One of my favourite ways to spend an afternoon in Castlegar is going to the Community Complex to work out in the gym and soak in the hot tub. The patrons and staff have always been friendly and respectful. I consistently leave the centre feeling both relaxed and rejuvenated. It is a great community resource.
At the front entrance of the building, there is a “community events” board where groups and individuals post advertisements for various community activities. As a member of both SCSU Students for Social Justice and the community of Castlegar, I thought this would be a great place to advertise an upcoming non-profit “community event.”
I was shocked and disturbed when a staff member informed me my poster could not go up: the staff member said her manager deemed the poster “too political.”
The controversial poster is one that advertises an upcoming presentation with Canadian foreign policy expert and author Yves Engler. His presentation is focused around Canada’s current reputation in the international community; specifically Engler’s presentation addresses the last few years under Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The idea for this presentation came after Canada lost the vote for a seat at the UN Security Council.
Engler’s presentation will also focus on Stephen Harper’s position on international climate negotiations, relations with foreign governments — including Colombia and Venezuela, aid to Haiti, wars in the Middle East, and Canadian corporate practice abroad.
Yves Engler will analyze what Harper’s position on the aforesaid issues has meant for Canada’s reputation in the international community, and in doing so provide those in attendance with a valuable insight into Canada’s current foreign policy.
A healthy democracy requires an informed populace. The Castlegar Community Complex is a great community resource for personal health and fitness, but their decision to censor community events is not healthy for Canadian democracy or our community.
(‘The Right did Wrong: A Presentation with Yves Engler’ takes place in Castlegar on Jan. 30 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Castlegar & District Public Library, 1005 3rd St. There is a $5 suggested donation but no one will be denied for lack of funds.)