Canada: Legislation limits free speech for journalists

Canadian journalists will face fines for commenting on the striking action of trade unionists under new legislation passed in the province of Alberta.

06 Dec 2013
(Image: Shutterstock)

(Image: Shutterstock)

Canadian journalists will face fines for commenting on the striking action of trade unionists under new legislation passed in the province of Alberta. As reported by Index on Censorship earlier this week Bill 45 and Bill 46 will see heavy sanctions placed on those who partake in illegal picketing or comment publicly on those doing so. Both bills passed through their third and final readings on Wednesday 4 December, in front of a full gallery of concerned members of the public

Journalists now face fines of $500 a day for any comments made regarding support for union strikes. Alongside this, Bill 45 also limits the discussion of striking action or threats to strike by civil servants, fining unions $1 million a day unless they are able to convince a court they were not responsible for or encouraging of the striking talk.

Don Braid said in the Calgary Herald this week: “It’s hard to imagine a more blatant violation of free speech, a right that always implies a certain social anarchy to function usefully. People are not allowed to break laws, but they are permitted, except in obvious cases of threatening harm, to talk about challenging, testing, pushing or even breaking them. The offence is in the breaking, not the talking. But not for Alberta’s public unions. Talking is now pretty much illegal.”

An earlier version of this article referred to Alberta as a state. It is a province.

This article was originally posted on 6 Dec 2013 at


7 responses to “Canada: Legislation limits free speech for journalists”

  1. vandervoice says:

    Alberta is a province, not a state.

  2. *It must have been a Boring Day for Canadian Politics on Wed*

    They did not wanna touch on any BIG issues though like:

    > Handing over Canadian Prisoners to Afghans to be Tortured being an International War Crime

    > Involvement in the Libyan Conflict being an International War Crime against a fictitious leader who had not held power since the 1970’s under NATO

    > Canada’s refusal to abide by the Nuclear Non Proliferation Agreement by not having anything to do with Countries or States (like Israel) who did not sign onto the agreement, and helping Countries or States (like Iran) who DID, and being the main reason FOR the agreement

    > The constant Corruption flowing through every office of Government

    This seemed more important, to SHUT people UP.

  3. Ralph says:

    It’s the Province of Alberta, not State. Good article nonetheless…..

  4. Rodney Kusiek says:

    I am outraged as an Albertan! This Dredford government is making a mess of this province.

  5. Ruth Forneri says:


  6. Ruth Forneri says:

    I call bullshit! This is the most ridiculous bs I’ve read in a very long time. What the hell are they smmoking out there in Alberta? CRACK???

    If ever there was a time to would be NOW!!!!


  7. B. Ross Ashley says:

    PROVINCE of Alberta. Canada does not have states. Now I have to factcheck the rest of this. Sheesh.