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Former Chief Justice Proposes Regulation of Social Media in Canada

April 25, 2021

The Supreme Court of Canada declined on April 22 to hear an appeal in the case of Yvan Godbout, a fiction author in Quebec. In 2020, Quebec’s Superior Court acquitted Godbout of writing child pornography in his horror novel, Hansel et Gretel. REPORTAGE Morgan Lowrie of the Canadian Press reports: Pierre Saint-Arnaud of la Presse Canadienne …

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The ALA’s New List of the Most Frequently Challenged Books in U.S. Libraries

April 6, 2021

In the United States, the American Library Association has released its list of the most frequently challenged books in public libraries in 2020. A “challenged” book is a target. Someone wants to remove it, ban it or censor it. Sometimes the effort succeeds; sometimes the effort fails. In Publishers Weekly, Andrew Albanese reports: https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/libraries/article/86000-ala-releases-2020-most-challenged-books-list.html News byte …

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School Boards in Hamilton-Wentworth Order Removal of Dr. Seuss Books

March 14, 2021

In Ontario’s Regional Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth, public and Roman Catholic school boards have started to remove copies of Dr. Seuss’s books from their school libraries. The school boards started removing the books after Dr. Seuss Enterprises declared on March 2, 2021, that six of the deceased author’s books portray racial minorities in ways that are …

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Letter to the Editor: Some thoughts on Freedom to Read Week

March 3, 2021

Dear Editors: Freedom To Read Week (Feb. 21-27) seems especially significant this year. While the pandemic stops us doing so many things, it’s nice to still be free to read. While we can’t fly off to other lands we can still travel through story, on the wings of words. We can’t easily get together with …

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Canadians Worried About Online Hate Speech and Extremism, Survey Reports

January 31, 2021

Canadians are concerned about the rise of online hate speech and extremism, concludes a new survey conducted by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and Abacus Data. The survey, published on January 25, polled 2,000 Canadian residents. Ninety-three per cent of respondents said that online hate speech and racism are problems; 49 per cent believe they …

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Billionaire Wins Right to Sue Twitter in British Columbia

January 31, 2021

A judge in the Supreme Court of British Columbia recently ruled that a West Vancouver billionaire may sue a U.S. social media company for defamation. Justice Elliott Myers gave Frank Giustra the right to sue Twitter Inc. in British Columbia. The ruling occurred on January 14, 2021. Mr. Giustra is the founder of Lionsgate Entertainment …

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Reconsidering the Limits on Free Expression

January 20, 2021

Free speech flourishes when it has some limits. Unrestrained speech produces “a flood of lies, bigotry and other lunatic nonsense,” writes Andrew Coyne. His opinion appears in The Globe and Mail: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-freedom-of-speech-is-about-more-than-what-is-allowed/ News byte courtesy: R. Franklin Carter

Q&A with Maria Saba – 2020 PEN/Humber College Writers-in-Exile Scholar

January 19, 2021

Article courtesy: PEN Canada Maria Saba is the 2020 PEN Canada-Humber College Writers-in-Exile Scholar. An Iran-born writer, storyteller and arts educator, Saba has published three books and over a hundred articles, interviews and stories. Her short story collection, My First Friend, was long-listed for the Iowa Short Fiction Prize, and the title story, published in Scoundrel Time, …

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New Book: Dare to Speak

December 8, 2020

A new book about free expression is on the market: Suzanne Nossel’s Dare to Speak: Defending Free Speech for All. Nossel is the CEO of PEN America. HarperAcademic is the publisher. INTERVIEWS At Literary Hub, Paul Holdengräber interviews Ms. Nossel: At National Public Radio, Dinaw Mengestu interviews Ms. Nossel: https://kuow.org/stories/dare-to-speak-discourse-amid-difference On C-SPAN2’s Book TV, John Schumann interviews Ms. …

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Canadian Political Leaders Spar over Free Expression

November 28, 2020

Canadian political leaders recently sparred over the limits of free expression. The exchange of views in Canada began in late October 2020 after Muslim killers in France had carried out separate attacks on a schoolteacher and three people in a church. Two journalists were also wounded outside Charlie Hebdo’s newsroom. These attacks occurred while a court …

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