BPC Bulletin: Free Speech and Canadian Reticence

News Reports and Commentary Selected by Franklin Carter of the Book and Periodical Council’s Freedom of Expression Committee.


Canada is the fifth-best democracy in the world,1 but only a fifth of all Canadians are comfortable expressing their political opinions in public.2 Why?

In the Toronto Star, Steve Paikin writes:
Canada’s free-speech deficit may be holding our democracy back | The Star

On The Agenda, TV Ontario’s public affairs show, host Steve Paikin interviews four guests:

  • Michael Coren, an ordained cleric in the Anglican Church
  • Jonathan Kay, a Quillette editor and writer
  • Irshad Manji, the founder of Moral Courage College
  • Shree Paradkar, a Toronto Star columnist

Video length: 34 minutes

How Much Free Speech do Canadians Want? | TVO.org


1. The Democracy Index 2020. It is prepared by The Economist’s Intelligence Unit. See Canada's democracy is growing stronger as world weakens: report | CTV News and the Web link to the report.

2. Public Square Research in partnership with Maru/Blue and TV Ontario. They surveyed 1,500 Canadians in February 2021.

Thanks go to Sandy Crawley who forwarded the newspaper story.


The Book and Periodical Council was formed in 1975 as the Book and Periodical Development Council to provide a venue for members to discuss industry issues, address mutual concerns and undertake projects for the benefit of Canadian writing and publishing.