SFU president Michael Stevenson speaks on free speech and dissent at universities at BCCLA AGM

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The B.C. Civil Liberties Association ( is presenting Michael Stevenson, President, Simon Fraser University, as the keynote speaker at the BCCLA’s upcoming Annual General Meeting on Thursday, March 31, 2005 at 7:30 pm at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel in Vancouver (at Canada Place).

Mr. Stevenson’s topic – Threading the Needle: Civil Discourse and Free Speech at the University – is a timely subject. Recent controversies at Concordia University in Montreal, York University in Toronto and SFU have placed institutions of higher learning directly in the center of a debate about how best to ensure that freedom of expression for both speaker and protester can co-exist. With universities’ historic commitment to academic freedom, the possibility that protest can silence expression of any idea or, alternatively, that the administration of a university can silence dissent are both anathemas.

During the event, the BCCLA will also honour Joe Arvay, Q.C. with its 2005 Reg Robson Civil Liberties Award. Mr. Arvay, a noted constitutional scholar, has been counsel to the BCCLA on numerous cases including acting on behalf of Little Sisters Bookstore and the BCCLA in our ongoing battle with Canada Customs.

This event is free and open to the general public. No registration is necessary.