From the Volokh Archives: Touchy Canadians

Originally posted Dec. 2003. Just came across it, and though it was worth reposting in light of recent controversies over hate speech prosecutions in Canada:

Some Canadians are rather touchy about criticism from Americans regarding freedom of speech in Canada. The irony of this touchiness is that the Canadian Supreme Court has based its free-speech jurisprudence, at least in the context of antidiscrimination concerns, in large part on the theories of left-wing American academics such as University of Michigan professor Catharine MacKinnon. The Canadian left has a penchant for importing left-wing ideas from the U.S. and elsewhere, adopting them as public policy, and then accusing anyone who objects of being “anti-Canadian” because these policies somehow define Canadian identity. I like Canada a lot myself, but I should hope that there is more to Canadian identity than national health insurance, gun control, and aggressive hate speech laws.