First Free Speech Arrest in Ontario
UPDATE: March 16th, 2018
We are saddened to inform you of the passing of our pro-life and free speech hero, Mr. Cyril Winter. He died last week following heart-related surgery. Unfortunately, he will not get his day in court here on this earth.
For the first time in Ontario history, a man has been arrested for holding a free speech sign. This is not only a black mark on Kathleen Wynne and her liberal regime, but it is a black mark on our entire province. We all look bad. After all, we don’t live in a military dictatorship, do we?
Mr. Cyril Winter, a 70 year-old senior, was arrested by police in Ottawa on Feb. 7th and 9th. He was carrying signs that read “Freedom of Expression and Religion. No Censorship” and “God save our Charter rights”. He was arrested while walking on a public sidewalk, sign in-hand.
Mr. Winter’s only crime, apparently, was that he had come within 50 metres of the property line of an abortion clinic. A new anti-speech “bubble zone” law came into force on February 1st (the so-called “Safe Access to Abortion Services Act”). Under this draconian law, all personal speech, activity, and even prayer is subject to strict police control and regulation.
You might be on a public street or sidewalk, but if you happen to be within 50 metres of an abortion clinic or an abortionist’s house, you can be arrested by police for saying, praying, or wearing the wrong thing. (And it's up to them what that is).
Though this law was passed under the pretext of “safety for women”, it is clear now that its purpose is to suppress certain viewpoints and beliefs within the province. This assault on our rights and freedoms was enacted by premier Kathleen Wynne under her attorney general, Yasir Naqvi.
Ironically, Mr. Winter says he had his activities cleared by Ottawa police before he donned his signs. In spite of receiving a green light from Sergeant Martin Groulx, it is reported that the crown attorney ordered Mr. Winter’s arrest when the nearby abortion clinic complained about his signage.
In the past, while it was still legal, Mr. Winter carried pro-life signs in the public spaces surrounding the abortion clinic. Now that this is forbidden, he decided to speak up for free speech. He said, “I really believe in free speech and the freedom to be where I am, in every square inch of Canada…I’m beginning to wonder how free I am.”
This is a clear case of political bullying with police as patsies. This hurts ordinary citizens like Cyril Winter. This hurts the reputation of police. This hurts the women who would like to think for themselves on these issues. This hurts the unborn. This hurts our province. May God help us!
Now that Kathleen Wynne and Yasir Naqvi have claimed their first victim under this anti-speech “bubble zone” law, let’s voice our support for Cyril Winter, an Ontario senior with real guts! We need to let our liberal government know that political suppression is for dictatorships, not democracies.
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