Late in 2021, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered two of its most consequential Charter decisions on freedom of expression in recent years: City of Toronto v. Ontario and Ward v. Quebec. That endpoint in 2021 is the starting point of a 5-part series on s.2(b) of the Charter and its passage from 1982 to the present. The series begins with City of Toronto and Ward, two decisions dividing the Court 5-4 and pointing in opposite directions that raise perplexing questions about expressive freedom – and the Court itself. Of particular concern is the bloc mentality of these decisions and how it undermined principled decision making on important s.2(b) issues.
Teaching is a very difficult job. It always has been and always will be. How can you care for learners who have so many varied needs and abilities and also keep everyone in the classroom safe and healthy? Well, you can’t do it alone.
But now? In the midst of a pandemic when we are all concerned about our own health as well as the health of the vulnerable people in our families and communities, teachers are on their own.
Many groups in the Greater Toronto Area are challenging Metrolinx’ ambitious and largely evidence-free transit plans, in terms of transparency and accountability.
Metrolinx is a very powerful agency spending many billions of public money. Like most other arms-length boards and agencies, it was structurally set up to diminish accountability -- to municipalities and also to citizens.
It is essential that the UN General Assembly Ad Hoc Committee responsible for drafting a potential United Nations Cybercrime Treaty ensure human rights protections are embedded in the final version.
Sometimes, you just have to wonder what is happening in Canada’s schools. As it turns out, October was quite the month for people who think about freedom of expression in education. Actually, it seems to have been a prize month for some people who don’t spend much time thinking at all.
Freedom of Expression is an important foundation of a democratic society and protected as a “fundamental freedom” in Section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Yet, in both countries, free expression is being used paradoxically to justify censorship. A disturbing recent example is the enactment of Texas House Bill 3979: “An Act relating to the social studies curriculum in public schools.”
By Richard Beaudry / Posted Tuesday October 26, 2021
How much decorum should parents expect from their children’s high school principal? Should she have to commit to a dress code? Should she be permitted to share her hobbies or her tastes in music, literature, and movies with the students in her school? What if her choices conflict with the faith observed by some of her students’ families?
Residents of Nunavut are acutely aware that connectivity is profoundly necessary - yet unavailable - impeding access to technological innovation in fundamental areas like health, education, cultural expression, and political participation. In May 2021, Canada’s federal government announced $6.9 million in funding for private telecommunications companies, Northwestel and SSi, Micro to bring high-speed Internet to residents of Nunavut.
A year ago, a major hiring scandal erupted at the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto. The scandal broke after the former Law Dean decided not to proceed with the hiring of Dr. Valentina Azarova to direct its International Human Rights Program after a donor and sitting judge objected to her work on Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territories.
By Deborah Cowen / Posted Friday October 1, 2021
CO-WRITTEN BY ANVER M. EMON
The Canadian Judicial Council recently disclosed material related to complaints made about Justice David Spiro. This material is both enlightening and startling and includes a letter from the Chief Justice of the Tax Court that says that Muslim lawyers and litigants will be excluded from Justice Spiro’s courtroom.