June 18th, 2024

Diversity of opinion has an important place in society

By Lethbridge Herald on January 5, 2023.

Brian Giesbrecht

The quest for “diversity” has become the universal rallying cry for every institution, including universities, government departments, corporations, and even law societies. “Diversity” has been defined as including skin colour, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation.

However, the one kind of diversity not included on this list – and the one that is desperately needed today – is diversity of viewpoint. 

That most important kind of diversity is not welcomed at all. It is too often actively shunned or outright cancelled.

We saw this play out during the truckers’ “Freedom Convoy” last winter. 

The protesters in Ottawa represented a significant portion of the Canadian population who were fed up with vaccine mandates and other measures they saw as government overreach undertaken in the name of “keeping Canadians safe” from a respiratory virus that listens to no government.

 They also asked to be heard by a government that is expected to belong to all Canadians.

Instead, they were called names by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and told that they held “unacceptable views.” Draconian punishment, including the seizure of bank accounts, then followed. 

Clearly, a government committed to “diversity” did not include a diversity of viewpoints on its list.

But this is a failure to include a diversity of viewpoints on the diversity list in all of Canada’s institutions. 

Universities that have made the quest for “diversity” almost a religious calling routinely shout down or outright cancel those with viewpoints they disapprove of. Mainstream newspapers simply refuse to allow writers with a different perspective on issues such as residential schools, climate change, or COVID vaccination to air their views. No diversity there.

But in the recent Twitter revelations, we are beginning to see how damaging the failure to allow a diversity of viewpoints to flourish can be. 

Twitter certainly encouraged diversity in almost everything except for diversity of viewpoints. Twitter staff are of different colours, genders, and sexual orientations. 

But until Elon Musk came along, Twitter didn’t have the diversity that really mattered – diversity of viewpoint. Although some Twitter employees were actively partisan, most saw things through a progressive lens. There were virtually no conservative thinkers on the Twitter payroll. As a result, their multi-coloured, multi-gendered, and diverse sexually-oriented staff all thought the same way. They were all living within the same liberal/progressive thought bubble.

There is nothing wrong with their views; probably half the population holds similar liberal/progressive views. 

The problem is that everyone within the organization approached every censorship decision from exactly that viewpoint. There were no conservative thinkers to offer balance. The Twitter staff looked different but thought the same.

And that is essentially what has happened within mainstream media generally. There is nothing wrong with the viewpoint of an urban, middle-class, university-educated journalist, but when every journalist comes from that same background, there is a problem.

 The journalist sees every story through their progressive lens. In the days when many “newspapermen” were blue-collar conservatives, a balance existed in mainstream newspapers. But that is largely gone now.

As a result, many alternative conservative media outlets have sprung up. And this is leading to a world where half the population lives within one liberal/progressive thought bubble while the other half lives within a traditionalist/conservative thought bubble. And never the twain shall meet.

And those living within the one bubble deny access to, or “cancel,” those living within the other bubble.

There is no obvious solution to this problem. On an individual basis, we can choose to leave our comfortable bubble once in a while and see what those in the other bubble are watching and reading.

A Fox fan can turn on CNN and vice versa. Or, in Canada, a CBC or CTV fan can tune in to True North or Rebel News. A Globe and Mail reader can choose to read the Western Standard occasionally. And vice versa.

However, until our major institutions take note of how much damage is being done by coercing everyone to accept the view of the liberal/progressives, and marginalizing Canadians who think differently, the problem will only get worse.

The fact is, the civil rights battles over skin colour, gender, and sexual orientation rights were largely won years ago. That kind of “diversity” is already well accepted and is here to stay. 

But the battle over the failure to accept a diversity of viewpoints is raging and shows no sign of letting up any time soon. And we must find a solution because that intolerance undermines the free speech essential for democracy to survive.

Diversity of viewpoint is the most important diversity of all. Canada needs it.

Brian Giesbrecht is a retired judge and a senior fellow with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.

© Troy Media

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pursuit diver

You have a good point or two! You lost me with the Freedom Convoy comments.
No one has to right to terrorize a community as they did Ottawa. Some of the convoy went to the home of an openly gay women who had a rainbow flag outside her home and threatened and terrorized her. Is that reasonable behaviour? There was a group funded by far right US groups, who were attempting a Canadian insurrection!
I am all for legal, respectful protests, but that is not what the Freedom Convoy was. There were thousands of residents in the protest area that couldn’t sleep and suffered psychological issues from all the noise from the honking of semis, the fireworks and bands. One of those semis had a set of train airhorns used on trains mounted on his truck which magnified the horn. It was a complete disrespect for the businesses and residents in that area and was nothing but a bunch of bullies pushing there own beileves on others, including racists with their own agenda that had nothing to do with the vaccine issues. You stated name calling but what about the F— Trudeau flags?
You will never get me to accept that the Freedom Convoy in Ottawa or the blockade at the Coutts border was okay!
I support peaceful, legal protests that are a right in Canada! Viewpoints made in the proper manner have some benefits and over the years many of have learned or benefited from them, but expressing them in a manner that costs others their livelihoods or creates a reign of terror benefits no-one!
For the record, I want Trudeau replaced as well, but legally in an election!

Last edited 1 year ago by pursuit diver

His point was the diversity of thought by the Convoy, with all it’s varying opinions, should have been heard by the government. Trudeau has only one thought, his!! As to the claims regarding protesters and a gay flag, can you please provide the link. I must have missed that one. Remember the convoy to Ottawas was against the vax mandate for truckers, who had been providing cross border services and provisions to that beloved Ottawa and then were cut off. Let’s not forget the reason and context. Look how it has screwed up the supply chain, um, everywhere.

Last edited 1 year ago by buckwheat
pursuit diver

It was evidence given during the review. I would suggest you go to CPAC and watch it. You will see that as well as proof of the Nazi flag flown, radicals from the US, citizens intimidated by Convoy members, and many other illegal and anti-social behaviours that go far beyond freedom to express ones rights or opinions. It also included a comment by Ms. Leech or Leitch, one of the organizers when asked if she thought it was acceptable to honk horns 24 hours per day and run multiple diesel engines puking out fumes and ignore complaints from local residents and businesses. Her response was ‘my husband works on the oil rigs and I stayed on location with all the fumes’!
There is no comparison to the large number of trucks and an oil rig with 4-5 engines and the occassional horn!
I would encourage you to watch it and see what many media reporters missed and why the residents of Ottawa were terrorized!
It was very close to an insurrection!
Trudeau has destroyed Canada in my mind, but there is a legal process to replace him: vote him out then next election!

Last edited 1 year ago by pursuit diver
pursuit diver

Actually the Freedom Convoy was originally more complex than just ant-vax prostests and got worse when it was hijacked by fanatics of several groups. The base of the original had it’s own issues.
The supply was a global issue which was compounded by ships unable to offload, backed up in ports. It was also impacted by plants worldwide being shut down or staff reductions, again due to COVID. Many plants never did start up again. Globalism keeps biting us in the butt! We have to make sure we have our own sustainable supplies made in Canada that are essential in emergencies, such as masks/gloves/medical supplies, vaccines, drugs and other equipment needed during times such as pandemics or war.
To date, we have not built up that infrastructure, even though it was promised and we have opened ourselves up to another shortage. We learned the hard way that when ‘IT’ hits the fan, we are on our own and medical supplies made in other countries, under contracts, are cut off and we are left without.
I would like to add, that the truckers who didn’t work and blockaded or protested, didn’t cause the supply chain issues, since they were only a small percentage, a tiny fraction of truckers in Canada, while most of the trucking industry continued to work domestically and internationally trucking products/supplies into Canada.
The illegal blockades at the borders caused issues and created some problems with drivers houring out their logbooks and having to sit. Supplies were impacted, but the biggest supply issues were caused at the coastal ports, countries of origin and domestic/foreign business shutdowns.

Last edited 1 year ago by pursuit diver

Canada was the United States’ largest goods export market in 2019.
U.S. goods exports to Canada in 2019 were $292.7 billion, down 2.4% ($7.1 billion) from 2018 but up 43.0% from 2009. U.S. exports to Canada are up 191% from 1993 (pre-NAFTA). U.S. exports to Canada account for 18% of overall U.S. exports in 2019.
The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2019 were: vehicles ($52 billion), machinery ($45 billion), electrical machinery ($25 billion), mineral fuels ($25 billion), and plastics ($13 billion).
U.S. total exports of agricultural products to Canada totaled $24 billion in 2019, our 1th largest agricultural export market. Leading domestic export categories include: prepared food ($2.0 billion), fresh vegetables ($2.0 billion), fresh fruit ($1.5 billion), snack foods not elsewhere specified or indicated ($1.4 billion), and non-alcoholic beverages (ex. juices) ($1.0 billion).
U.S. exports of services to Canada were an estimated $67.7 billion in 2019, 1.7% ($1.2 billion) less than 2018, but 55.9% greater than 2009 levels. It was up roughly 298% from 1993 (pre-NAFTA). Leading services exports from the U.S. to Canada were in the travel, professional and management services, and intellectual property (computer software, audio visual and related products) sectors.

More than the odd item affected by vax mandates

Last edited 1 year ago by buckwheat
pursuit diver

People were dying from COVID, it was a pandemic and required action to save the lives of many.
Hospitals were full and ICU’s were filled at times with anti-vaxxers, many of which stated on camera they wished they would have got the vax before dying of COVID.
Many industries who could not ‘work from home’ and had no way of isolating workers at work had to temporarily shut down operations, domestically and internationally.
Until we knew how severe this pandemic was going to be, steps had to be taken to protect the public, the law abiding public!
I had zero complaints with how the government was dealing with the issues and know many truckers who followed the rules and continue to work and work hard during the pandemic, angry that the border blockades made their jobs harder and in some cases they had to travel across states to enter into Canada at a crossing that costs them many extra driving hours in their log books which lenghtened their trips dramatically and reduced the number of loads they were able to haul of food, medical supplies and other essentials needed every day!
The truckers on the blockades and in Ottawa only respresented a minute precentage of all the tuckers in Canada.
For those of us who travel on the highways and see the massive amount of trucks on the QE II alone between Calgary and Edmonton, we understand this.
There is an army of super B fuel trucks alone that travel that road everyday! Hundreds! And that is just fuel!
Truckers used to have a code, but just like the rest of society, it is all about ‘ME’ and my special interest group! No one wants to work for living and wants everything given to them, paid for by those of us who work for our living!

Last edited 1 year ago by pursuit diver
pursuit diver

In 2020, Canada exported $264B to United States. In 2020, United States exported $218B to Canada.
In 2021, Canada exported $357.2 billion to United States. In 2021, U.S. export $307.0 billion to Canada.
The US is by far the largest destination for Canadian products (76 percent of total exports), followed by China (4.5 percent) and the United Kingdom (2.6 percent). Exports from Canada fell by 2.3% over a month to an eight-month low of CAD 64.4 billion in November of 2022.
Crude petroleum and Petroleum gas are the biggest exports to the US, most of which are shipped by rail or pipeline and not impacted by the blockades.
Trade In October 2022, the top exports of Canada to United States were Crude Petroleum (C$12.4B), Petroleum Gas (C$2.78B), Cars (C$2.39B), Refined Petroleum (C$1.51B)


Exactly Brian!! The so called “Tolerant” have become grossly “Intolerant.”

Say What . . .

Proverbs 16:27-29
27 A worthless person digs up evil, While his words are like scorching fire.
28 A perverse person spreads strife, And a slanderer separates close friends.
29 A person of violence entices his neighbor, And leads him in a way that is not good.