News Bytes

Freedom of expression issues in the media


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. Read more here: https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/scientific-integrity-1.4767227


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 […]


Canadians Honour Foreign Free Expression Advocates

On May 28, the City of Montreal made Mr. Raif Badawi, a blogger imprisoned in Saudi Arabia, an honorary citizen.   REPORTAGE   Sidhartha Banerjee of the Canadian Press reports: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-montreal-set-to-debate-naming-jailed-saudi-blogger-raif-badawi-an/   CBC News reports: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/raif-badawi-citizen-montreal-1.4680368   In the Montreal Gazette, Catherine Solyom reports: http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/proposal-to-make-badawi-honorary-montrealer-latest-in-freedom-campaign   COMMENTARY   In the Montreal Gazette, Celine Cooper writes: […]


Supreme Court of Canada Rules on Defamation Case

In Ottawa, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that a Canadian businessman who says he was defamed by an Israeli newspaper will have to sue for damages in Israel, not here. Mitchell Goldhar, owner of the Maccabi soccer team, filed a defamation lawsuit in 2011 against Haaretz. The Israeli newspaper had published an online […]


Justin Brake Receives 20th Annual Press Freedom Award

Earlier in May, Justin Brake received the 20th annual Press Freedom Award. Mr. Brake is a journalist who faces civil and criminal charges for his reporting about the impact of the Muskrat Falls hydro-electric project on Indigenous people in Labrador.   REPORTAGE May 2018   The Canadian Press reports: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-journalist-justin-brake-charged-over-muskrat-falls-reporting-wins/   At iPolitics, Sarah Turnbull […]


B.C. Government Introduces Anti-SLAPP Bill

In British Columbia, the provincial government has introduced a bill that seeks to protect public debate from costly and intimidating lawsuits (SLAPPs).   The Canadian Press reports: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/bc-slapp-legislation-bill-1.4664087 http://www.timescolonis.com/b-c-introduces-anti-slapp-legislation-to-protect-public-interest-debates-1.23302920   Richard Zussman of Global News reports: https://globalnews.ca/news/4211185/bc-anti-slapp-legislation/   In The Globe and Mail, Justine Hunter reports: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/british-columbia/article-new-bc-legislation-aims-to-curb-so-called-slapp-suits/   Marcella Bernardo of News 1130 reports: http://www.news1130.com/2018/05/15/bc-govt-reviving-law/ […]


Canadian customs censorship

Canadian customs censorship, which is out of sight and out of mind for most people, continues. In the National Post, J.J. McCullough comments on video: http://nationalpost.com/opinion/j-j-mccullough-canadians-like-censorship-more-than-we-think


Northern Pulp Threatens Boycott of Bookstores

In Nova Scotia, a pulp mill’s threat to boycott a local bookstore if it hosted an author’s book-signing event has backfired.   Northern Pulp’s threatened boycott of Coles for hosting Joan Baxter and selling copies of The Mill: Fifty Years of Pulp and Protest has sparked public interest in the book and boosted sales.   […]


Libraries are providing more services than ever — so why aren’t we funding them?

Once, the public library was seen as a destination for bookworms. In recent years, however, libraries have expanded their scope: they’re now meeting needs — both technological and social — that are not being met anywhere else in On TV Ontario, Steve Paikin interviews three librarians about their Vickery Bowles of the Toronto Public Library […]