Ontario’s SLAPP law is headed to the Supreme Court of Canada

Pointes Protection, the key Ontario Court of Appeal case on Ontario’s Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation law (discussed in an earlier post) is headed to Canada’s top court. Anyone who wants to understand the core of the SLAPP law should read the ONCA’s decision on Pointes, not just for its take on the law itself, but for the history and

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Is this the new Canadian political reality?

This is from the introduction of my 2015 book Kill the Messengers: Stephen Harper’s Assault on Your Right to Know, published by HarperCollins. I’m posting it for Press Freedom weekend. How much of it fits today’s political climate?   The Harper government has set out to kill many messengers. The media is obviously one of them. And, while Harper’s war

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The Globe and Mail’s David Walmsley on Press Freedom

I’m proud of the work I did as a journalist. I spent almost 40 years in that trade and had articles published in pretty much every major newspaper in the country, along with some magazines. Some of my books were journalism. I wrote the definitive book on domestic press censorship in Canada in the Second World War, a collection of

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Choking off the terrorism propaganda pipeline should be the world’s duty

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 pulled the plug on WhatsApp.

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Nick Cohen and James Goodale on Julian Assange

Cohen was in the middle of the original Wikileaks storm, so his piece is definitely worth a read. I’ll be writing more on the Assange case this week. A different take, from James Goodale a lawyer who worked on the New York Times’ fight to print the Pentagon Papers. Cohen believes Assange is reckless. Goodale argues Assange played the role

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Has Facebook ruined the world? (book review)

Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe (Penguin, $37 hard cover) is an intriguing book about a good idea that turned out to be bad, something that was useful when it was small but is now a menace because of its size and power. Facebook started as a way for people to meet and keep in touch with their friends.

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Who Gets to Cover Parliament and the Legislatures? A Legal Analysis

The press gallery function is more than a commercial news reporting service. It is an integral part of our work; a service which Parliament must safeguard for the Canadian public who are entitled as of right to the fullest information of activities here. –House of Commons Speaker James Jerome, 1976 [1]   Introduction The Parliamentary Press Gallery plays an integral

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