Free Speech

NUPGE joins Voices-Voix, a new coalition fighting to preserve democratic institutions in Canada


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) has joined a new national coalition against a mounting threat to the quality and health of Canada's democratic system.

The group, called Voices-Voix, has just released a declaration entitled 'Raise Your Voices' that is being signed by labour groups, including NUPGE, as well as human rights, women’s, environment, student, faith-based and development organizations.

Aid groups advised to ‘shut the f--- up’ on abortion

Aid experts alarmed by Canada’s new anti-abortion stand in foreign policy have received some raw political advice from a Conservative senator: “shut the f--- up” or it could get worse.
“We’ve got five weeks or whatever left until G-8 starts. Shut the f--- up on this issue,” Conservative Senator Nancy Ruth told a group of international-development advocates who gathered on Parliament Hill on Monday to sound the alarm about Canada’s hard-right stand against abortion in foreign aid.

Harper's Communications Strategy and Some Principles of Propaganda

Harper has sought "to manage the government information flow to the media as well as the public appearances and statements of his own MPs and Cabinet ministers." Critics have said that "the wall of selective silence and control that shrouds the entire government undermines the free flow of information citizens could normally expect in a western democracy."
W.T Stanbury puts the Harper government's communication strategy into perspective by providing firstly, a comprehensive summary of the many elements of his strategy and secondly, a wider perspective on the strategy by comparing it to some important principles of propaganda.

Environmental protesters' lawyer fears "political interference"

Following a Greenpeace civil disobedience protest at Shell's upgrader site in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach "told reporters the protesters would be punished to the full extent of the law". Lawyer Brian Beresh, defending the activists, is concerned that Stelmach "is using his position to exert influence over the judicial system and how it deals with Greenpeace activists". For Beresh, Stelmach's comments "raise issues about constitutional rights, political interference, free speech and the ability of activists to get fair trials in Alberta".

A Decade Of Torment

In 1998, the Department of Foreign Affairs whistle-blower -- who exposed lavish waste and extravagance within Foreign Affairs in the 1990s --left Foreign Affairs and sued her bosses for harassment. More than nine years later, a pre-trial judge has issued an important ruling, criticizing some of the government lawyers' methods and calling for these tactics to end.
After dragging through the courts for almost a decade, the case of Joanna Gualtieri has produced an important development.

Whistle-blower Sues Ottawa

A Canadian bureaucrat who claims he was punished for blowing the whistle on security problems and unethical managers is suing the federal government.

Health Canada Muzzles Oilsands Whistleblower

A northern Alberta physician who publicly aired concerns over carcinogenic pollution from the massive oilsands development is being investigated by the province's College of Physicians and Surgeons. The complaint against him comes from none other than Health Canada, which claims the physician caused "undue alarm."

Whistleblowers deserve better than Bill C-25

A mild-mannered public servant is repeatedly asked by senior bureaucrats to approve mis-appropriations of taxpayer dollars and cover up government wrong-doing. The public servant refuses, documents the malfeasance, and complains to senior departmental officials.