For six years, the Campus Freedom Index has monitored the state of free expression at Canadian public universities. Sadly, the threat of campus censorship continues to undermine the free exchange of ideas in Canada.
But the Campus Freedom Index is providing Canadians with the intellectual ammunition they need to hold university and student union leadership accountable when they unfairly and unlawfully punish students, faculty and guests on campus simply for holding controversial views.
PETITION & ESSAY CONTEST: NO TAXPAYER FUNDING FOR UNIVERSITIES THAT CENSOR
The Campus Freedom Index reports that Canada’s public universities receive more than $14 billion from the federal and provincial governments. While promising to uphold freedom of expression and academic freedom, many taxpayer-funded universities have instead accepted speech codes, so-called “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces.” Banning speakers, condoning the disruption of campus events, and banning controversial speech through security fees are further examples of how universities today undermine Canada’s venerable tradition of freedom of expression.
The Justice Centre has therefore launched a petition calling upon provincial governments to restrict public funding from universities that practice censorship, which can be viewed and signed here.
Students are also encouraged to submit essays responding to the Justice Centre’s 2017 Essay Contest, “Should governments restrict funding from universities that censor?” More information about this contest is available at www.JCCF.ca/EssayContest
Email your university/student union president
Tell your leadership that you want your campus to be a leader in protecting free speech on campus. Send them a message!
Sign up for the Justice Centre student mailing list
Pass the Resolution in Support of Free Expression
Lobby your student union to adopt the Justice Centre’s Template Resolution in Support of Free Expression. The Resolution was drafted with careful attention to provide students with clear, unequivocal protections on their freedom of expression in the event of censorship.
Have you been censored? Take legal action!
If you feel your freedom of expression has been violated on campus, contact the Justice Centre to inquire about legal options to defend your rights! The information you provide will be kept in strictest confidence by the Justice Centre, and will be protected by solicitor-client privilege. After you have completed this form, a member of our legal team will be able to follow up with you.
Build a Free Speech Wall
Since January of 2013, the Justice Centre has been partnering with students across Canada to build campus “free speech walls,” whiteboard displays which allow students to share their thoughts and questions as an exercise of their free expression rights. The wall events provide an open forum to educate students about the importance of free speech at Canadian universities. Recently the Justice Centre has put a new twist on that idea, by rolling giant beach balls onto campus and encouraging students to write on the ball to exercise their free speech rights.
If you would like to raise a free speech wall or ball at your campus, contact the Justice Centre to inquire about sponsorship!