Censorship in the News


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Gay slur in lyrics disqualifies Dire Straits hit from Canadian radio play

The Dire Straits song Money For Nothing, a staple of classic-rock radio and music-video oldies shows, has been ruled as too offensive for the airways, two and a half decades after its original release.


The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council has found that the word “faggot” in the lyrics breaches the council’s code of ethics. The decision is in response to a complaint against radio station OZ FM in Newfoundland for broadcasting the song last February.

Does One Word Change Huckleberry Finn?

A new edition of "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" has generated much controversy because it will replace the word "nigger," which occurs 219 times in the book, with "slave." (The edition also substitutes "Indian" for "injun.") Alan Gribben, an English professor at Auburn University at Montgomery, proposed the idea to the publisher because he believes the pervasive use of that word makes it harder for students to read or absorb the book. In an introduction to the new edition, he wrote, “even at the level of college and graduate school, students are capable of resenting textual encounters with this racial appellative.”


Huck Finning the Constitution

Earlier this week, there was an uproar over a publisher's plans to release an edition of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn that would replace the N-word with the word "slave" in order to make the book more "appropriate" for schoolchildren. This kind of political correctness offers no justice to the descendants of slaves -- it merely papers over a terrible ugliness that is an essential part of American history.

Republicans, intending to make a big symbolic show of their reading of the Constitution, have now taken a similarly sanitized approach to our founding document. Yesterday they announced that they will be leaving out the superceded text in their reading of the Constitution on the House floor this morning, avoiding the awkwardness of having to read aloud the "three fifths compromise," which counted slaves as only three-fifths of a person for the purposes of taxation and apportionment.



Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms

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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.

Fundamental Freedoms

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.

Democratic Rights of the Citizen

Every citizen of Canada has the right to vote in an election of members of the House of Commons or of a legislative assembly and to be qualified for membership therein.

Maximum Duration of Legislative Bodies

(1) No House of Commons and no legislative assembly shall continue for longer than five years from the date fixed for the return of the writs of a general election of its members.(81)

Continuation in special circumstances

(2) In time of real or apprehended war, invasion or insurrection, a House of Commons may be continued by Parliament and a legislative assembly may be continued by the legislature beyond five years if such continuation is not opposed by the votes of more than one-third of the members of the House of Commons or the legislative assembly, as the case may be.

Annual Sitting of Legislative Bodies

There shall be a sitting of Parliament and of each legislature at least once every twelve months.

Mobility of Citizens

(1) Every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada.

Rights to Move & Gain Livelihood

(2) Every citizen of Canada and every person who has the status of a permanent resident of Canada has the right

(a) to move to and take up residence in any province; and

(b) to pursue the gaining of a livelihood in any province.

Limitation

(3) The rights specified in subsection (2) are subject to

(a) any laws or practices of general application in force in a province other than those that discriminate among persons primarily on the basis of province of present or previous residence; and

(b) any laws providing for reasonable residency requirements as a qualification for the receipt of publicly provided social services.

Affirmative Action Programs

(4) Subsections (2) and (3) do not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration in a province of conditions of individuals in that province who are socially or economically disadvantaged if the rate of employment in that province is below the rate of employment in Canada.

Life, Liberty and Security of Person

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.

Unreasonable Search and Seizure

Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure.

Detention and Imprisonment

Everyone has the right not to be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned.

Arrest of Detention

Everyone has the right on arrest or detention

(a) to be informed promptly of the reasons therefor;

(b) to retain and instruct counsel without delay and to be informed of that right; and

(c) to have the validity of the detention determined by way of habeas corpus and to be released if the detention is not lawful.

Proceedings in Criminal and Penal Matters

Any person charged with an offence has the right

(a) to be informed without unreasonable delay of the specific offence;

(b) to be tried within a reasonable time;

(c) not to be compelled to be a witness in proceedings against that person in respect of the offence;

(d) to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal;

(e) not to be denied reasonable bail without just cause;

(f) except in the case of an offence under military law tried before a military tribunal, to the benefit of trial by jury where the maximum punishment for the offence is imprisonment for five years or a more severe punishment;

(g) not to be found guilty on account of any act or omission unless, at the time of the act or omission, it constituted an offence under Canadian or international law or was criminal according to the general principles of law recognized by the community of nations;

(h) if finally acquitted of the offence, not to be tried for it again and, if finally found guilty and punished for the offence, not to be tried or punished for it again; and

(i) if found guilty of the offence and if the punishment for the offence has been varied between the time of commission and the time of sentencing, to the benefit of the lesser punishment.

Treatment or Punishment

Everyone has the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.

Self-Crimination

A witness who testifies in any proceedings has the right not to have any incriminating evidence so given used to incriminate that witness in any other proceedings, except in a prosecution for perjury or for the giving of contradictory evidence.

Intepreter

A party or witness in any proceedings who does not understand or speak the language in which the proceedings are conducted or who is deaf has the right to the assistance of an interpreter.

Equality before and under law and equal protection and benefit of law

(1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

(2) Subsection (1) does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

Official Languages of Canada

English and French are the official languages of Canada and have equality of status and equal rights and privileges as to their use in all institutions of the Parliament and government of Canada.

Official Languages of New Brunswick

English and French are the official languages of New Brunswick and have equality of status and equal rights and privileges as to their use in all institutions of the legislature and government of New Brunswick.

Communications by Public with Federal Institutions

Any member of the public in Canada has the right to communicate with, and to receive available services from, any head or central office of an institution of the Parliament or government of Canada in English or French, and has the same right with respect to any other office of any such institution where

(a) there is a significant demand for communications with and services from that office in such language; or

(b) due to the nature of the office, it is reasonable that communications with and services from that office be available in both English and French.

Enforcement of Guaranteed Rights and Freedoms

Anyone whose rights or freedoms, as guaranteed by this Charter, have been infringed or denied may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction to obtain such remedy as the court considers appropriate and just in the circumstances.

Exclusion of Evidence Bringing Administration of Justice into Disrepute

Where, in proceedings under subsection (1), a court concludes that evidence was obtained in a manner that infringed or denied any rights or freedoms guaranteed by this Charter, the evidence shall be excluded if it is established that, having regard to all the circumstances, the admission of it in the proceedings would bring the administration of justice into disrepute.

Multicultural Heritage

This Charter shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with the preservation and enhancement of the multicultural heritage of Canadians.

Rights Guaranteed Equally to Both Sexes

Notwithstanding anything in this Charter, the rights and freedoms referred to in it are guaranteed equally to male and female persons.

Application of Charter

This Charter applies

(a) to the Parliament and government of Canada in respect of all matters within the authority of Parliament including all matters relating to the Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories; and

(b) to the legislature and government of each province in respect of all matters within the authority of the legislature of each province.