Blog

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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Mar 25
2021

Free Expression on Campus: Assessing the Alberta Ministerial Directive


In the last provincial election, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney joined other Conservative politicians that have purportedly become stalwart defenders of free expression on campus. Details I have obtained through access-to-information requests tell a very different story. But first, some background.


By Dax D’Orazio / Posted Thursday March 25, 2021

Academic Freedom

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Mar 4
2021

Teaching in the Shadow of Conspiracy Theories


Some years ago, a high school history teacher I know told me that he had received an essay that supported Holocaust denial. The student, who was told to use primary and secondary sources in his research, cited his grandfather. Grandpa had been in the army of an Eastern European country and had assured his grandson that the Holocaust was a hoax. He had seen Auschwitz. It had a swimming pool. It was actually like Club Med, reported Grandpa.


By Danielle S. McLaughlin / Posted Thursday March 4, 2021

Teachers & Students Speech Rights

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Feb 23
2021

What have we learned from the Sidewalk Labs saga? Smart city plans in Toronto


What lessons have been learned for Canadian smart-city governance from the long-running Sidewalk Labs saga? 


By Mariana Valverde / Posted Tuesday February 23, 2021

Co-written by Alexandra Flynn

Smart Cities - Connected Communities

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Feb 1
2021

Violent Hate Groups Must Be Held To Account — Using Rights-Violating Anti-Terrorism Laws Isn’t The Way To Do It


The violent attacks on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on January 6th were, in large part, a culmination of four years of a political regime that incited violence and hatred based on racism, white supremacy and xenophobia.

In the aftermath, governments, law enforcement and the public are searching for ways to hold the perpetrators accountable and ensure such violence isn’t repeated, even as threats of similar mob violence on inauguration day rise.


By Tim McSorley / Posted Monday February 1, 2021

Speech Restrictive Laws

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Jan 26
2021

Ugly voices (continued): can we turn down the volume?


When extremists grab the spotlight, journalists face tough news choices. The question isn't free expression. It's how to do needed reporting while avoiding amplification. A consensus is forming on how to tread that line.


By Ivor Shapiro / Posted Tuesday January 26, 2021

Freedom of the Press

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