UPDATED: Controversial Sun News host Ezra Levant to speak at Rye

 Controversial Sun News Network host Ezra Levant  is expected to speak at an event on campus this Thursday. (Wikimedia Commons)

Controversial Sun News Network host Ezra Levant is expected to speak at an event on campus this Thursday. (Wikimedia Commons)

A media personality who attacked Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and his parents in a derogatory rant last week is coming to Ryerson.

Sun News Network host Ezra Levant — whose remarks on The Source resulted in an apology from the network — is expected to speak at an event on campus this Thursday.

The conservative TV host made headlines last Monday when he called Trudeau’s parents promiscuous. The late former prime minister Pierre Trudeau was “a slut,” said Levant, and Margaret Trudeau “tended toward rock musicians.”

Sun Media aired an apology for Levant’s remarks Monday evening just before an episode of The Source. The apology did not come from Levant himself.

Levant was invited to campus by the Ryerson student group Students Supporting Israel (SSI). He is expected to speak on a number of topics, including the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and university life for Jewish and pro-Israel students.

Hadas Hait, president of SSI at Ryerson, said that the group invited Levant because members like how he reports on Israel — and his comments have nothing to do with the event.

“The way he basically represents Israel in his media coverage, is a very fair representation,” she said.

“A lot of media in general don’t showcase Israel in a positive light. I think people who care about fair media watch his news report and appreciate his stance.”

Hait said Levant’s comments will not have an impact on the event.

“He’s specifically going to talk about BDS on campuses, how it’s counter-productive for the Palestinian cause,” said Hait.

“Pro-Israel students sometimes don’t feel comfortable to speak their mind or to show what they stand for or what they believe in, and I think Ezra Levant, in that sense, is very inspirational.”

The BDS movement has been a divisive issue on campus since the Ryerson Students’ Union voted to support it on campus in April.

RSU president Rajean Hoilett said only he hopes that SSI will “help to create a safer and more inclusive space in that event and make sure that all folks have an opportunity to contribute to dialogue.”

Alexander Cohen, director of communications for Ontario Young Liberals (OYL) said in an email, “OYL and the Ryerson Young Liberals have no position regarding Mr. Levant’s visit to campus.”

The free two-hour event starts at 4 p.m. at TRS 3-109 on the third floor of the Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM). TRSM is located at 55 Dundas St. W.


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