Freedom of the Press

Toronto after Dark
Toronto after Dark

Canada’s constitution was enacted under the Prime Ministership of Pierre Elliot Trudeau in 1982.

Prior to this point, the British North American Act of 1867 establishing the legal framework for the creation of our country Canada.

After 1867, the parliament of Westminster maintained certain controls over Canada’s Parliament.

The victory by Canada at the Battle of Vimy ridge in WW I served as a cornerstone in the journey by Canada from colony status to independence from Britain.

The signing of the constitution by Queen Elizabeth II on April 17, 1982 marked the final step in the establishment of Canada as an independent country.

Why is this important you ask?

Included in the constitution is the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

I, as a citizen of Canada, am granted the freedom of speech and freedom of the press. I exercise these freedoms every time I post new articles to my blog.

These freedoms are not absolute – laws governing hate speech for example trumps both freedoms.

So, as a Canadian blogger with 100 daily unique visitors to my blog at last count, I can write that Justin Trudeau, our current prime minister and son of Pierre wears dull suits or is boring or his abs are fake implants.   No one from the RCMP is going to knock on my door and put me in jail without trial or writ of habeas corpus for saying that!

As George Orwell noted:

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear”

The converse of Orwell’s statement is “We control liberty by ensuring what we do not want them to hear

Censorship in dictatorship countries has been going on for a long time

Russia ranks 146 while China ranks 176 of 180 countries on the Reporters Without Borders index.   Canada meanwhile, ranks number 18.

Every day I login and check the headlines on BBC’s website, the Globe and Mail, and do a quick perusal of the New York Times and the Toronto Star.

I may Google a topic for more details.

Imagine a world without Google, the BBC or New York Times and countless of other web sites that make up our daily Internet experience. Ditto for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. All mobile apps are censored.

I can’t.

Additional Reading

The Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto 

George Orwell – Animal Farm

Canada War Memorial Vimy France

Great Firwall if China Test

Reporters WIthout Borders