Albertans are grateful for their right to express themselves freely and Alberta’s government wants to ensure that freedom is made stronger. The voices of all Albertans deserve to be heard and respected. That is why Alberta’s government is working to further protect free speech and academic freedom on post-secondary campuses. Post-secondary institutions will have to report annually to government on their efforts to protect free speech on campus.
“It is abundantly clear that more needs to be done to ensure our institutions are adequately protecting free speech. Alberta’s post-secondary institutions should be bastions of free speech and academic freedom that promote critical thinking. I will continue to explore greater steps we can take to strengthen free speech on campus.”
In 2022, the MacDonald Laurier Institute released a study of university professors in Canada. Regardless of political leaning, 34 per cent self censor because they are concerned about negative consequences if their true opinions on certain topics become known.
“I am proud of the work our government is doing to uphold Albertans’ civil liberties. This new reporting requirement delivers on Advanced Education’s mandate to ensure our post-secondary institutions are adequately protecting the academic freedom and free speech of students and faculty.”
“Alberta universities face grave new threats from those who would turn universities away from their founding and most important goal – the search for truth. The Alberta government’s initiatives to bolster academic freedom and viewpoint diversity are a powerful defence not only of professors and universities, but of the very essence of higher education itself.”
“Requiring post-secondary institutions to provide annual free speech reporting is an important step to helping Alberta universities fulfil their mission of the pursuit of truth through the open exchange and debate of ideas.”
This action furthers previous work in 2019 which required all 26 publicly funded post-secondary institutions in Alberta to either endorse the Chicago Principles on free expression or develop a policy that is consistent with the principles. All institutions complied and implemented their policies by the minister’s deadline of Dec. 15, 2019, with an exception made for Burman University and the institution’s religious values.