On Monday, the premier of Alberta attacked me by name to undermine my credentials, research, and academic freedom on the floor of #ableg.

It's Wednesday, and the press secretary for the Minister of Advanced Ed has decided to argue that this simply = free speech
The thing is, when profs in #cdnpoli teach the Charter and its rights, the most crucial point is to identify the relationship the constitution defines: it's between us as citizens and the state or government. Most rights are typically framed in that relationship
So, when we talk about Canadians having free expression, it means we are free to express, within reasonable limits, without state or government sanction
This right does not make expression consequence-free, but it does mean that just b/c the powers that be can't come for you if they don't like what you have to say
Now, I don't think I'd be alone in suggesting that a premier in #cdnpoli is free to express themselves, but that in a democracy, under reasonable limits as defined by s1 of the same Charter, this does NOT include attacking individual citizens.
I want to exercise my freedom of expression to suggest that these issues management strategies -- both the one that suggested the premier attack me as a scholar on specious grounds and the one informing the current attacks from the press secretary -- aren't very good
But on another level, if people weren't persuaded by Monday's events, I'd suggest that the new strategy of, let's call it "targeted communication" from the staff of the Minister responsible for my employer is another example of a threat to my academic freedom.
This really seems like a strategy designed to encourage me to stop talking about this stuff, and perhaps as a spinoff, encourage my colleagues to think twice before being critical of our democratic government.
This is why that relationship re: people and the state is so key when understanding these fundamental rights and freedoms: it's about protecting us from abuses of power of the state. It's not about giving the person with the most power the license to say whatever they want
At this point, I'm asking for help from #AcademicTwitter, legal experts in my network, anyone who knows #cdnpoli, #academicfreedom or expression rights well: if you could weigh in with your scholarly evidence, etc, it would be very much appreciated.
Thank you; I really appreciate that support.
You can follow @MelaneeLThomas.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled: