Blog

Mar 25
2020

Freedom of Expression, Misinformation, and Anti-Vaxxers: The Right Thing to Do Is Not Obvious


As a parent of a small child, I’ve been to immunization clinics quite a bit over the past two years. During every visit, I’m curious to ask the public health nurses about the giant elephant in the room, at least as someone who researches freedom of expression issues: How do you satisfy your public health mandate at a time when vaccine skepticism or hesitancy seems to be on the rise? 


By Dax D’Orazio / Posted Wednesday March 25, 2020

Disinformation

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Mar 19
2020

What’s Up with Waterfront Toronto? Why The Silence From City Hall And Other Governments?


The news on the coronavirus are dominating our newscasts so much that many other stories are being neglected. That’s natural. But some stories, like Waterfront Toronto’s relationship with Google sister company, Sidewalk Labs, planning the Toronto waterfront “smart city” project, were being neglected for many months before the virus struck.


By Mariana Valverde / Posted Thursday March 19, 2020

Smart Cities - Connected Communities

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Feb 19
2020

Have we Lost the Plot with Polanski?


Roman Polanksi’s back in the news again, this time because of the 12 César Academy nominations he received for his latest film, An Officer and a Spy. Outrage ensued, as it always does, whenever the fugitive director receives any recognition for his work.  In response to the criticism, the entire César Academy Board resigned last week. 

While some may view this as a #metoo victory, I wonder if we have allowed punitive impulses to misplace our priorities.


By Ummni Khan / Posted Wednesday February 19, 2020

Artistic Expression, Censorship, Speech Restrictive Laws

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Feb 3
2020

Political boycotts are protected expression in Canada


Dr. David Kattenburg is a wine lover and activist. Recently, he merged these two passions together by litigating the issue of whether political boycotts are a form of Charter-protected expression. Specifically, in a judicial review before the Federal Court, Dr. Kattenburg challenged the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s decision to maintain the labeling of wines produced by Israeli settlers in the West Bank as “Products of Israel”. In the evidence before the Court, Dr.


By Abbas Kassam / Posted Monday February 3, 2020

Censorship, Speech Restrictive Laws

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Jan 13
2020

Is Picketing a Teachable Moment?


You may have noticed your kids sleeping in on school days a bit more this academic year. Or maybe you haven’t noticed because they are up and out the door, marching on a picket line in front of their local school.


By Danielle S. McLaughlin / Posted Monday January 13, 2020

Teachers & Students Speech Rights

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Dec 16
2019

Intellectual Freedom Debate: Why Megan Murphy and Why Now?


In 2019, we seem to have crossed a professional threshold where discourse is still possible and ongoing but, like many other instances in our everyday lives, it is becoming politicized and polarized around rigid presumptions of someone’s opinion being right and the opposing viewpoint being wrong. There is no place for a middle ground discussion.


By Richard Beaudry / Posted Monday December 16, 2019

Intellectual Freedom

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Oct 30
2019

A public-partnership for secrecy? Waterfront Toronto’s ‘smart city’ ongoing discussions with Sidewalk Labs


The Google-affiliated American company Sidewalk Labs’ 1500-page proposal for a smart city on Toronto’s eastern waterfront has received plenty of criticism since its release in late June.


By Mariana Valverde / Posted Wednesday October 30, 2019

Smart Cities - Connected Communities

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Oct 28
2019

Kids, Criminals, and the Artist in the Classroom


Imagine that your child has a teacher who likes to invite guest musicians, artists, and authors to her classroom. She is particularly interested in having the students learn about diversity and inclusion.

In order to keep your child and others in the school safe, the school board, like many in Canada, requires all guests who will interact with students to undergo a police check. Because the students are under the age of eighteen, this is called a “vulnerable sector police records check.”


By Danielle S. McLaughlin / Posted Monday October 28, 2019

Teachers & Students Speech Rights

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Oct 17
2019

Social Justice Requires Intellectual Freedom - Why the Toronto Public Library Should Refuse to Deplatform Meghan Murphy


Once again, the Toronto Public Library is under attack for upholding intellectual freedom. Some who find Feminist Current’s founder Meghan Murphy’s views offensive are demanding that the TPL abandon its principled commitment to intellectual freedom by withdrawing the space at a branch library it has rented to sponsors of Murphy’s upcoming talk on "Gender Identity: What does It Mean for Society, the Law and Women?"


By James L Turk / Posted Thursday October 17, 2019

Intellectual Freedom

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Sep 27
2019

New Hotline to Assist Students Approached by CSIS Addresses a Problem Neither New nor Unprecedented


Co-Authored by Nader Hasan

On November 12, 2018, the University of Toronto’s student newspaper, The Varsity, reported that Muslim Student Association executives had been regularly receiving surprise visits from RCMP and CSIS agents regularly since 2016. Since the events of 9/11 in the United States, security and intelligence officials have taken an interest in Muslim Students Associations (MSAs) across universities in both Canada and the United States.


By Anver M. Emon / Posted Friday September 27, 2019

Academic Freedom, State Surveillance

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