Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sent to City Council this morning...

10 March 2009

Dear members of Council,

There are far better things for Council to do than spending hours (or even minutes) discussing whether OC Transpo should accept advertising money from Atheists. There are better things for me to do than writing you about it, but the matter is on the agenda for tomorrow's City Council meeting and I feel compelled to do so.

The preamble to Councillor Cullen's motion makes a very solid case for doing so on freedom of speech grounds. In addition, OC Tranpo can use all the revenue it can get at this point.

To deny the ads because some people "might" be offended is, frankly, offensive to non-believers and to those who support freedom of speech. Ottawa is not a nanny state.

Neither OC Transpo nor City Council has done anything about the "Lock up your daughters" campaign, which DOES offend many people. And instead of calling for these ads to be banned, those offended by this campaign have pressured the radio station into removing their ads, without having to resort to censorship from the municipal government.

Please carry the Cullen motion and move on to important issues.

- RG>


Anonymous said...

Well said!

Anonymous said...

Great letter, well put.

As an atheist, I'm personally a little put off by the fact that something that is - essentially - an innocuous statement of my beliefs could be considered 'offensive' to other religious groups.

I have to admit, though, that as a law student I'd be a little interested to see the proposed court challenge go forward. It might even be worth it just to get a statement from the court saying that discrimination against atheists is caught by s. 2a of the Charter.

Anonymous said...

I'm just shocked that Ottawa city council is frighteningly close to making a decision of any kind

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the city pretty much accepted your reasoning and allowed the bus ads rather than face a court challenge they'd probably lose.

Anonymous said...

Hey Grouchy,
I agree and think council needs to focus on improving how they run this city. However, I will say, I don't like either ad. The whole 'lock your daughters' ad was sexist and made light of teen pregnancy which is wrong and I'm just not big on any religious group shoving their views down my throat, be it atheist or not.

Anonymous said...

Personally as a feminist I am extremely offended by bus ads for the organization Birthright, a "preganncy crisis" centre which obviously is part of the anti-choice lobby.

If we are going to start censoring bus ads on the basis of ofeensiveness there are certainly others which need to go, is all I am saying.