“I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Posted on Aug 25, 2016 in Justice Update, Latest Updates

This week, Justice Centre president John Carpay responded to a column by Barbara Kay in the National Post, “Caution and accuracy are not an offence to freedom of speech“:

Ms. Kay argues that one can campaign against the “honour killing” of women without any reference to Islam.  I agree entirely.  The Justice Centre has taken the City of Edmonton to court for having censored the ad, not because we agree or disagree with the ad’s contents, but because government should not be deciding on behalf of citizens which messages are sufficiently “fair” to be displayed in public.  Advocating violence and other criminal conduct should be illegal, and it is.  Some forms of obscenity and hate speech are also illegal.  But criticism of a religion – even if the criticism is unfair – is a topic that should be addressed by Canadians themselves, through discussion and debate, without government censorship.  The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that advertising space on public transit buses is part of the “public square,” akin to sidewalks, parks and the public areas of airports.  Based on that court ruling (Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority v. Canadian Federation of Students), the City of Edmonton was wrong to censor an ad which it deemed to be anti-Islamic, especially while ignoring complaints about a pro-Islamic ad.  In the spirit of Voltaire: “I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Learn more about American Freedom Defense Initiative v. City of Edmonton

Support the Justice Centre