Bejing Olympic handcuffs 2008

Always the Bridesmaid

China’s Peoples Daily Online recently declared that “the Beijing Olympic Games were widely regarded as the best ever.” China was both affirmed and emboldened by it triumphalist Games and subsequent economic ascension. It has no fear of disapproval from the international community.

Death of Evidence protest, scilencing scientists

Evidence of Democracy?

Indeed it is appalling when a democratic government that pays lip service to accountability, openness and transparency creates convoluted internal policies to impede the free flow of information, uses an omnibus bill to hollow out environmental protections, and habitually dismisses scientific evidence that doesn’t fit the political plan. This should raise red flags for journalists and the watchful public. We should all pay attention.

copyright legislation

The Freedom to Mock

Parody and satire may be the only thing that everybody agreed on in the protracted and generally acrimonious debates about updating copyright law. The idea was to expand ‘fair dealing’ – the ways we’re free to use other people’s work in our own – to include uses for the purpose of parody and satire.

Internet censorship, hate speech

An End to Hateful Silences?

On June 6, 2012 the House of Commons adopted Bill C-304 a private member’s bill introduced by Alberta Conservative MP Brian Storseth, to “amend the Canadian Human Rights Act by deleting section 13 to ensure there is no infringement on freedom of expression…”

the worst thing about cencorship

How Free Is The True North?

I discovered the hard way that one of the most valuable freedoms is freedom of expression. In a way, all other freedoms depend on it. If we cannot speak out, we can be stripped of every right, and left unable to do much about it. We can drown in silence.

Protests in Moscow and Quebec

Red Squares and Parallel Fines

But both governments were reacting to a threat that was not a real threat at all; both were apparently driven by a deadening bureaucratic impulse in which orderliness and civic tidiness trumps free expression; both overreached.

Canadian charities budget 2012

The Politics of Charity

Is the government obliged to subsidize, via charitable tax receipting, groups that oppose its opinions and policies?

sex: a tell-all exhibtion

No Sex Please, We’re Canadian

Private sexual activities exposed to the public gaze have de facto left the arena of education and entered the realm of voyeurism. Consider who will be attracted to such an exhibition.

This is not a riot

Quebec’s Bill 78 – Law or Order?

On May 18, 2012 the Quebec National Assembly passed Bill 78 to “enable students to receive instruction from the postsecondary institutions they attend.” Freedom of expression organizations like PEN have raised concerns that the new law grants unjustifiable powers to local authorities and discourages, or silences, legitimate collective action and civil protest.