TORONTO: The Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) has created a new free online course about the right to freedom of expression and Canada’s constitution that is available for members of the public.
The course is available at theccf.ca/learn, and includes a series of video lectures followed by quizzes. Upon completion, students receive a personalized certificate they can print or share on social media.
Freedom of expression is fundamentally important to the functioning of democracy and requires a strong understanding by the citizenry. It is through freedom of expression that we define the contours of all our other rights. Without these guarantees, governments would be free to act unopposed, and their policies, including unjust policies, would be uncontested,” said CCF Executive Director, Joanna Baron.
The course is the culmination of months of work with some of Canada’s leading constitutional lawyers and scholars. The topics include the constitutional framework for freedom of expression, political expression, compelled speech, the philosophical underpinnings of freedom of expression, major freedom of expression cases on issues from hate speech to defamation to pornography, as well as unexplored areas of freedom of expression, including the rights to thought, belief and opinion as well as press freedom.
“Without an understanding of how our constitution functions and how our rights are guaranteed, Canadians are poorly positioned to protect themselves against government overreach. There is a lot of misunderstanding about our constitution and the right to freedom of expression, and public education is a core part of our mandate. That’s why we created this free course,” concluded Baron.
The CCF wants to give a special thank you to all the experts who participated in the material for this course, including:
- Jamie Cameron, Professor Emerita at Osgoode Hall Law School
- Richard Moon, Distinguished Professor and Professor of Law at the University of Windsor
- Dwight Newman, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Rights in Constitutional and International Law at the University of Saskatchewan College of Law
- Adam Goldenberg, partner at McCarthy Tétrault LLP and adjunct professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.
- Justin Safayeni, partner at Stockwoods LLP, and also teaches administrative law at Osgoode Professional Development’s Canadian Common Law LLM Program.
The CCF would also like to thank David Jo, who was instrumental in putting together the course.
The course is available free to the public at theccf.ca/learn