News Bytes

Freedom of expression issues in the media


Censorship in Canadian Schools

When there is a news report about books being challenged in a school library learning commons, it is often because the item was removed at the direction of the school or district administration following a parent complaint about a specific book and that the proper ‘Request for Reconsideration’ process was not followed. For example, in […]


Should public library boards embrace intellectual freedom as their institutional soul?

POSTED APRIL 27, 2020 BY ALVIN M. SCHRADER I want to first address the fundamental role and value of the public library in Canadian communities – its “value proposition,” grounded in intellectual freedom – and then make a case for intellectual freedom as the institutional soul of the public library. I will review the complexity of […]


ALA releases 2020 State of America’s Libraries report

CHICAGO – Today the American Library Association (ALA) released its 2020 State of America’s Libraries report, an annual summary of library trends released during National Library Week, April 19 – 25, that outlines statistics and issues affecting all types of libraries during the previous calendar year. Although the report focuses on 2019, libraries are shown […]


Supporting Canadians to Think Critically About Online Health Information

The Government of Canada is funding projects to prevent misleading COVID-19 information and to support social cohesion throughout the country GATINEAU, QC, April 7, 2020 /CNW/ – Now more than ever, Canadians need reliable news and information. The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, announced tpday that the Government of Canada is investing $3 […]


Author and Literary Performer Ivan Coyote Wins Freedom To Read Award

The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) is pleased to announce that author Ivan Coyote is the recipient of the 2020 Freedom to Read Award. The award is presented annually by TWUC in recognition of work that is passionately supportive of the freedom to read. Past recipients include authors Jael Richardson, Deborah Campbell, Mohamed Fahmy, Lawrence […]


ANNOUNCING FREEDOM TO READ WEEK 2020: FEBRUARY 23–29

Events and activities across Canada celebrate freedom of expression, challenge censorship. Freedom to Read Week encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom. “The freedom to read and write is crucial to the health of the literary arts in Canada, and every year Freedom to Read Week brings to light how […]


Quebec Libraries Remove the Works of Gabriel Matzneff

In Quebec, public libraries in Montreal and Gatineau have withdrawn the works of Gabriel Matzneff from their collections. In France, the police are investigating Matzneff, once a celebrated author, for having sex with youngsters.   REPORTAGE Sandra Abma of CBC News reports: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/library-censorship-gabriel-matzneff-gatineau-opl-1.5426244   In La Presse, Raphael Pirro reports: https://www.lapresse.ca/arts/litterature/202001/08/01-5256130-matzneff-retire-godbout-reste-a-la-grande-bibliotheque.php   Basem Boshra of […]


Two Poems Removed from Website of Parliamentary Poet Laureate

In Ottawa, the Library of Parliament recently removed two poems from the website of the parliamentary poet laureate. The poems — “Plaza Domingo” and “Alejandra” — were written by Stephen Brown. In 1995, Brown — then named Steven Kummerfield — and a male friend killed Pamela George, a First Nations woman. Both men were convicted […]


Canadian Editor Loses Job over Tweets

An editor of the Humber Literary Review has lost his job because of the messages that he had posted on Twitter about Meghan Murphy’s recent speech at the Toronto Public Library. In The Post Millennial, Anna Slatz writes: https://www.thepostmillennial.com/canadian-literary-editor-fired-after-supporting-free-speech/


Quebec’s Court of Appeal Rules on Gabriel v. Ward

In Quebec, the Court of Appeal has ruled on a dispute that pits a comedian’s freedom of expression against a singer’s freedom from discrimination. On November 28, 2019, the court upheld a verdict that requires Mike Ward, a stand-up comedian, to pay singer Jérémy Gabriel $35,000. In his act, Mr. Ward had repeatedly made Mr. […]