Talk:Censorship in Canada

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This currently reads more like an essay than an encyclopedic article. I gave the lead a little cleanup and tagged it. Ifnord 17:59, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Why is there a censorship in North America template if there is only one other country with a working link? The line about increasing censorship of social conservatives cries out for a reference, and perhaps someone with better skills than me to parse it for POV. The line has been modified and now reads: "Recently, censorship issues in Canada have had an increasing impact on those promoting social conservative views." I think this is currently true and somewhat justified by the Christine St-Pierre, Chris Kempling and CUSA examples cited in the article. However, I don't think much (if anything) would be lost by deleting the sentence entirely - it does read as an editorial statement and could easily be overidden by new censorship events occurring. ( 18:47, 17 July 2007 (UTC))

Yes, the tone seems to be more like a (concise) history of censorship. This is useful, but I would expect an article on censorship in Canada to give an overview of the current state of censorship, possibly followed by a section on its history. (The history is interesting -- I didn't know that in the 20s material was banned for being too American! -- but it should be in a separate section so you don't have to read through e.g. the history of TV censorship to arrive at the current state.) (talk) 15:53, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

University censorship[edit]

This section is a little unclear/a little POV (or so it reads for me). I'm not quite sure how, but it's worth looking at and either clarifying or eliminating for now. --Jammoe 07:45, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Changed "pro-life" to "anti-abortion" which better reflects the actual policy. Anti-choice would be the best term, but I'm not sure that the issues involved would be as clear? The citation is very good, but I don't think it is properly formatted - don't know how to fix that :) ( 19:18, 17 July 2007 (UTC))
Actually, anti-abortion in Wikipedia redirects to pro-life, probably based on the accepted common use of the term. By changing it to anti-abortion you are making a point experimentally on this page rather than taking the issue head-on in the main pro-life article. See WP:POINT for more information. ie., You should instead go and win your argument there by renaming the pro-life article, and then only if it sticks come back and change the naming convention used here. This is particularly true for controversial topics. Deet 22:30, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
Is this even censorship at all? Just the student union denying space, funding, and saying they wont support it? That just puts the group on equal standing with non-recognized student groups and individuals. 07:41, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
Hard to say. Certainly their motivation was clearly to silence them on campus. However, their technique for white-washing may not have been directly censorship. Deet 01:48, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Technically incorrect[edit]

I don't think that the Canadian ratings are necessarily more lenient.

  • When CTV (At least our affiliate) aired some episodes of The Daily Show/Colbert Report, they were rated 14+. But underneath this Canadian icon was an unnecessarily large US icon that said TV-PG. NUMB3RS is regularly rated 14+, while only occasionally TV-14 in the U.S.

However, it is a little more acceptable (although not necessarily completely) to say that Québec TV ratings are more lenient than English Canadian ratings.

  • In Québec, Lord of the Rings was rated 8+, while in English Canada it was rated PG. Their 8+ can mean either C8 or PG, as they don't have an individual rating.

The article does not discuss ratings - which are strictly informational/advisory in nature - but actual broadcast standards which affects what can actually be shown. I think it is self-evident that currently Canadian standards are more lenient than American standards and is supported in examples throughout the article. ( 18:04, 17 July 2007 (UTC)) i am so cool you are not —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sawyerfart (talkcontribs) 12:10, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Wait a minute![edit]

Something might not be right with our safe haven. I have quickly viewed on APTN that they rebroadcast last night's "Night Owl movie" at 01:00 PM. Some of these movies during the night are rated 18+, and rebroadcast it during the day with the same rating. Are they just as uncut as the night that they aired, or are they slightly altered for daytime? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:39, 31 August 2007 (UTC)


The paragraph that asserts that people can be disciplined by their employers for writing to newspapers is overly broad, and probably factually wrong as it's current written. This definitely needs a cite. Cerowyn (talk) 04:05, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Just click on either of the two names mentioned. There are citations in the linked articles. Deet (talk) 03:39, 16 January 2008 (UTC)


This article and Canadian Human Rights Commission are not particularly balanced. It seems someone had made it their mission to focus only on the CHRCs investigation into anti-Muslim bias and discrimination in print, making it appear that these are special cases, despite the fact that the CHRC prosecutes any kind of racism. The CHRC is best known for prosecuting anti-Semitism and white supremacy, and preventing the likes of Ernst Zundel and Paul Fromm from being effectively able to propagate their views in Canada. Yes, the United States has freedom of speech, but anti-Semitic and racist hate groups thrive there. Canadian law, at least, does not have any tolerance for racism. Get rid of the CHRC and the Nazis will have a party. WGoldfarb (talk) 11:43, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

Fringe racist and hate groups in the U.S. are tiny, powerless jokes. A country, which protects only speech of which it approves, in fact has no freedom of speech at all. When anyone may say disgusting, offensive things without going to jail, then you have a clear sign that freedom of speech is alive and healthy in that country. Censorship occurs when a society does not trust its good elements to vanquish the bad in an environment in which ideas may be freely exchanged. Legitimate abuses of speech, such as libel and slander may be prosecuted in the courts. However, speech which merely hurts someone's feelings are now prosecuted by the HRC. Canada's Orwellian-named Human Rights Commission perfectly illustrates how fundamental human rights in the West have begun to be stamped out by the state. There are white supremists who are challenging section 13. However, there are also honorable people challenging this abominable provision, simply because it is the right thing to do. If you want to "balance" the article by smearing the opponents of HRC, that is fine, because I trust folks to discern for themselves exactly what is happening, and to act soon to rescue what is left of their fragile liberty. But what will not work is any attempt to censor this article.
"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." -- Voltaire Freedom Fan (talk) 02:34, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Publication bans?[edit]

Should this article not include some mention of publication bans in court cases? E.g., the things that happened during the Bernardo/Homolka trials? (Cable companies blacking out — or not blacking out — US TV news shows discussing the case; the prosecution of the guy who distributed a bunch of copies of an American newspaper with coverage of the case; the exclusion of foreign reporters from Homolka's one-day trial; etc., etc.)

Also, how about the law (since overturned?) prohibiting news sources from disclosing national election results from eastern Canada while polls in the west were still open? Richwales (talk) 22:38, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

APSA Meeting[edit]

  1. "Some prominent academics" constitutes the use of weasel words.
  2. Outlining that certain Harvard and Princeton professors support the protest is unnecessary. Why explicitly mention these institutions and not others?
  3. Perspective is necessary. Several dozen of the 7,000 members of APSA are protesting the Toronto location. This should be identified. Mft1 (talk) 22:47, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Published or broadcast by media[edit]

Could this article also address media which is not public, but also media which is held for private possession? There are cases like R. v. Sharpe involving this as well. One would expect laws dictating what can be shown/sold in public to be more restrictive than those for private use. Tyciol (talk) 00:36, 22 February 2009 (UTC)


My understanding is that, in Ontario, the film review board no longer requires (& maybe even no longer has the authority) to order cuts. All they now do is rate a film, so that potential viewers are 'warned' with the appropriate information. But no film can be edited or banned by the Board. If a film contravenes the criminal code, then police would have to prosecute, not the board. My understanding was that this is also broadly the approach in some (most?) other provinces now. If this is true, then the section on movies should be updated. Any thoughts? (talk) 15:48, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

Wartime Censorship[edit]

Why is there nothing about the government press censorship systems in the two World Wars? Spoonkymonkey (talk) 13:48, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

  • {This response has been censored} -- (talk) 08:57, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Proposed clarifications and additions[edit]

I would like to make some changes to this article in order to have it better conform to Wikipedia policies and guidelines. If there are no objections, I will revise the article in the next few days based on the following concerns:

A lot of the statements are evaluative rather than descriptive. E.g., "... the controversy over whether bans like the one in Dagenais v. CBC represent undue trammeling of freedom of expression is a hotly debated topic" uses "trammeling" where it could've used the less loaded term "restriction". Similarly, the phrase "hotly debated" might only used by those hotly debating the topic, rather than by the readership of Wikipedia at large.

Some statements contain irrelevant addenda. E.g., "The CBSC even permitted the Demi Moore film Strip Tease to be shown at 8:00 PM, with scenes of bare female breasts ... ", lists information irrelevant to the issue (viz., the name of the actor), and which sets it apart from other references which did not provide analogous information.

Some terms are misleading. E.g., while technically accurate, the use of "citizen" is inapt in phrases such as "... under the CHRA it is illegal for any citizen to make a statement which ..." and "... which guarantees each citizen’s freedom of expression ...", since (a) the CHRA binds non-citizens as much as citizens, and (b) because s. 2 of the Charter is not restricted to citizens. Many other sections are restricted to citizens, but s. 2 is not, and the current phrasing may be taken to imply otherwise.

Many terms and phrases are vague. E.g., "in most respects", "relatively liberal", and "relatively lenient" leave the reader wondering how much "most" is, as well as to what (or to whom) Canada's instances of censorship are being compared. (Are they lenient relative to the US? Are they liberal relative to conservatism? Are they lenient relative to the "community standard of tolerance"?)

Finally, as a positive contribution, I intend to split up the last section, which jumps abrubtly from a description of human rights agencies in Canada to a list of complaints against them, as well as to add a brief section outlining the basis by which censorship cases are decided by the judiciary. I will add this because the current article concentrates on the influence of broadcast regulatory commissions and human rights agencies on matters of Canadian censorship, even though it is the judiciary which ultimately determines the legality of any such matter. The section will therefore outline the basic approach that the Supreme Court takes in these matters: namely, if a cases comes before the Court alleging an undue restriction of a Charter right, the Court will determine whether that restriction is permissible by reference to s. 1 of the Charter. This means that, in some cases, the Court acknowledges that the right to free expression is indeed violated, but that the violation at hand is proportional and demonstrably justified relative to other Charter rights (e.g., to equality, security of the person, etc.), as well as to the demands of a free and democratic society. --JoshMildenberger (talk) 03:34, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

OK, I went ahead and made a few changes in line with the above: I took out some loaded or vague terminology ("relatively liberal", "trammelling", "hotly debated"), removed a couple of unnecessary details, added a citation to the introduction, edited a bit for brevity/clarity, changed "citizen" to "person" in two instances, and gave criticism of the CHRC its own section.
I also removed a substantial portion of the "Broadcasting" section, but only because it was almost completely unsourced – despite pretty much every sentence making a new claim – as well as because it gave that particular topic a vastly disproportionate level of depth and detail than was given to any of the others. The various aspects of Canadian censorship are now more or less evenly covered. If you have any comments or want to make any revisions to my changes, please do not hesitate. --JoshMildenberger (talk) 21:06, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Dated Data[edit]

The article is woefully out of date. The CHRC is effectively dead; some mention is needed of the MP and the bill that killed it. Only two or three provinces have retained their own HRC's. BC is one of them and its controversial case against Arthur Topham would bear some exposure in the article as well. Orthotox (talk) 05:31, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

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