News Bytes

Freedom of expression issues in the media


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 […]


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 […]