First, we will always defend freedom of expression, commented solemnly Justin Trudeau. It is a right protected in our charters of rights and freedoms, it is a value and a fundamental principle for any free society.
But freedom of expression is not without limits, he said. We are not allowed, for example, to shout “fire!” in a crowded cinema.
Asked about the link between his example and the cartoons of Muhammad which continue to claim victims, the Prime Minister replied that
there are always limits freedom of expression.
His position contrasts with that of President Emmanuel Macron, who, during the national tribute paid on October 21, did not fail to underline the
fight for freedom by Samuel Paty.
We will continue, Professor. We will defend the freedom that you taught so well and we will promote secularism, he had proclaimed at the Sorbonne.
I say it with great clarity once again today: we will not give in, he said Thursday, after the Nice attack.
Recall that Samuel Paty was beheaded by an Islamist assailant on October 1 near his college in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, after showing his students caricatures of Muhammad, precisely during a course on freedom of expression.
In a pluralistic, diverse and respectful society like ours, we owe it to ourselves to be aware of the impact of our words, of our actions on others, particularly these communities, these populations who still experience enormous discrimination in a system. who continues to discriminate, commented Justin Trudeau.
It’s a matter of respect, of not seeking to dehumanize or deliberately hurt.
While again condemning terrorist acts, the Prime Minister also referred to a
debate to be had on possible exceptions.
In a society that wants to be based on respect for others, listening and learning, let’s have these complex conversations in a responsible way, he suggested.
Very personal design
The freedom of expression explained by Justin Trudeau on Friday surprised Professor Pierre Trudel, from the Center for Research in Public Law at the University of Montreal.
It is absurd to present it as subordinate to the delicacy of each other, he maintains. We are in the world of convenience, politeness, decorum; no right.
Contrary to the Prime Minister’s statements, freedom of expression is not legally framed by the prohibition against shocking, specifies Mr. Trudel.
There are no rules, no laws in Canada that prohibit us from publishing caricatures of Muhammad.
The Prime Minister’s position therefore stems from a personal bias, and in no case from a passage of the charter that he evokes, assures the professor of law, who recalls that Canada has even abolished the ban on blasphemy in 2016.
The newspaper cartoonist The right Bado recognizes that certain limits are difficult to cross within Canadian editorial staff subject to advertising imperatives.
You see instead of taking a stand, concedes the one that plagues the daily life of the Ottawa-Gatineau region since 1981.
AT Charlie Hebdo, there are no advertisers who can boycott them, notes the designer, some of whose proposals may have been rejected by his supervisors.
It is necessary to spare the goat and the cabbage.
There remains the titillation of an editorial line
that we try to cross, says Bado. Or the collection of drawings refused over the years in a publication distributed more discreetly.
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