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List of Relevant Laws Impacting Free Speech (Canada) (2015-2022)

Name Jurisdiction Description
Building a Foundation for Change: Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy, 2019–2022 (Policy, 2019) Federal Canada’s anti-racism policy adopted International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (“IHRA”) definition of antisemitism allowing criticism of Israel to be treated as antisemitism
Order in Council 1450/2020 Ontario Provincial government declarations of adoption of the IHRA definition of antisemitism
Ministerial Statement J- 2021 Quebec
Premier’s Letter, June 15, 2022 British Columbia
Order in Council 317/2022 Alberta
Policy Declaration by Premier, October 27, 2022 New Brunswick
Premier’s Policy Announcement, October 27, 2022 Manitoba
Ministerial Policy Announcement, December 19, 2022 Saskatchewan
Bill C-19, 2022 Federal Prohibits “condoning, denying or downplaying the Holocaust.”
Bill 2, 2016 Ontario Imposes $600,000 limit on third-party political advertising during 6-month period before elections.
Bill 254, 2021 Ontario Extends pre-election ban on third-party political advertising to 12 months. 307, 2021 Ontario Reintroduced 12 month ban on third-party pre-election political advertising, invoking override provision of Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms Struck down by Ontario Superior Court.
Bill C-76, 2018 Federal Broadens proscription of knowingly making false statements about candidates during federal elections by removing “knowingly.”  Ruled unconstitutional by Ontario Superior Court.
Bill 5, 2018 Ontario Reduced the number of electoral districts from 47 to 25 in the middle of Toronto’s 2018 municipal election, obstructing Torontonians’ ability to make informed voting decisions.
Directive: Free Speech on Campus, 2018 Ontario Requires all Ontario colleges and universities to develop a free speech policy based on the University of Chicago Statement on Principles of Free Expression
Directive: Campus Free Speech, 2019 Alberta Directs universities and colleges to adopt the Chicago Statement or to develop their own policies compliant with the Chicago Principles.
Policy: Student Choice Initiative, 2019 Ontario University and college student fees  for student union publications made optional, undermining their viability. Quashed by Ontario Divisional Court
Bill 32, 2021 Quebec Requires universities to adopt academic freedom policies and create committees to oversee their enforcement and to report annually.
Bill 27. 2019 Alberta Prevent journalists, whistleblowers, and concerned citizens from documenting the conditions of animals on farms or in transport trucks by prohibiting entry to land or enclosed spaces where animals are kept
Bill 156. 2020 Ontario
Bills 120 & 124. 2020 Prince Edward Island
Bill 62. 2021 Manitoba
Bill 52, 2015 Ontario Provides timely and inexpensive mechanism for defendants in legal actions designed to stop them from speaking on matters of public interest to have the action dismissed.
Bill 2. 2019 British Columbia
Bill C-86, 2018 Federal Amends Income Tax Act to allow registered charities to conduct non-partisan “political dialogue and development activities” consistent with their charitable purposes
Canada Summer Jobs Program, 2018 Federal Limited not-for-profit organizations’ eligibility for student summer job funding to those whose policies affirmed respect for individual human rights including reproductive rights, making ineligible any groups with pro-life policies.
Bill 100, 2019 Ontario Required gas retailers to put stickers on pumps reading, “The Federal Carbon Tax will cost you.” Ruled unconstitutional by Ontario Superior Court.

Proclamation Declaring Public Order Emergency, 2022


Federal Federal government invoked Emergencies Act to end truck protest blockades across Canada.– included measures to prohibit public assembly, remove vehicles, prohibit use of property to support or fund the blockade, and authorized RCMP to enforce municipal and provincial laws.
Bill 96, 2022 Quebec Prohibits use of English in numerous settings and restricts access to education in languages other than French.  Creates private right of action for all Québec residents to seek injunctive relief or damages against non-compliant businesses.
Bill C-36, 2021 Federal Reinstituted hate speech prohibition in Canadian Human Rights Act, Died when federal election called.
Bill C-26 Federal  
Bill 43, 2016 Newfoundland & Labrador Prohibit protests or comments regarding abortion within given radius of health care centres.
Bill 92, 2016 Quebec
Bill 163, 2017 Ontario
Bill 9, 2018 Alberta
Bill 242 2020 Nova Scotia
Bill 1, 2020 Alberta Prohibits willfully entering, damaging, obstructing, interrupting, or interfering with “critical infrastructure,” [including, highways, railways, oil sands sites or mines, hospitals, and health care facilities].
Bill C-3, 2021 Federal Criminalizes [a] intimidating people obtaining health services, health professionals, or other staff supporting health workers; [b] obstructing or interfering with another person’s lawful access to health services.
Bill 105, 2021 Quebec Provincial laws prohibit demonstrations and protests around health service facilities where Covid-19-related services are being performed
Bill 20, 2021 British Columbia
Bill 48, 2021 Saskatchewan
Bill 11, 2021 Nova Scotia
Bill 51, 2022 Newfoundland & Labrador
Bill 21, 2021 Quebec Prohibits public servants [including public transit operators, teachers, prosecutors, police officers, health care providers] from wearing religious symbols, particularly face coverings, while performing their functions.
Bill 87, 2016 Quebec Provincial laws to afford protection for whistleblowers. All have major gaps that leave whistleblowers vulnerable.
Bill 25, 2017 Prince Edward Island
Bill 5, 2018 Manitoba
Bill 28, 2018 British Columbia

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