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Academic Freedom

Academic freedom is the right of post-secondary academic staff, without restriction by prescribed doctrine, to use their best professional judgment in their teaching and research; to be able to disseminate the results of their research and scholarship; to acquire, preserve, and provide access to documentary material in all formats; to express their opinions about the institution in which they work; and to exercise their rights as citizens without institutional sanction or censorship.

News June 19, 2024

Charter Rights Under Threat if Senate Fails to Fix Foreign Interference Bill: If they don’t act, we will, say CFE and 9 other civil society groups

In its rush to do, and to be seen to do, something about the very real problem of foreign interference, the House of Commons hurried through — in hours — a well-intentioned but deeply flawed Bill C-70: Countering Foreign Interference Act. Under enormous pressure, it appears the Senate will do likewise today.
Blog June 13, 2024

Student Protest Encampments and Section s.2(c) of the Charter

In spring 2024 student encampments at Canadian and US universities provoked strong reactions for and against pro-Palestinian demonstrations on campus property. While some Canadian universities called in police to disperse demonstrators, others looked to the courts for injunctions compelling students to disperse and abandon their encampments.
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.