Exploring the media’s right to offend

Legal, human rights and media experts from across Canada gathered in Halifax on November 1, 2008 to discuss the limits on what Canadians can say and publish about sensitive issues such as race, religion or sexual orientation. “The Media’s Right to Offend: Exploring Legal and Ethical Limits on Free Speech,” the 6th annual Joseph Howe Symposium, was organized by the University of King’s College School of Journalism and Calgary’s Sheldon Chumir Foundation for Ethics in Leadership.

The one-day symposium explored the impact of human rights laws on freedom of expression and featured a keynote address by Globe and Mail columnist Margarent Wente. Panelists included Ezra Levant, former publisher of the Western Standard; Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association’s Freedom of Expression Project; Kelly Toughill, associate professor of journalism at King’s and Toronto Star columnist; Wayne MacKay of Dalhousie Law School, an expert in constitutional and human rights law; John Miller, associate chair of the Ryerson School of Journalism; and Krista Daley, Director and CEO of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission.
Click here to view videos of the presentations.
Click here for links to news coverage and background information on the issues discussed.