Meera Nair

Imbalance in Voice

In Uncategorized on August 28, 2009 at 8:32 am

Michael Geist has posted a synopsis of last night’s “townhall” meeting in Toronto, concerning the copyright consultations. It is disappointing to hear that the event was geared towards the interests of the entertainment industry; this diminishes my appreciation for the consultation process itself. Until now, I had some hope that the Ministers of Industry and Heritage were genuine in their effort to hear from all Canadians.

Reviewing the comments posted to Prof. Geist’s blog, Ben Lewis’s remarks raise a very disturbing point:

Myself and a few other representatives of the Canadian Federation of Students attended the town hall, although we did not “win” the right to speak.

Knowing that this might be the case, we brought some flyers to distribute beforehand detailing our position on expanded fair dealing, regulation of TPMs, “notice and notice”, and the elimination of crown copyright.

Unfortunately, event organisers immediately sent hotel security guards after us who stated that we either needed to put the flyers away or we would be removed from the premises. Alarming and frustrating to say the least. So much for the idea of it being a “public town hall”

This sounds suspiciously like a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Section Two states.

Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.

If the meeting yesterday had been purely a private affair, I would not be so concerned. But this was ostensibly a public gathering. And yet, a determined effort was made to silence dissenting opinion…

  1. Or they could have posted a copy of their flyer on the wall-mounted sheets, for which glue sticks were available, the hostess told us.

    But that would make for less of a conspiracy theory.

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