Skip to main content

Freedom of Expression & Its Limits

Freedom of expression, a fundamental freedom under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, is the right to express beliefs, thoughts, ideas, and emotions; to share information; and to seek and receive information and ideas without restriction. Limits on freedom of expression in Canada include Criminal Code and Human Rights provisions regarding hate speech, harassment, and discrimination; civil defamation actions; a variety of municipal by-laws; and both government and private restrictions on online access and content.

BPC Bulletin May 25, 2022

Margaret Atwood's Fireproof Novel

In New York City, Margaret Atwood and Penguin Random House announced on May 23 that a single fireproof edition of The Handmaid’s Tale would be auctioned by Sotheby’s New York. The Canadian author and her publisher plan to donate money from the sale to PEN America, which speaks for free expression around the world. “To see her classic novel about the dangers of oppression reborn in this innovative, unburnable edition is a timely reminder of what’s at stake in the battle against censorship,” said Markus Dohle, CEO of Penguin Random House.
BPC Bulletin March 10, 2022

Canadian Senator Introduces Bill to Shield Young People from Online Pornography

In Parliament, Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne has introduced Bill S-210 to restrict young people’s access to sexually explicit images on the internet. The bill’s short title: Protecting Young Persons from Exposure to Pornography Act. The first reading of Bill S-210 occurred in the Senate on November 24, 2021. THE BILL Read the text of the bill: https://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/44-1/bill/S-210/first-reading THE BILL’S STATUS 
Blog February 22, 2022

Restricting young people’s access to porn won’t save them, but it will threaten sexual speech

A bill to restrict young people’s online access to sexually explicit material has been re-introduced by Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne. The so-called Protecting Young Persons from Exposure to Pornography Act, would make it “an offence for organizations to make sexually explicit material available to young persons on the Internet” and would empower a designated enforcement authority to take steps to prevent such access.