The Importance Of Freedom Of Speech In Canada

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Freedom of speech is the right to express one’s opinion without censorship, restraint, or legal penalty. With respect to this, the government’s power to interfere with its citizen’s speech, should have numerous limitations and restrictions to prevent tyranny of those in power (Mill, 6). Therefore, the Canadian government should not be involved in this complaint against Maclean 's magazine. The Canadian government should not intervene in this situation because the harm caused by the action of intervening is greater than inaction. Canada’s government should be preserving our freedom of speech and not violating this fundamental freedom. Mill’s opinion would support this argument because in On Liberty he states “If the arguments of the present …show more content…
Although speech is a guaranteed freedom under our Charter, there are vague limits to when this freedom can be restricted by the government. Section 1 of the Charter, commonly referred to as the reasonable limits clause states “The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society”. Unfortunately for us, this word “reasonable” is extremely vague and leaves the decision in the court’s hands as to what is considered a reasonable limit on our freedom. This unclear portion of the Charter creates an issue, because without proper legal counsel, people will be unsure if their speech is deemed reasonable under the law. This may deter any type of controversial speech which could be considered unacceptable under the law because of fear of punishment. Since the government has power to decide what type of speech is considered hate speech, they have the power to control speech altogether. The current vague restrictions on freedoms should be revised so that there are clear and defined limits under which freedoms can be restricted by the

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