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Censorship

Censorship is the suppression of words, images, or ideas that are deemed “harmful” by those attempting to impose their personal, political, religious, or moral values on others. Censorship can be carried out by governments as well as by private pressure groups and organizations.

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 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. 
Blog March 26, 2024

Ontario Government Agency Imposing Corporate Secrecy Practices on the Public

Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx, both provincial mega-agencies using, exclusively, public-private infrastructure partnerships, have imposed a requirement on the public that is supposedly being served, according to a Toronto Star article (March 19). That is, any community member that wants to participate in the ‘consultations’ regarding the expropriation and tearing down of the local Riverdale Plaza (one of the many sites designated by the province as a future ‘transit-oriented community’, known by locals as ‘developer-oriented transit’) needs to sign a “non-disclosure” agreement. 
Blog October 23, 2023

What Happened to Your Commitment to Freedom of Expression, Premier Ford?

On August 30, 2018, your government, Premier Ford, proclaimed it was going to champion free expression. You were quite clear: “Ontario's Government for the People is delivering on its promise to uphold free speech on every Ontario publicly funded university and college campus, Premier Doug Ford announced today.” You added, "Our government made a commitment to the people of Ontario to protect free speech on campuses. Promise made, promise kept." 
Blog January 2, 2023

EDI Is Not an Excuse For Censorship

Can we fight racism without chilling expression? The answer must be a resounding yes, but how can we ensure that schools and educators understand their responsibilities to protect their students from censorship and from discrimination both at once? It isn’t easy and it can’t be done in one lesson or even in one course. However, when we avoid discussing race and racism or other forms of oppression out of fear that we are going to be using or permitting the wrong language, or that our motivations will be misunderstood, we become part of the problem.