Men’s Issues Awareness Society takes Ryerson Students’ Union to court

A pair of students at Ryerson University are taking their student government to court, after it rejected the Men’s Issues Awareness Society’s (MIAS) request to form as a campus club. Kevin Arriola and Alexandra Godlewski have been fighting the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) in court since Jan. 24 on behalf of the MIAS. The MIAS was first refused club status at Ryerson in 2015 after the student union expressed concerns that the group was linked to off-campus men’s rights group Canadian Association for Equality, and the anti-feminist group, Voice for Men, according to Jay Cameron, litigation manager for the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCFF). The JCFF is a non-profit group backing the MIAS.  However, Ryerson’s MIAS isn’t the first campus […]

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U of A pro-life group suing school over free speech infringement

A pro-life student group at the University of Alberta (U of A) is suing the university the over alleged violations to their freedom of expression on campus. About 3,000 posters put up by UAlberta Pro-Life have been repeatedly torn down and its events and displays disrupted on several occasion by other students, the group claimed. The pro-life group is being legally represented by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF). JCCF said, in a press statement, that U of A did not uphold its legal obligation to protect the free expression rights of the group. In March, large crowds of protesters shouted loudly to prevent UAlberta Pro-Life from being heard, according to Amberlee Nicol, the group’s president. Protesters used posters […]

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Free speech wall erected at U of O

The University of Ottawa Liberty Society erected a free speech wall on campus Feb. 5-6 after the university received an F grade on a free expression index in September 2013. Omar Benmegdoul, a volunteer for the club, said the group was inspired by other campus free speech walls and wanted to see how their student population would react. “We really didn’t know what to expect but students reacted well overall,” he said. Some unknown students expressed their disagreement with the presence of the wall and wrote “hate speech is not freedom of speech” several times, taking up a large amount of the wall’s writing space. “Free speech is not always going to be good . . . but that shouldn’t […]

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Opinion: CUSA’s B grade is cause for concern

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) released their annual rankings of universities and student associations a little while ago. The JCCF has a mission “to defend the constitutional freedoms of Canadians through litigation and education.” Every year, they grade university administrations and student associations on a scale of A to F based on their policies and their actions regarding constitutional freedoms. Traditionally, both Carleton University and Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA) scored poorly, but this year was different. While Carleton’s administration tied for the worst grades in Canada with an F, CUSA was tied for the highest grade in Canada with a B—receiving a C for policies, and an A for practices. While everyone and their grandmother seems to […]

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Calgary organization criticizes Carleton, CUSA on free speech

Carleton University and its undergraduate student union received failing grades for not promoting free speech by a Calgary-based think-tank. The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) is a registered charity that aims to “defend the constitutional freedoms of Canadians” through legal action, according to its website. The organization gave Carleton and the Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA) failing grades in a recent report on free speech on university campuses, that saw many other universities and student unions criticized for limiting free speech. Both grades related to how CUSA and the university dealt with Carleton Lifeline, an anti-abortion group that was on campus. John Carpay and Michael Kennedy of the JCCF wrote the report that awarded letter grades to 35 Canadian […]

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