By Alex Van Hamme
September 29, 2019 - Despite minor antifa violence outside of the venue, the Maxime Bernier/Dave Rubin event held last night at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ont. was an overall success for the organizers, and went ahead as planned.
The event, titled "The Fight For Free Speech in Canada" was hosted by Frank Vaughan and featured speakers Dr. Salim Mansur, Dr. David Haskell, Maxime Bernier and classical liberal media personality Dave Rubin.
The event was protested by far-left activists, including various union members and antifa. Several days ago on September 26, 2019 the Hamilton Spectator published an opinion piece by antihate.ca director Evan Balgord with the headline "Mohawk College Should Have Declined to Rent Space to Maxime Bernier". Balgord claims that many PPC supporters are racists and bigots, and therefore Mohawk College should not allow the PPC to hold an event in a city like Hamilton.
As predicted, many members of antifa (a domestic terror group in Canada who use intimidation and violence against people who do not support progressive ideology) showed up at the event to protest. Kevin Metcalf, a prominent Canadian antifa supporter and opponent of free speech events in Canada, was arrested at the event, along with several other people for engaging in illegal behaviour at the rally.
Despite these minor instances outside of the venue, the overall event went forward as planned, with a nearly full house. All speakers at the event met standing ovations from the packed house after their time addressing the audience.
Author Salim Mansur, a Muslim intellectual, spoke about the absurdity of labeling the PPC a racist party and how essential and important freedom of speech is to Canadian identity. He published an opinion piece in the Spectator in response to Balgord's article titled "I am a PPC candidate and I am not a racist".
After Mansur spoke, Frank Vaughan hosted a panel with Dr. Haskell, Dave Rubin and Maxime Bernier.
FBM has unedited livestream footage of the entire event, including the antifa protests outside, on our YouTube channel.
After the event, the organizers and speakers invited media onstage for a Q and A session. FBM's Alex Van Hamme spoke to Maxime Bernier about taxation and the CBC, among other things (footage below).
Video footage online has gone viral showing antifa supporters harassing an elderly women attempting to cross the street in order to attend the event.
Evan Balgord released these statements regarding the video on his Twitter feed:
Free Bird Media did not see any racist slogans or symbol at the event, and none are visible in the livestream coverage.
Maxime Bernier told journalist Alex Van Hamme he would completely defund the CBC if elected. He also clarified his priority to balance the federal budget and lower taxes in general as well, saying:
"I don't believe that the way for a government to create wealth and growth in this country is always taxing and taxing and taxing. We cannot spend out way to prosperity. So that's why we want to balance the budget. And after that - we'll lower taxes in two years, we'll lower taxes. We have a big reform on income tax, we have a flat tax on business, no more capital gains tax. And also I'm saying there is another tax we must look at - the inflation. For me, inflation is a hidden tax and we must be sure that we have a zero target inflation. Right now, the Bank of Canada has a target 2% inflation, so our goal is to have a new agreement with the Bank of Canada to have a zero target inflation."
Here is our entire, unedited Livestream from last night's event: