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Niagara Falls
Friday, April 19, 2024
Letter: Shocked to read of librarian’s firing
Library board chair Daryl Novak and Cathy Simpson. FILE

Dear editor:

It’s absolutely shocking to read that an employee of a Canadian public Library has lost her job over the free expression of her views on the very subject of free speech (“Chief librarian fired over column in The Lake Report,” March 21).

Surely, we’re all aware of the recent and dangerous trend of banning the speech of others whose views are at odds with our own.

It’s bad enough that such a once-revered right in democratic societies has been eroded to the extent that public discussion and opinion (particularly in schools and universities) has now been extended to publishers and libraries.

It appeared to me that Cathy Simpson, the fired CEO of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library, was giving her personal opinions and never claimed to be speaking for her employer.

Why is the principle of free speech so misunderstood by so many?

Fortunately there are some intelligent voices who can explain the matter:

George Orwell — “If liberty means anything, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
Noam Chomsky — “If we don’t believe in free expression for those we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.”

George Dunbar
Toronto

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