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Justice Centre Backs Québec’s Academic Freedom bill

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms has filed a brief with the Québec Legislature in support of Bill 32, which states (section 3) that “ […] academic freedom is the right […] to engage freely and without doctrinal, ideological or moral constraint in an activity through which the person contributes, in their field of activity, to carrying out the mission of an educational institution”.

The authors of the brief, Justice Centre’s Campus Free Speech Fellow Lindsay Shepherd, and Samuel Bachand, primary Justice Centre counsel for Québec, stated that Bill 32 would “help to restore the proper hierarchy of rights and values in the province’s universities, with academic freedom and free speech at the very top, far above social justice activism in management.”

"The Quebec government is taking an important step towards reviving a culture of academic freedom and freedom of expression on campus," Ms. Shepherd noted. "The students, staff, and faculty who have accrued pro-censorship attitudes ought to be reminded that universities are places for open inquiry, debate, and discussion -- they are not training centres to advance a particular ideological agenda."

Bill 32 will soon enter committee stage for the second reading. The Justice Centre will follow developments closely and provide updates as available.

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