that what may, at first glance, seem like unnecessary restrictions to freedom of expression do, in fact, lead not only to a more civilized discussion, but to a more meaningful, reasoned and intelligent one as well.”
Author Mark Steyn, a Canadian citizen, called it a “sad and embarrassing letter, even by the standards of the Canadian academy.”
“Does … Houle write to all University of Ottawa speakers like this? Or does he reserve his telekinetic powers to detect ‘pre-crime’ only for the ideologically suspect?” he wrote.
“I’ve no idea what Ann Coulter’s reaction to this letter is, but I suspect it’s ‘Go ahead, Princess Fairy Pants, make my day,'” said Steyn.
Conservative Canadian activist Ezra Levant told MSN’s Canadian division that objections, including a student group’s attempt to muzzle Coulter, are “fascist.”
“To have a public institution turned into a private club where the only [people] allowed to speak are allowed to meet the very narrow approval of some student politician … that’s gross,” Levant, who is introducing Coulter at her three visits, told the agency.
Coulter, who holds a law degree, was given support by online forum participants, including one who said, “I wonder if … Houle can provide some of the other letters sent to other speakers in this same spirit of civil and [courteous] discourse for which Canadian universities are so well known.”
WND previously reported when officials at Focus on the Family confirmed their family-oriented radio show had to be edited before being broadcast in Canada because of the country’s limits on free speech.