If private donors were available, much good might be done by creating a Canadian Museum and Hall of Fame of Free Speech. It could issue annual medals to those who have made a significant contribution.
This could not, however, be a government entity. That would automatically compromise the mission.
Among those currently defending the freedom of speech in genuinely heroic terms, who could use the validation of a commendation or medal from such an institution:
Ezra Levant—for his resistance to the Human Rights tribunals.
Jordan Peterson—for his resistance to Bill C-16 and compelled speech.
Lindsay Shepherd—for her resistance to a panel trying to discipline her for showing a video in her class at WLU.
Mark Steyn—Levant's co-defendant.
As you can see, the challenges to free speech are coming thick and fast.
And some of the heroes of Canada's past:
Joseph Willcocks—prosecuted for the crime of printing an opposition newspaper in Upper Canada in the early nineteenth century.
Robert Gourlay—unjustly and illegally deported for sedition in 1817 for questioning the issuance of provincial land grants.
William Lyon Mackenzie—had his office burned down in 1825 and his printing press thrown into Lake Ontario by a partisan mob for putting out an opposition newspaper.
Francis Collins—imprisoned for seditious libel in 1828 for publishing an opposition newspaper.
Joseph Howe—for his fight against the charge of seditious libel in 1835. He beat the charge by convincing the jury to ignore the judge's instruction to convict. Howe later had to fight a duel on the issue.
John Diefenbaker—author and great advocate of the Canadian Bill of Rights.
Sadly, Pierre Trudeau cannot be added for his work on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Although it includes freedom of speech, Trudeau also passed the “Hate Laws” in direct contradiction.