Your Ward News commentary and reportage

LeRoy St. Germaine, the publisher of  the Toronto publication Your Ward News has been sentenced to one year of strict house arrest. Its editor, James Sears,  will spend a year in jail, if he loses his appeal. They were both convicted of spreading hate against Jews and women. This is the first time a court … Read moreYour Ward News commentary and reportage

New stuff to come in the next few days

I have been enjoying a sort of holiday — doing the things I need to do for my practice, and to get ready to move into new accommodations in downtown Ottawa while trying to have some family recreational time. I am working on a piece on free expression during election campaigns, and the balancing of … Read moreNew stuff to come in the next few days

The Problem with Columnists

Newspaper publishers love opinion writers for the same reason TV news networks use so many journalist panels: they’re cheap. In fact, they cost much less, per word, than reporters. The copy flows in every day, for spots that are laid out long in advance. No risk, no surprises. Punch in at 9 a.m., leave at … Read moreThe Problem with Columnists

Superior Court judge gives damages to people targeted by SLAPP suit

I was counsel in this case. I represented the newspaper publisher defendant. On Friday, I heard we won our SLAPP motion. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, who are the former mayor and deputy mayor of the Town of the Blue Mountains, west of Collingwood, have been ordered to pay all of the lawyers’ bills and … Read moreSuperior Court judge gives damages to people targeted by SLAPP suit

Random Notes on Coverage of the 2019 Canadian Federal Election

Just a few random notes as the federal election campaign kicks off. I’ve had a very busy last few weeks with my law practice, and have been tossing some ideas around in my spare time. Here’s a look at some of this campaign’s challenges to the public’s right to know: The Hill media The aging … Read moreRandom Notes on Coverage of the 2019 Canadian Federal Election

Cartoonist Michael de Adder says he was fired for this

Michael de Adder is the best editorial cartoonist in Canada. Like cartoons themselves, that’s a subjective statement. His style, which I like, may not be for everyone. His toughness and lack of respect for entrenched power, might not be everyone’s cup of tea. But cartoons are not always meant to be funny. They evoke elements … Read moreCartoonist Michael de Adder says he was fired for this

Jesse Brown’s latest flop: making $20 by attacking a charity

I didn’t start this site to talk about Jesse Brown. It’s really supposed to be about the intersection of media, law and politics. But damn, when Canadaland is bad, it’s really the worst political/news site in Canada. I have been following his campaign against WE Charity, which is an organization I deeply believe in. And … Read moreJesse Brown’s latest flop: making $20 by attacking a charity

It’s about Jesse Brown’s money

An overview: The Government of Canada’s proposed $600 million media tax credit has dominated news blogs and chatrooms.[1] At the heart of the criticism is whether the temptation of dollars will influence coverage of the government.[2] I’ve taught journalism and media studies at Concordia University and the history of media propaganda at Carleton University. I … Read moreIt’s about Jesse Brown’s money

The Return of Sec. 13 of the Canadian Human Right Act?

The House Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights has published a report about hateful expression on the Internet. The committee presented its report — Taking Action to End Online Hate — to the House of Commons on June 17, 2019. The committee recommends the government amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to restore Sec. 13, which … Read moreThe Return of Sec. 13 of the Canadian Human Right Act?

How did pot get banned in Canada? This is one time when you can blame the media

Marijuana prohibition in Canada was imposed because of a belief among  early 20th century decision-makers that social ills could be reduced, or even eliminated, by government action.[1] Senior politicians, media, and progressive elements in society, especially women’s activists, social reformers and farmers’ movements, also accepted the premise that marijuana was a dangerous drug that should … Read moreHow did pot get banned in Canada? This is one time when you can blame the media