PMO enemy list infringes on Canadians’ rights to free expression

by Franke James

My Letter to the Editor of The Hill Times published on August 26. (Submitted on August 8th)


PMO enemy list infringes on Canadians’ rights to free expression

Published: Monday, 08/26/2013 12:00 am EDT

The PMO’s enemy list (“Enemy list shows total PMO control,” The Hill Times, July 29) is a serious infringement on every Canadian’s Charter right to free expression but few Canadians appreciate how damaging it is to our democracy, and each citizen’s right to speak up. Many people I know are afraid to air viewpoints which run counter to government policy because it threatens their livelihood. I have heard directly from environmental groups who are afraid to speak up lest their charitable tax status be revoked.

I am glad that this document was leaked, as PMO communications are off limits to access to information requests. However, it did not come as any shock to me that the PMO keeps an ‘enemy list.’ I am on it. The evidence has been piling up.

Over the past two years, I’ve obtained 2,172 access-to-information documents—all related to me—from four different federal departments. In fact a Foreign Affairs spokesperson said in an internal email, “The artist’s work dealt mostly with climate change and was advocating a message that was contrary to government policies on the subject.”

That statement is a chilling example of how free expression in our democracy is being squashed—because if art has to agree with government policies, then ‘art equals government propaganda.’ So speak up! Democracy flourishes when many voices are allowed to be heard—not just the ones that Harper’s government agrees with.

Franke James
Toronto, Ont.

Related posts: Are YOU on Stephen Harper’s #‎EnemyList?

50 Responses: One Comment and 49 Tweets

  • Franke!!

    You are such a breath of fresh air. I have been following your exploits for some time and I just wanted to thank you for all your efforts.
    Please know that your efforts are appreciated and I encourage you to keep after this man and his cabal.

    Best Wishes,

    Michael Taylor DVM

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