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NEW REPORT: Examining Opinions Of Those Who Survived Socialism

Survivors of Socialism SecondStreet.org

SecondStreet.org released a new policy brief today that includes a survey among Canadians who came from socialist or communist countries. Along with the policy brief, SecondStreet.org also interviewed people who come from such countries.

In particular, SecondStreet.org asked Canadians what, if any, policies in Canada concern them as they remind them of the countries they fled. The top concern was efforts to curtail freedom of speech, with many noting former federal bills C-10 and C-36.

We didn’t know what to expect when we asked Canadians who came from socialist countries about what concerned them most about government policies in Canada,” said SecondStreet.org President Colin Craig. “The most common concern raised was related to efforts by governments to curtail freedom of speech. Many noted such efforts extend beyond government.”

Highlights from the survey include:

  • The most common concern respondents expressed with Canada’s current public policy environment involved efforts by governments to restrict freedom of speech. Many respondents named recent federal legislation aimed to regulate internet content as an example.
  • Comments about growing restrictions on freedom of speech were a top concern, but almost all respondents indicated that they felt more comfortable expressing their views in Canada than in their previous countries. However, many noted that they felt their freedoms have eroded over time.
  • Respondents were roughly split between feeling like they could speak freely, feeling like they could generally speak freely (but had to do some self-censoring) and feeling like they could not speak freely.

SecondStreet.org has also been conducting video interviews with Canadians who came from socialist or communist countries. Their tales are extremely troubling:

  • An interviewee from Nicaragua described how the government threw his uncle out of a helicopter merely because he had different political views.
  • An interviewee from Cuba described how her friend was thrown in jail for protesting. He was given food in the same bucket he had to use for excrement.
  • An interviewee from Romania described her escape – running through corn fields and crossing a river in the middle of the night (despite not knowing how to swim).

SecondStreet.org will be adding more interviews in the weeks and months ahead.

To view the Survivors of Socialism policy brief – click here.

 

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