Howls of protest met President Trump's recent pledge to use threat of funding cuts to force universities to uphold free speech rights on campus. But it turns out that such a policy has been in place for Ontario, Canada's post-secondary institutions since the start of this year, and it was modeled after one developed by the University of Chicago.
So it was that former academic Norman Finkelstein's sold-out lecture about Gaza at the University of Toronto this week---hosted by the Association of Palestinian Students but not endorsed or supported by the University---was billed as "one of the first high-profile tests" of Ontario's new campus free speech rule.
If Finkelstein---who authored a book accusing Jews of exploiting the Holocaust for gain, alleged that Israel poisons Palestinian children through the water supply, and was banned from Israel for expressing solidarity with Hezbollah during the 2006 war in Lebanon---can pass muster at the University of Toronto, then we expect the same to apply to a pro-Israel or a conservative speaker in the future. Then we'll know that free speech truly is being protected in Ontario's universities.