Colleges and universities in Ontario must come up with free speech policies or they could face funding cuts, says Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government.
All provincial post-secondary institutions must develop and implement a free speech policy that would allow students to speak freely without being shut down by special interest groups or their schools by January 1, 2019.
During Ford’s spring election campaign, he promised he would tie post-secondary funding to free speech and now provincial colleges and universities have four months to adapt their policy.
This follows after several controversial professors and speakers at Canadian universities came under fire for their views.
“Students will have open and free speech, open dialogue, open debate, and they aren’t going to be shut down by the special interest groups or the universities. They’re going to be able to voice their opinions,” said Ford in a video shared on his Ontario News Now Twitter account.
Premier Ford is mandating Ontario colleges and universities to introduce a free speech policy by January 1, 2019. This policy will help protect free speech and foster learning environments that encourage freedom of thought and respectful and responsible debate. pic.twitter.com/s0Jd4nnBrZ
— Ontario News Now (@OntarioNewsNow) August 30, 2018
According to Ford, colleges and universities that don’t comply with the free speech requirements may be subject to a reduction in operating grant funding.
Students who don’t comply may be subject to existing campus discipline measures, according to Ford.