Apparently Ann Coulter has been warned. The conservative political pundit will speak today at the University of Ottawa. According to an article by Adam McDowell in the National Post:

A senior University of Ottawa administrator has warned [Coulter] to use “restraint, respect and consideration” when speaking at the school.

Francois Houle, vice-president academic and provost, advises Ms. Coulter… to review Canada’s hate speech and defamation laws before giving her talk at the university.

In an email sent to Ms. Coulter on Friday…Houle wrote: “Our domestic laws, both provincial and federal, delineate freedom of expression (or “free speech”) in a manner that is somewhat different than the approach taken in the United States. I therefore encourage you to educate yourself… as to what is acceptable in Canada and to do so before your planned visit here.”

McDowell points out that Coulter’s controversial comments sometimes extend to the Great White North. In 2004 Coulter said of Canadians:

It’s always, I might add, the worst Americans who end up going there. The Tories after the Revolutionary War, the Vietnam draft dodgers after Vietnam. And now after this election, you have the blue-state people moving up there.

They’d better hope the United States doesn’t roll over one night and crush them. They are lucky we allow them to exist on the same continent.

I’m no authority on Canadian laws, but that doesn’t really sound like a credible legal threat to me since it is, in fact, physically impossible for one country to, like the overweight half of a long-married couple, “roll over one night and crush” another one.

Houle’s whole warning seems a little odd. If the University of Ottawa wanted all speakers to use “restraint, respect and consideration,” one wonders why the school invited Ann Coulter.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer