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About Grant Buckler

Grant Buckler is a retired freelance journalist and a volunteer with Canadian Journalists for Free Expression and lives in Kingston, Ont.
Latest Posts | By Grant Buckler

CJFE to Publish First Annual Freedom of Expression Report

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Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) will publish its first annual report on the state of free expression in Canada on May 3, World Press Freedom Day.
This has been a noteworthy year for free expression issues in Canada, for better or worse. CJFE’s annual Free Expression Report will provide Canadians with a frank assessment of the health of free expression in Canada.
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A capital where freedom’s in short supply

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by Lawrence Martin

(This column originally appeared in The Globe and Mail and is reproduced by permission of the author.)

It’s always great fun to see conservatives getting all worked up about freedom of speech, as they did over the dust-up between Ann Coulter and the University of Ottawa.

The dragon lady, of course, was entitled to the freedom to peddle her delicacies on campus, just as students were entitled to protest against her. The students won the day, and Ms. Coulter left fuming.

The brouhaha, touched off by a bone-headed, threatening letter to her from the university’s provost, brought on a rush of rage from the defenders of our cherished freedoms. That was tolerable, but you have to wonder if the right-siders are missing something – as in perhaps drumming up as much noise on their own government’s record on freedom of speech. It’s a record worth a look.

Continue Reading A capital where freedom’s in short supply

Ottawa condemns Honduran killing – what about others?

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Apparently reacting to the killing of television news editor Nahúm Palacios Artiaga, the Canadian government has condemned violence against journalists in Honduras. The statement is welcome, but Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) said the Canadian government should have spoken out against widespread free expression violations in Honduras during the coup there last June, and against killings of journalists in other countries such as Mexico.

Continue Reading Ottawa condemns Honduran killing – what about others?

Toronto-based Tamil newspaper attacked

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Uthayan, a weekly Tamil newspaper, had its Toronto office vandalized over the weekend, apparently by people who disliked its reporting on a meeting between Kula Sellathurai, president of the Canada-Sri Lanka Business Council and the United Tamil Council of Canada, and Mahinda Rajapaksa, president of Sri Lanka.
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Stifling free speech is not really free

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by Salim Mansur

Free speech is not merely an ornamental bauble found in liberal democratic societies. It is the well-fought ground upon which the structures of such societies have been constructed.

This column was first published by Sun Media and appears here by permission of the author.

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Anti-Olympic activist stopped at border

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If free expression were an Olympic event, Canada’s medal hopes would not be looking good. The latest in a string of disturbing incidents: Chicago activist, Olympics critic and part-time reporter Martin Macias Jr. was denied entry to Canada on Saturday, Feb. 6.

Macias had planned to attend rallies and protests before the games. He is also host and producer of First Voice, a program broadcast on community radio station Radio Arte. He was questioned for more than two hours and then put on a flight to Seattle. Bob Quellos, a fellow activist who was travelling with Macias, was also questioned but was allowed into Canada.

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Bogged down: access to information isn’t working

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Canada was a leader in implementing access to information legislation in the early 1980s, writes Grant Buckler. But that was then – this is now.

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Court rules anti-gay letter wasn’t hate speech

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Overturning a ruling by the Alberta Human Rights Commission, a Court of Queen’s Bench judge ruled last week that an anti-gay letter published in the Red Deer Advocate in 2002 was not hate speech.

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CRTC Approves Al Jazeera English

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The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today approved a request to add Al Jazeera English to the list of satellite television channels eligible for digital distribution in Canada.

The decision means Canadian cable and satellite TV services can offer the 24-hour news channel — the English-language counterpart to the Arabic-language Al Jazeera — to their subscribers.

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Globe takes report off Scribd at Auditor-General’s request

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The Globe and Mail Thursday took down a portion of the federal Auditor-General’s report that it had embedded in a news report using the internet social publishing service Scribd, after the Auditor-General’s office objected, citing Crown copyright. The Auditor-General’s office apparently was concerned that the chapter could be altered by third parties, and was satisfied when The Globe replaced it with a link to the report on the Auditor-General’s own website. But should the government watchdog be telling media organizations what they can do with public reports?

Continue Reading Globe takes report off Scribd at Auditor-General’s request