Celebrate Freedom to Read Week: February 20–26, 2022

Freedom to Read Week is an annual event that encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed them under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Show your support: Order Freedom to Read Week 2022 posters

Featured articles from the Freedom to Read Review / All articles

Featured resources / All resources

Promotional Materials

Help spread the word about Freedom to Read Week. Post a banner on your website and link to us at www.freedomtoread.ca. Download clip art for …
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Woman reading Harry Potter

Challenged Works List

This selective list provides information on more than 100 books, magazines and other written works that have been challenged in Canada in the past decades.
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It is too late in the day to stop men thinking. If allowed to think they will speak. If they speak they will write, and what they write will be printed and published. A newspaper is only a thought-throwing machine, a reflex of the popular mind. If it is not, it cannot live. We are not disposed to send our proof-sheets to anyone to correct.

— Amor de Cosmos (1825-97), British Columbian newspaper editor, in The British Colonist (1859), after the governor of British Columbia, Sir James Douglas, attempted to suppress the newspaper

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Challenges to the Written Word

Freedom to read can never be taken for granted. Even in Canada, a free country by world standards, books and magazines are banned at the border. Schools and libraries are regularly asked to remove books and magazines from their shelves. Few of these stories make headlines, but they affect the right of Canadians to decide for themselves what they choose to read. See our Challenged Works section for the real story on censorship in Canada.


Champions of Free Expression

  • Desmond Cole in conversation with Michelle Arbuckle and Sandy Crawley on freedom of expression

Bienvenue aux francophones!

Sur le présent site, vous trouverez les documents suivants :

■ une liste d’ouvrages en français traitant de la censure canadienne;

■ une étude bilingue des documents qui n’ont pu être importés au pays ou qui ont été référés à l’Unité des importations prohibées à Ottawa parce qu’ils étaient soupçonnés de constituer de la pornographie ou de la littérature haineuse entre 1985 et 2015;

■ une chronologie, divers essais et une compilation de 727 victimes de censure, ainsi que des 1442 titres diffusés en français qui leur ont valu des attaques depuis 1625 au Canada ― l’écrivain Charles Montpetit, lui-même frappé de maintes interdictions, relate les faits saillants entourant chacun de ces cas, et invite le public à lui signaler d’autres incidents en prévision d’éventuelles mises à jour.

Bonne lecture!


The Book and Periodical Council (BPC) would like to acknowledge the sacred land upon which we operate. Toronto, known as Tkaronto, is the traditional territory of the Anishnabek Nation, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Huron Wendat, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, who remain the current treaty holders. This territory is subject to the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement that was originally established between the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and Anishnabek Nations to peaceably and responsibly care for the lands and waters of the Great Lakes Region. The tenets of this agreement still hold today and require our ongoing commitment to the land and one another. The meeting place of Tkaronto continues to be home to many First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities from across Turtle Island and the Book and Periodical Council is grateful to meet and work in this community, and on this territory.