September 09, 2006

Canadian Author Censored And Deemed A Security Risk By Concordia University

david bernans a security risk at concordia universityDavid Bernans received his PhD in Political Science from York University in 1998. The Gazette has referred to Bernans as a “political gadfly” for his high profile efforts at holding Prime Minister Paul Martin to account for the cuts to health, education and social spending he made as Finance Minister. A documentary film was made about Bernans’ shadowing of Paul Martin called Waiting for Martin. He has published numerous articles in Le Devoir,, The Parkland Post, Alternatives, the Gazette, and elsewhere. Bernans grew up in London, Ontario and now divides his time between St-Pacôme and Montréal, where he works as a researcher, archivist, and translator while studying for a graduate diploma in Concordia’s Études françaises Department. On December 27, 2001, he and his partner, Anne-Frédérique Provencher, became the proud parents of son, Sasha.

"Concordia University has officially blocked as a security risk a scheduled Fall reading by novelist David Bernans, author of North of 9/11. In so doing, the University, already an embarrassment of academic servility, has dramatized both the power of art and its own fear of that power. Another proud victory of art over authority. Bravo Bernans!" - David F. Noble, professor, York University

Risk Management Committee Revokes Approval for '9/11 Retrospective' (5th anniversary) Reading of North of 9/11 at Concordia University.

Author to defy Concordia 9/11 security ban with GUERRILLA READING on campus (details)

Censorship Timeline - the complete story :

June 13, 2006 : Cumulus Press author, David Bernans, requests a room for '9/11 Retrospective' reading of his novel North of 9/11 on September 11, 2006.

July 20 : Concordia Security APPROVES request for '9/11 Retrospective.'

July 24 : Concordia security DECLINES request for '9/11 Retrospective'. No reason is given.

July 25 : Concordia University responds that Bernans' event approval was declined due to a negative assessment by the Risk Assessment Committee. No reason is given.

July 26 : Bernans submits an access to information request to Concordia University for information relating to his declined booking.

July 26-Aug 04 : Bernans corresponds with University in search for an explanation. VP Services (and head of the Risk Assessment Committee), Michael di Grappa, agrees to "look into" the matter and "get back to" Bernans. (see Sept 5)

Aug. 29 : Cumulus Press issues a press release denouncing Concordia's censorship of one of its authors.

  • "Canadian author censored and deemed a security risk by Concordia University" - Cumulus Press;
  • "Who's afraid of David Bernans?" The Link - p.05;

Aug 30 : PEN Canada writes letter supporting Bernans to head of Concordia's Risk Assessment Committee. David Bernans writes satirical "confession".

  • PEN Canada letter of support;
  • "Confession of a 9/11 terrorist" - David Bernans;

Aug 31 :


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