Thursday, June 27, 2013

Free speech integral to campus life

John Carpay
The choice between upholding the free speech rights of unpopular minorities or pandering to the popular mob has long daunted those in authority.

Quebec Premier Maurice Duplessis attacked the free expression rights of Communists and Jehovah's Witnesses - both highly unpopular minorities in his province in the 1950s. A Quebec City bylaw prohibited the distribution of literature unless first approved by the chief of police. The chief of police would, of course, never approve of a Jehovah's Witness tract with a title like Quebec's Burning Hate for God and Christ and Freedom.

The bylaw and an act to "protect the province against Communist propaganda" were ultimately invalidated by the Supreme Court of Canada, which recognized the importance of free speech for unpopular minorities long before the charter came into force. (more...)

Free speech integral to campus life

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