Blog

Jan 22
2018

Huffington Post and Canada Post Want to Protect Me. Thanks, But No Thanks


I think I am living in the proverbial “interesting times.”


By Danielle S. McLaughlin / Posted Monday January 22, 2018

Censorship

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Jan 11
2018

“No-Platforming” should have No Place in a Public Library


The Toronto Public Library (TPL) Board kicked-off 2018 by bringing in a new policy on community and event space rental.  While the new policy is meant to address discrimination and promote inclusion, it is infinitely more likely to quash debates on controversial topics, exclude minority voices and in doing so, distort the mission of the library to promote the free exchange of ideas. 


By Micheal Vonn / Posted Thursday January 11, 2018

Censorship

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Jan 4
2018

All Joking Aside? Taking Stock of Sexual Humour at Work


Is it ever appropriate to crack sex jokes at work?  I hope so - since I’ve been known to do it on occasion.  But a recent one-liner made by a Canadian parliamentarian has prompted me to interrogate my risque behaviour, and reflect on the line that divides harmless suggestive bantering from sleazy unwanted innuendos. 

When it comes to erotic talk at the office, is one person’s discomfort another person’s delight? 

If so, how to tell the difference?  And what should be the consequences when we get our signals crossed?


By Ummni Khan / Posted Thursday January 4, 2018

Censorship

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Nov 16
2017

(Free) Speech on Campus


In the general public sphere, expression is subject to relatively few legal restrictions. Canadian law includes ‘content’ restrictions on obscenity, hate speech, defamation, and false advertising. There are also laws that regulate the time or location at which expression may occur and are concerned with coordinating expression with other activities in public spaces.


By Richard Moon / Posted Thursday November 16, 2017

Academic Freedom

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Nov 9
2017

University Speech Codes and the Wounds of White Fragility


(Co-written with Anver Emon, Professor of Law, University of Toronto)

Everyone can get hurt. We are complex beings, with multiple attachments, and so we naturally are offended by insults, degrading comments, and uncivil speech. If such wounds hurt, should they be the subject of penalty or public censure? For intractable disputes, it is naïve to think that speech codes can serve to dampen, or even resolve, conflict.


By David Schneiderman / Posted Thursday November 9, 2017

Academic Freedom

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Nov 2
2017

Bill 62: An Act to Promote Bullying


Imagine that I am a teacher who has decided to teach my students about cultures other than their own. I want those students to understand that wearing a kirpan, a turban, a kipa, a hijab, or a niqab does not make a person less Canadian, less deserving of respect, or “abnormal.” So, I decide I will wear items belonging to my own cultural practices as a demonstration of how easily we can all interact with the diverse community around us. I choose, as a Muslim woman, to cover my hair with a hijab and cover my lower face with a niqab.


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Oct 26
2017

The Journalistic Sources Protection Act: A Primer


(Co-written with Andrea Gonsalves)
 

Welcome to the club, Canada.  On October 18, 2017, we joined the ranks of nearly every other Western democracy when Bill S-231 – the Journalistic Sources Protection Act (“JSPA”) – was finally passed into law, codifying a set of important protections for journalists and their sources. 


By Justin Safayeni / Posted Thursday October 26, 2017

Freedom of the Press

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Oct 19
2017

A Hailstorm of Censorship at UBC


It would be nice to think that free speech in Canada is in surpassingly good health, that it can resist attacks from authoritarians and ideologues, that censorship is unthinkable in all but the rarest of circumstances. It would be still nicer to believe that Canadian universities consistently provide the necessary conditions for free expression and free expression, artistic expression included.

Unfortunately none of these beliefs is entirely true to fact.


By William Bruneau / Posted Thursday October 19, 2017

Academic Freedom

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Oct 12
2017

Can I Support Free Expression Without Being Conned by #FreeSpeech?


Debate around free expression today is fraught with confusion about true intentions and genuine meanings. Persistent and aggressive challenging of who has the right to define free expression, and an often intentional blurring of that definition can arrest discussion or send argument flying off into hyper-critical and combative corners of social media where it is often scattered and dispersed by bias and filters.


By John Degen / Posted Thursday October 12, 2017

Artistic Expression, Censorship

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Oct 5
2017

Can Lawyers Advise Civil Disobedience? 


Lawyers have an integral role in the maintenance of the reputation of the administration of justice. However, in situations where the administration of justice is already in disrepute, the role that lawyers can play is not entirely clear. Clients may ask lawyers to provide advice regarding actions that violate the letter of the law in furtherance of making a change to law or policy. In these cases, lawyers’ professional ethics are challenged.


By Abbas Kassam / Posted Thursday October 5, 2017

Speech Restrictive Laws

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