Blog

Oct 5
2016

A True Canadian Value


Prime Minister Trudeau received plaudits when, on a recent state visit to China, he boasted of Canada’s commitment to free expression, which he presented as a “true Canadian value”. The prime minister exalted “a diversity of ideas, and the free ability to express them” because freedom, he said, is what drives positive change. Perhaps he and others had forgotten that as leader of the Opposition he prohibited anyone opposed to abortion from running for federal office for the Liberal Party. If that was 2014 and this is 2016, there is more.


By Jamie Cameron / Posted Wednesday October 5, 2016

Censorship

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Sep 30
2016

Turning the Clock Back


The decades following the Second World War saw gradually increasing democratization of governments and other organizational structures, including greater protections for freedom of expression in general and academic freedom in particular. The pace of change varied from country to country, with Canada often benefiting from progress in the US and UK in developing its own approaches.


By Jon Thompson / Posted Friday September 30, 2016

Academic Freedom

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Sep 23
2016

Prairie Racism and Free Expression


In the Globe and Mail  for Wednesday, August 31 of this year I encountered a piece by the African American sociologist of sport, Harry Edwards, on quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the American national anthem. The piece was encouragingly framed as a contribution on “Human Rights,” and entitled “Silence is the enemy.” Dr.


By Len Findlay / Posted Friday September 23, 2016

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Sep 19
2016

Compelling Expression?


It is that time of the year again. School has begun, and rules are being made, left, right and centre. Some of us are feeling the relief of sending children and grandchildren off to learn and have fun – and also to get a bit of distance from the “Why? Why? Why?”


By Danielle S. McLaughlin / Posted Monday September 19, 2016

Teachers & Students Speech Rights

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Sep 14
2016

Mind the Metadata


Library and information workers use their education and experience to support intellectual freedom and address social concerns, such as by lobbying for copyright reform for peoples with print disabilities, exposing how commercial Internet filters are biased against sexual and gender minorities, collaborating with social workers on library services for homeless people, and fighting to safeguard cultural heritage in the context of war, conflict, and genocide. Sometimes their work comes down to a single word.


By Toni Samek / Posted Wednesday September 14, 2016

Censorship

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Sep 8
2016

The Police: Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Information


If asked to use the words “the police” and “freedom of expression” in a constructive sentence, I would guess 9 out of 10 Canadians would come up with something like: “It’s essential that the police not violate our freedom of expression.” And this spring-to-mind sentence is obviously true.  Less obvious perhaps is that it also essential that the police themselves are able to exercise their right of free expression and that our own information rights factor into the issue of police expression. 


By Micheal Vonn / Posted Thursday September 8, 2016

Censorship

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Sep 1
2016

Civil Litigation as Censorship


What do you do when uninvited guests crash your party and say really offensive things? Asking them to leave is one strategy. What if they arrive masked, disguising their true purposes, and your party is an annual parade through the streets of downtown Toronto? In the case of two plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit, you sue for $104 million in damages for tortious defamation, civil conspiracy and intentional infliction of mental distress. Free speech folks should be concerned about having recourse to such litigation techniques as a response to offensive speech.


By David Schneiderman / Posted Thursday September 1, 2016

Censorship, Speech Restrictive Laws

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