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BPC Bulletin March 4, 2024

BPC Bulletin: News Roundup (February 2024)

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

Today I present five unrelated stories about censorship and free expression in Canada.


Phoebe Maltz Bovy and Avi Finegold, co-hosts of the Bonjour Chai podcast, talk to Emil Sher, the writer in residence at the Jewish Public Library in Montreal, about censorship and the freedom to read:

Beyond banned books: Dissecting the controversies at the Jewish Public Library (

Thanks go to Gillian O’Reilly who forwarded this podcast.


Brandi Morin, a journalist of Indigenous ancestry, has won this year’s Freedom to Read Award. The Writers’ Union of Canada presents the award.

She was arrested, detained and charged on January 10 while covering a police raid on a homeless encampment in Edmonton.

CBC Books reports:

Journalist and writer Brandi Morin wins 2024 Freedom to Read Award | CBC Books


Calgary police are investigating after books about sexual minorities were returned “with significant damage” to the Calgary Public Library on February 15.

In the Calgary Herald, Scott Strasser reports:

Pride-themed library books returned with 'significant damage': police | Calgary Herald

Thanks go to Dr. Alvin Schrader who forwarded this news report.


The Ottawa Public Library released a report about challenges to six books and one DVD.

Challenged titles include Tintin in America (in French and English) and The Menu.

William Eltherington of CTV News reports:

Here are the contested books at the Ottawa Public Library in 2023 | CTV News


Dr. Sandro Galea writes about the importance of fostering free expression, respect and inclusion to improve society:

Supporting Free Speech in a Divided Moment | Psychology Today Canada

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.