Concept 5: Freedom of Expression

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Danielle S. McLaughlin
Director of Education & Administration
Canadian Civil Liberties Education Trust
Fall 2007

Freedom of Expression

Expression isn't always just the words that we speak. One of the things about freedom of expression, also freedom of speech, freedom of the press all of these that we rarely think about is that it has two ends to it. In other words, if I don't get to say it, you don't get to hear it. So we have an understanding that freedom of expression is not just for the person doing the expressing, but it's also for the receiver on the other end.

So for example, when 50 Cent wanted to play in downtown Toronto and the City Councillor said, "no, no, no we, we're not going to let him play." It's you know, they came up with a rationale for this. It was going to be too violent and too dangerous. It wasn't just 50 Cent's freedom of expression that would have been affected by that, but every person who wanted to buy a ticket to that concert would have had their freedom of expression affected by that as well. So you cannot affect the freedom of expression of merely one person. It doesn't happen. It has a much greater reach.


Disclaimer - The resources presented in this learning tool, the Charter in the Classroom: Students, Teachers and Rights (CC: STAR) are included only to assist in the study of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. They do not necessarily represent an endorsement of a position or issue, opinion or view of its contributors, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Inukshuk Wireless, the Ontario Justice Education Network, the Canadian Civil Liberties Education Trust or any of the people, organizations, or institutions affiliated with it.