News Bytes

Freedom of expression issues in the media


Justin Brake Scores a Victory in Court

In Newfoundland and Labrador, the Court of Appeal recently dismissed a civil charge of contempt against Justin Brake, a journalist. The Court of Appeal — which overturned a lower court ruling — delivered its verdict on March 28, 2019. In 2016, Mr. Brake followed protesters onto the construction site of a hydroelectric dam at Muskrat […]


TWUC Statement About Cuts to Ontario Library Services

The following TWUC statement was sent today to Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Ontario’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Michael Tibollo. If you wish to voice your own concern about the cuts to Ontario library services, you can do so online at this petition. The Writers’ Union of Canada strongly urges the Government of […]


B.C. Legislature Passes Anti-SLAPP Bill

In British Columbia, the legislature has unanimously passed the Protection of Public Participation Act. Royal assent is expected soon. Ryan Patrick Jones of CBC News reports: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/legislature-passes-anti-slapp-1.5049927


Ontario Cabinet Minister Launches Defamation Lawsuit

Vic Fedeli, the Ontario government’s minister of finance, is suing Patrick Brown, the former leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives, and his book publisher for defamation. Mr. Fedeli objects to statements in Mr. Brown’s Takedown: The Attempted Political Assassination of Patrick Brown. He is seeking $8 million.   REPORTAGE Liam Casey of the Canadian Press reports: […]


Ottawa Catholic School Board Returns Graphic Novel to Shelves

The Ottawa Catholic School Board has decided to return Raina Telgemeier’s Drama to elementary school library shelves. Earlier this month, the school board had removed copies of the book because some parents had complained. Drama tells a tale about a student who wants to be part of her middle-school theatre production. The book also depicts […]


Supreme Court of Canada Rules on Vice Media Case

On November 30, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on a dispute between Vice Media Canada Inc. and the Crown. The court weighed a journalist’s interest in protecting his communications with a source and the RCMP’s interest in investigating crime. The court unanimously upheld an earlier decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal. Reporter Ben […]


Canada Post to Cease Delivery of Toronto’s Your Ward News

Carla Qualtrough, the federal minister of public services, has permanently ordered Canada Post to cease delivery of Toronto’s Your Ward News. The order follows an older interim ban on Canada Post’s delivery of the controversial newsprint publication.   REPORTAGE The Canadian Press reports: https://globalnews.ca/news/4668793/your-ward-news-canada-post-order/ Peter Zimonjic of CBC News reports: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/your-ward-news-banned-permanently-1.4907808 Rachel Browne of Vice […]


Federal scientists to be protected against muzzling, political interference

Federal departments need to have “scientific integrity” policies to protect their scientists and researchers against muzzling and political interference by the end of this year.


John and Brett Hueston of the Aylmer Express

In St. Thomas, Ontario, the trial of a community newspaper publisher and an editor has been postponed until August 15. John Hueston, the publisher of the Aylmer Express, and his son Brett Hueston, the editor of the Aylmer Express, face criminal charges of obstructing a peace officer. In June 2017, Ontario police arrested, jailed and […]


Nova Scotia’s Intimate Images and Cyber-Protection Act

In Nova Scotia, the provincial government has proclaimed the Intimate Images and Cyber-protection Act. It is intended to help protect victims of cyber-bullying and the non-consensual sharing of intimate images. The Intimate Images and Cyber-protection Act received royal assent on October 26, 2017. Read the text here: https://nslegislature.ca/legc/bills/63rd_1st/3rd_read/b027.htm   The new act replaces the province’s […]