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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

News June 10, 2024

Vancouver Fire Rescue Services' chill on access to information recognized with Code of Silence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Government Secrecy

The Vancouver Fire Rescue Services (VFRS) has been selected as this year's recipient of the Code of Silence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Government Secrecy in the municipal category for its efforts to charge exorbitantly high fees for access to a fire investigation report already paid for by taxpayers. 
News June 6, 2024

CFE joins 13 other organizations in deploring government plans to rush the Countering Foreign Interference Act through Parliament without allowing meaningful study

In an open letter today to the members of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, the Centre for Free Expression and 13 other civil society organizations expressed their deep concerns with the speed with which Bill C-70, the Countering Foreign Interference Act, is currently being rushed through the legislative process.
News May 23, 2024

Nova Scotia premier's office recognized with award for punting promises to empower province's information and privacy commissioner

The Premier of Nova Scotia, Tim Houston, has been selected as the 2023 recipient of the provincial Code of Silence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Government Secrecy for his bait-and-switch on the 2021 election promise by his own government-to-be to strengthen his province's notoriously toothless freedom of information law by giving order-making power to its information. commissioner.
Blog May 21, 2024

The Ontario Government Extends Constitutional Protection to University Encampments

There is an ongoing debate about whether universities, when regulating speech on campus, are subject to the Charter of Rights. The Alberta Court of Appeal, in a 2020 judgment that concerned a prolife demonstration on the University of Alberta campus decided that the university was bound by the Charter and that the students had a constitutionally protected right to engage in protest. However, the courts in other provinces, including Ontario, have reached the opposite conclusion, deciding that the Charter does not apply to a university, even when it is regulating speech on campus. 
Blog May 11, 2024

Is an encampment protected expression?

On Thursday, Calgary Police forcibly dismantled the pro-Palestine encampment at the University of Calgary within hours of its formation. Those who advocate the same tactic at other Canadian universities, including University of Toronto, argue that an encampment is not a legitimate form of protest because it is disruptive and occupies space that should be open to all. A columnist in the Globe & Mail even argued that the encampment is not a form of expression and thus deserves no protection.