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Freedom of Expression and the Public's Right to Know

Genuine democracy, advancement of knowledge, individual self-development, and social justice depend on a society in which freedom of expression and the right to know are a reality for everyone. The Centre for Free Expression works to advance these rights though public education, advocacy, law reform, research, advisory services, policy analysis, assistance to courts, and organizational collaborations.

The Latest

BPC Bulletin May 25, 2022

Margaret Atwood's Fireproof Novel

In New York City, Margaret Atwood and Penguin Random House announced on May 23 that a single fireproof edition of The Handmaid’s Tale would be auctioned by Sotheby’s New York. The Canadian author and her publisher plan to donate money from the sale to PEN America, which speaks for free expression around the world. “To see her classic novel about the dangers of oppression reborn in this innovative, unburnable edition is a timely reminder of what’s at stake in the battle against censorship,” said Markus Dohle, CEO of Penguin Random House.
BPC Bulletin May 18, 2022

Digital Transnational Repression in Canada

Authoritarian governments outside Canada use digital devices and the internet to repress foreign-born political activists and dissidents in Canada. The targets of digital repression in Canada include people from China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen. Researchers* at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab report: Psychological and Emotional War: Digital Transnational Repression in Canada - The Citizen Lab
News May 17, 2022

Danielle MacKinlay Joins the CFE Working Group on Intellectual Freedom

Danielle MacKinlay, a long-time government librarian, is joining the Centre for Free Expression’s Working Group on Intellectual Freedom. Danielle has been Manager, Library Services for the Canadian Coast Guard since 2005. Currently, Danielle is on assignment in the Human Resources Corporate Services within Fisheries and Oceans Canada, as an advisor on employment equity, diversity and inclusion.
BPC Bulletin May 9, 2022

Quebec's Human Rights Commission to Drop "Discriminatory Speech" Cases

In Quebec, the provincial human rights commission is investigating approximately 100 cases that allege the use of “discriminatory speech” this year. Most of these investigations will be dropped, said Philippe-André Tessier, the president of the commission, because of the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling on Ward v. Quebec. The case pitted comedian Mike Ward’s right to free expression over singer Jérémy Gabriel’s right to dignity as defined by Quebec’s Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.
Blog May 4, 2022

When a Book by an Eminent Indigenous Author Is Pulled from a School Library, Something is Wrong

Recent news of challenges to books in school and public libraries remind us that book challenges are not uncommon in Canada and, in most cases, are dealt with by the library staff. When the public does hear about a book challenge in a school library learning commons, it is usually where the school policies were not followed and the decision to remove the challenged item was carried out by school officials working outside the bounds of the book-challenge procedures.