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. 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
I am not going to do an analysis on this topic now. I have a conflict of interest because of my wife’s employer. However, other people have done solid coverage on this. Thanks to Richard Franklin Carter for these links: Kathleen Harris of CBC News reports: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/justice-committee-online-hate-steyn-1.5161259 In the Law Times, Gabrielle Giroday reports: https://www.lawtimesnews.com/author/gabrielle-giroday/combating-online-hate-could-mean-legal-change-17280/ Marc … Read moreCanada considers new hate crimes regime
(This is adapted from a piece I wrote for Maclean’s magazine earlier this year. The piece is about censorship, but the real topic is the value of news — even when that news is bad. Press censorship was extended after the end of the First World War while the government was trying to crush what … Read moreHere’s an anniversary you won’t hear about: it’s 100 years since World War I’s press censorship ended
Mark Bourrie MJ JD PhD Barrister and Solicitor, Ottawa, Canada Mainstream news media play an important role in the political system. They can use their authoritative voices to give domestic and foreign legitimacy to regimes. In contrast, fringe press is easily identified by its partisanship and refusal to give space to contrasting opinions. Fringe media … Read moreHanging the Sin Eater: International Criminal Law’s Failure to Engage with the Role of Media in a Criminal State.
The next chapter in the bizarre saga of Canadaland trying to take down a children’s charity is about to be written. I’m going to give you a sneak preview of the picture Jesse Brown will be trying to paint this time, based on answers to questions I sent to WE and Canadaland. I have spent … Read moreCanadaland’s WE obsession: Foreshadowing Jesse Brown’s Attempt to Take Down a Children’s Charity
We’re heading into a federal election, and this campaign looks especially nasty. This column is a warning for journalists and political insiders to stay focused on facts and to deal fairly. The alternative is to risk writing a take-down of a politician that could lead to a (admittedly rare, for a column written in a … Read moreArthur Kent v Don Martin: A Cautionary Tale as We Head into Election Season
I was in Toronto in early May for the 2019 Toronto Watchdog Workshop on investigative journalism. The weekend event included several excellent panel discussions including Julian Sheer on Mastering the Investigate Interview, and Writing the Investigative Narrative with Susanne Craig from The New York Times. A draw for me was the final session of the … Read moreHow long can Jesse Brown keep up his vendetta against a children’s charity? (Hint: It’s not over)
The federal government has announced the organizations that will appoint people to the committee that will decide who’s eligible for bailout money. The lobby group that pushed for the bailout is on the committee. So is the Canadian Association of Journalists, a group that has relatively few members among working journalists, and is mainly made … Read moreLobby group, unions, journalists’ associations will decide who gets media bailout money
When he was running for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada, Andrew Scheer said he’d get rid of CBC’s public affairs department. For many years, people in the rank and file of the Conservatives, and its predecessor parties, the Reform Party and the Progressive Conservatives, had been advocating for big cuts to the … Read moreGetting rid of CBC News: Is it still Conservative policy?
When suicide bombers attacked several Christian churches and some of the country’s best hotels on Easter Sunday, the Sri Lankan government swiftly reacted by shutting down social media. The Sri Lankan regime was concerned about video propaganda from the attacks. It also wanted to close off the messaging functions of Facebook and Twitter, and it … Read moreChoking off the terrorism propaganda pipeline should be the world’s duty