November 16th, 2018

MP infringing on freedom of expression

By Letter to the Editor on November 8, 2018.

On or about Oct. 17, 2018 three applicants initiated a constitutional challenge in which they allege that Ottawa mayor Jim Watson has violated their freedom of expression by blocking them on his Twitter account. The lawyer for the plaintiffs sought a court order last month declaring the mayor had infringed on his clients’ constitutional right to freedom of expression, which is protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

On Nov. 2, 2018 the mayor acquiesced. CBC reports that “The mayor now concedes his Twitter account is public because he uses it in the exercise of his day-to-day duties as Mayor of the City of Ottawa.”

The applicants wrote “We are satisfied that Mayor Watson has admitted he was in the wrong and are encouraged that he seems committed to a more respectful and open dialogue with his constituents than in the past” and that “(We) believe this case will send a strong message to elected officials from coast to coast to coast.”

The Conservative MP from Medicine Hat Cardston Warner is guilty of this same infringement. We have proof of this. This is Canada, not some totalitarian state. Freedom of expression is one of our most cherished rights. There is no room in Canada for this sort of Trumpian thuggery. Shame.

Fred Lewis

Medicine Hat

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