News / Ottawa

More 9/11 'truther' ads to hit Ottawa buses

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Ottawa residents can expect to see more 9/11 'truther' ads splashed across the sides of OC Transpo buses, as the group behind the ReThink 9/11 campaign announced Wednesday that a second round of advertising will hit Ottawa buses starting this December.

The city’s Transit Commission is currently reviewing its advertising campaign policies after ads like the 9/11 Truth campaign and other controversial ads have raised questions about the appropriateness of advertisements on city property.

Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth Spokesperson Isabelle Beenan (the group sponsoring the ads) told Ottawa city Transit Commission members that their ads are in line with the Canadian freedom of speech laws and stopping them would be a violation.

“The goal of rethink 9/11 is to make this information widely known by running advertisements in cities around the world, encouraging the public to look at evidence and decide for themselves,” she said.

“Should such an activity be blocked because some in our society are uncomfortable about the implications about this building being brought down by controlled demolitions? The Canadian charter of rights and freedoms says, ‘no.’”

She explained that the new ad campaign, beginning the first week of December, will feature a new question that will be printed on the back of a dozens of buses in Ottawa and hundreds of subway cars in Toronto. The question: “Have you seen the video of World Trade Centre 7’s collapse?”

Commission Chair Diane Deans said that it wasn’t just the 9/11 truth ads that raised questions about the city’s ad policies, but added that other campaigns, notably an atheist bus campaign of 2009, are what prompted the review. She said the campaign was designed for university-aged audiences, but many more people saw them.

“One of the advertising standards points to age appropriateness for advertising on our buses and I just wondered how we determine the age appropriateness of an ad campaign like that,” she said.

“This is not about limiting free speech, this is about reviewing our advertising standards and I think it’s timely to do that,” she said.

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