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History & Mission

The Centre for Free Expression, launched in 2015, is a non-partisan platform focused on freedom of expression – the human right to express one’s views, to be heard, and to participate in political, artistic, and social life. It also includes the ‘right to know’: the right to seek, receive, and share information through any media. CFE works in collaboration with academic and civil society organizations across Canada and internationally and is based in the Creative School at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University).

Through public education and engagement, commentaries, legal analysis, research, and advocacy, the CFE attempts to deepen the understanding of freedom of expression rights and the relationship of freedom of expression to individual development, advancement of knowledge, democracy, and social justice.

The CFE provides help to those whose freedom of expression rights are infringed; advises governments and non-governmental organizations on laws, regulations, policies, and practices that enhance transparency and the public’s right to know; serves as a friend of the court in cases related to expressive freedom; and provides training and assistance for the protection and promotion of intellectual freedom, academic freedom, artistic freedom, public interest whistleblowing and freedom of the press.

CFE’s initiatives are guided by an advisory board of distinguished Canadians and by specialized expert working groups.