Ezra Levant Isaac is a Canadian right wing activist who is a lawyer by profession. He is most well known as the founder of the right wing website, Rebel News (erroneously labelled “extreme right wing” by a lot of left wing media houses). He hails from Calgary. He has been labelled as a provocateur by many of his critics. He is very famous for his campaigns to protect the right to free speech in Canada.
Ezra Levant also founded Western Standard and served as the editor-in-chief for some time. Ezra Levant has also penned numerous books on economics and politics. Let’s find out more about him.
Ezra Levant: All You Need to Know
When was Ezra Levant born?
Ezra Levant was born on February 19th, 1972.
Where did Ezra Levant study?
Ezra Levant grew up in a Calgary suburb and attended a Jewish elementary school before entering a public high school. He received a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Calgary and a Law degree from the University of Alberta.
As a teenager, Ezra Levant discovered the Reform Party of Canada, which he joined at university. In 1992, at the University of Calgary, his team won in the category “Best Debate” during a competition between universities at the Queen’s University campus.
What was Ezra Levant’s first controversy?
In 1994, Ezra Levant was quoted in a Globe and Mail article on Young Conservatives after accusing the University of Alberta of racism for instituting a program to promote the hiring of female and native Canadian professors. His gesture outraged feminists, Indigenous law students, and a number of professors. He was called to meet the vice-dean who reminded him of the university’s “non-academic code of conduct” and the laws against defamation. A little later, as chairman of the university’s Speakers’ Committee, Ezra Levant organized a debate between Doug Christie- a lawyer known for defending the deniers of the Holocaust and war criminals Nazis – and Thomas Kuttner, a lawyer Jewish Commission on Human Rights of New Brunswick.
Ezra Levant forged a reputation as a top-notch curator within the university. He is invited to write a column for the Edmonton Journal and is interviewed on TV. He spent the summer of 1994 in Washington, DC, in an internship organized by a libertarian organization, the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation. In 1995, Ezra Levant worked for the Fraser Institute while writing Youthquake, which advocated the benefits of “small government”, including the privatization of the Canada pension plan. Ezra Levant labelled it “Youthquake” (the term he uses to describe what he defines as a conservative youth movement) to the civil rights movement of the 1960s, except instead of being enslaved by racism, his generation is “enslaved by debt”, and to free itself, society must dismantle elements such as unions, minimum wage, universal health care, loans and scholarships and the public pension system
What did Ezra Levant say about Quebec?
During the 1995 referendum on Quebec sovereignty, Ezra Levant took the side of separatism in Quebec and voted “yes” in an article in the Calgary Sun entitled “10 Reasons to Hope for a Yes Victory”. In particular, he thinks that Quebec’s departure from confederation would lead to the elimination of official bilingualism and multiculturalism, that the Government of Canada could firmly say no to other claimant groups ( First Nations, environmentalists), and that separation would put an end to corruption in Parliament, which Levant then attributed to Quebec politicians in office. According to him this victory of the “Yes” would also open the way for the post of Prime Minister to Preston Manning (leader of the reformist party).
The following year, in 1996, Levant wrote that if the federal Liberals were reelected, Alberta could separate from Canada, making the province: “Freed from the demands of Quebec”.
What was Ezra Levant’s role in the creation of the conservative party?
In 1996, Ezra Levant worked with David Frum to organize the “Winds of Change” conference in Calgary, with the aim of encouraging the Reform Party and the Progressive Conservative Party to join forces in a right-wing party capable of defeating the Liberal Party in the 1997 federal election. Despite a failure, this conference paved the way for future attempts, which ultimately led to the creation of the Conservative Party in 2003. Previously, in 1999, Ezra Levant will have supported an initiative of Preston Manning, the “United Alternative”, with a view to uniting once again the conservative forces of the country; a year later in 2000 to be precise, he was to be one of the leaders of the movement that set up the Canadian Alliance, thus helping to broaden the base of the Conservative Party.
What are Ezra Levant’s roles within the Reform Party?
Ezra Levant is an active political organizer within the Reform Party. He successfully supported the attempts of Rahim Jaffer and Rob Anders to win the party nominations. In 1997, he went to Ottawa and became parliamentary assistant to Preston Manning. In 1999, he left Ottawa to join the editorial board of the National Post in Toronto. In February 2001, Ezra Levant returned to Ottawa as Director of Communications for Stockwell Day, Canadian Alliance. In May of the same year, he resigned after sending the National Post a letter to dissident MP Chuck Strahl, in which he threatened to sue him for criticizing his administration.
Ezra Levant: Editorial Career
In 2004, Ezra Levant founded the Western Standard, a magazine whose main subjects include preserving the Western Cultural ethos of Canada, conservatism and libertarianism. In October 2007, the magazine stopped being published in print format and became an online exclusive magazine. From 1997 to 2007, Ezra Levant wrote an episodic column for the Calgary Sun. He continues to write occasionally for the National Post. In 2010, he joined Sun Media as a columnist and he applied for a position with the future television channel Sun TV News.
How did Ezra Levant handle the controversy around the Danish cartoons?
In February 2006, Ezra Levant’s Western Standard re-published the cartoons of Muhammad that appeared in the Jyllands-Posten, a Danish daily. Syed Soharwardy of the Supreme Islamic Council of Canada and the Council of Muslim Communities in Edmonton filed a complaint with the Alberta Human Rights Commission and a hearing was scheduled for January 2008. On the day of the hearing, Ezra Levant published the cartoons again on his site. At his request and that of his lawyers, he was authorized to record his interview with Shirlene McGovern, a human rights investigator with the Commission. Subsequently, he uploaded the video on YouTube. The video remained in the top 10 most viewed videos for several days. Soharwardy’s complaint was ultimately withdrawn and a complaint filed with the Calgary police remained unresolved. The Edmonton Muslim Council filed a similar complaint later on. That case was also dismissed by the Commission.
What did Ezra Levant say about the Alberta Commissions on Human Rights?
Ezra Levant fiercely criticized the Alberta Human Rights Commission, particularly with regard to Reverend Stephen Boissoin, sentenced to pay a $7,000 fine and forbidden to intervene publicly on the issue of gays and lesbians in May 2008. The case began with a letter published in the Red Deer Advocate in 2002 in which Stephen Boissoin attacked “the homosexual agenda”. In June 2008, Levant published the letter again on his blog. When the Commission dismissed the complaint, Levant accused it of religious discrimination, alleging that “100% of the Commission’s targets are white, Christian or conservative” and that he finds it ridiculous that “it is legal for a Jew like me. to publish [Boissoin’s letter] but illegal for a Christian like Reverend Boissoin to publish it ”.
Who are some of Ezra Levant’s biggest supporters?
Ezra Levant’s backings against the Commission include libertarians, free speech promoters, conservative Catholics, and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. All of whom have called for reform of the Canadian commissions. Ezra Levant also appears on Fox News by popular ultra-conservative American commentator Glenn Beck, where he criticizes the Commission.
What did Ezra Levant say about the George Galloway case?
Ezra Levant also expressed his support for the Canadian government’s decision in 2009 to invoke persona non grata clauses by denying entry to the country of George Galloway, a British MP known for his anti-Israel remarks and his support for Hamas, an organization that the Canadian Government has labelled as a terrorist organization. While supporters of freedom of expression protested against this decision, Ezra Levant describes it as an “immigration case”.