Blog

Jun 27
2021

There Cannot Be Real Anti-Hate Activism Without Freedom of Expression


In early June, the New York Times ran a piece by Michael Powell entitled “Once a Bastion of Free Speech, the ACLU Faces an Identity Crisis.” So what’s new?

The author claims that there is a schism in the American Civil Liberties Union whereby the old or “classic” civil libertarians stand up for free speech, no matter the content of that speech, while the younger or more “woke” activists want to see the organization focus on anti-racism action.


By Danielle S. McLaughlin / Posted Sunday June 27, 2021

Censorship, Speech Restrictive Laws

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Jun 21
2021

Avoiding Accountability by Misusing Public Agencies: Metrolinx as Example


Many community groups are debating and challenging transit plans by Metrolinx, the powerful Ontario agency created to supplant municipalities in Southern Ontario.


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Jun 1
2021

Expressive Freedom at Our Universities and Our Moral Obligations


Everything is connected, as they say. 

The University of Alberta has been in the news recently for its partnerships with Chinese researchers. Globe and Mail article in early May suggested that partnerships with China in the areas of nanotechnology, biotechnology, and artificial intelligence might be a national security concern.


By Carolyn Sale / Posted Tuesday June 1, 2021

Academic Freedom

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May 26
2021

Don’t Throw Rosemary’s Baby Out with the Bathwater


Roman Polanski does not deserve to be vilified or cancelled, despite his conviction of sexual assault of a 13-year-old in 1978, and more recent allegations by women who state that he sexually abused them when they were minors. 


By Ummni Khan / Posted Wednesday May 26, 2021

Artistic Expression, Censorship

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May 6
2021

JUST FACTS: What's a journalist to do about truth today?


As the meaning of "fact" continues to morph, reporters' routines and assumptions need refreshing, too. One key ingredient: humility 


By Ivor Shapiro / Posted Thursday May 6, 2021

Freedom of the Press

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Apr 29
2021

Unrest in Higher Education: An Uncertain Way Forward


Students and faculty from a wide array of minority and marginalized communities are challenging universities on many fronts. 

Contentious topics include tuition costs, admissions standards, traditions and symbols, culturally responsive curricula, student supports, campus security, accommodations for disability and family status, academic freedom, the right to protest, gender identity recognition, intellectual diversity, and more.


By Faisal Bhabha / Posted Thursday April 29, 2021

Academic Freedom

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Apr 26
2021

“Safe Space” Classrooms within “Communities of Care”


There is a lot of talk (and some action) around safe spaces these days. While not in any way downplaying the needs for sanctuary even in a prosperous country like Canada, and for venues where one can exercise democratic and expressive rights without fear of violence or other forms of intimidation and attempted silencing, I would like to register a caveat about the colloquial tendency to conflate “space” and “place” and use these terms interchangeably in talking about post-secondary education and the harms currently attributed to it.  


By Len Findlay / Posted Monday April 26, 2021

Academic Freedom

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Apr 21
2021

Bad Times at a Great University and Its Law School


When one looks more carefully into the controversy at the University of Toronto Law School over the hiring of a director for the International Human Rights Program (IHRP) and the university’s attempt to extradite itself, the picture only gets bleaker.

Part 1:  The IHRP Scandal at the University of Toronto

I should begin by acknowledging that I am married to Audrey Macklin, one of the individuals involved in the events described below. 


By Richard Moon / Posted Wednesday April 21, 2021

Academic Freedom

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Apr 16
2021

Commercial DNA Technologies, Algorithmic Tools, & Secrecy Threaten Fairness in Trials


The increasingly rapid rate of technological innovation has disrupted many spheres of life, but few with higher stakes than forensic evidence. Yet the private sector tools that generate this evidence are far from flawless, and commercial secrecy can confound attempts by those accused of crime to challenge the case against them, leading to devastating consequences for individuals.

Forensic technologies are proliferating and increasingly form the basis for critical evidence and determinations in court (in addition to their more familiar role in the criminal investigative process). 


By Tamir Israel / Posted Friday April 16, 2021

Corporate Surveillance, State Surveillance

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Apr 8
2021

UNWANTED QUESTIONS: Skepticism, not objectivity, is what makes journalism matter


Democracies need reporters who follow their curiosity, ask uninhibited questions, and tell unwelcome stories. 


By Ivor Shapiro / Posted Thursday April 8, 2021

Freedom of the Press

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