Dec 3

Mystery on the Waterfront: How the "Smart City" Allure Led a Major Public Agency in Toronto Into a Reckless Deal with Big Tech

Once upon a time, Waterfront Toronto (WT) was a high-profile public agency that had largely succeeded in combining enthusiastic support for upscale waterfront condos with a progressive civic agenda – no mean feat in an age of increasing political polarization and urban inequality. For example, zoning bylaws for waterfront developments, put in place before any condo building be designed, require at least 20% of affordable housing.

By Mariana Valverde / Posted Monday December 3, 2018

Co-written by Alexandra Flynn

Smart Cities - Connected Communities

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Nov 28

A dialogue with fear

What are we teaching kids about freedom of expression? Are we teaching them to use it or to be very careful around it?

By Danielle S. McLaughlin / Posted Wednesday November 28, 2018

Teachers & Students Speech Rights

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Nov 22

When is a Mayor Not a Mayor? Public vs. Private in Twitter Blocking

There’s been a ceasefire in the “legal Twitter war” between Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and three people who sued him for blocking them from his Twitter account.  The three plaintiffs argued that in blocking them, Mayor Watson was violating their constitutional right to free expression.  

Eventually Watson and the plaintiffs reached a legal settlement.  But initially the Mayor’s position was that he would fight the suit on the grounds that the Twitter account in question was held in his personal and not mayoral capacity and therefore, constitutional rights weren’t applicable.  

By / Posted Thursday November 22, 2018

Government & Corporate Transparency

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Nov 6

Can we please keep the speculative fiction out of censorship discussions?

What is and what isn’t censorship? It’s hard for me to believe this discussion is even necessary at this particular moment in history. 

By John Degen / Posted Tuesday November 6, 2018

Artistic Expression

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Sep 26

When to Use the Section 33 “Notwithstanding” Override 

The controversy over invoking section 33, the Charter’s override, in Ontario appears to have subsided. By imposing a stay on the lower Court ruling of Justice Belobaba, the Ontario Court of Appeal salvaged the Ford government’s effort to interfere with Toronto’s pending municipal election.

By David Schneiderman / Posted Wednesday September 26, 2018

Speech Restrictive Laws

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Sep 20

It’s Back to Compelled Speech Time Again

Whose speech is compelled more than anyone’s in the country? Why teachers and students in K-12 schools, of course. From the singing of the National Anthem each morning, to the recitation of historical dates and multiplication tables, to astronomical theories, to dress codes, to the pep rallies, to the macaroni covered mothers’ day cards, to the schedule of mandatory holidays, each school student and teacher is compelled to express herself in the correct fashion at the correct time. 

By Danielle S. McLaughlin / Posted Thursday September 20, 2018

Teachers & Students Speech Rights

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Sep 14

“Notwithstanding” liberal outrage: a critical race perspective

I’ve been trying to figure out how I feel about Doug Ford’s use of the Notwithstanding clause, and in particular the anxious liberal handwringing about it. Yes, his actions are certainly threatening to a liberal democratic conception of the rule of law.

By Anver M. Emon / Posted Friday September 14, 2018

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Sep 5

No thank you, Premier Ford

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has carried through with his promise to require universities to develop, implement, and comply with free speech policies that meet his government’s minimum standard in the next 120 days or face the possibility of a reduction in their operating grant funding.

By James L Turk / Posted Wednesday September 5, 2018

Academic Freedom, Teachers & Students Speech Rights

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Aug 30

We do have nice tits; Thank you for noticing! (Or, An Intersectional Pleasure-Positive Defence of Catcalling)

Co-authored by Maggie FitzGerald.

Unpopular opinion: We love to be catcalled.

It can be friendly or flirtatious. Affirming or exciting. For some, afleeting moment of eroticism. 

By Ummni Khan / Posted Thursday August 30, 2018

Censorship, Speech Restrictive Laws

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Aug 1

Human Rights and Compelled Speech

The broad-shouldered man sitting in a front-row chair leaned over and looked fiercely at me.  “I’m a mean guy.” He looked as though he could snap logs in half with his bare hands.

When I unexpectedly laughed, his features softened. He said he was also a “helper,” attending what was advertised recently as a “compelled speech” panel, in case security needed support dealing with protesters.  He pointed to the security men, who were wearing suits but standing alertly, at each corner of the large auditorium packed with more than 700 people.

By Anne McNeilly / Posted Wednesday August 1, 2018

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