How it All Started
In January 2022, a seemingly ordinary meeting of the Waterloo Region District School Board became the starting point of a crucial battle for freedom of expression in Canada. I found myself at the center of this conflict when I was silenced and removed for sharing my concerns about the age-appropriateness of sexual content in children’s books in our elementary schools. The Chair accused me of violating the Human Rights Code – an allegation I strongly dispute.
Judicial Review and a Disappointing Outcome
Seeking justice, I filed a Judicial Review with the Ontario Divisional Court, hoping to overturn the Board’s decision and allow me to return to complete my presentation. However, on November 29, 2023, the court ruled against me, siding with the Board and declaring their decision “reasonable”. This ruling not only shocked me but also signaled a worrying trend for the state of free expression in public forums in Canada.
The Appeal: Standing Up for Free Expression
Undeterred by this setback, I have filed a Notice of Motion for Leave to Appeal with the Ontario Court of Appeal (see below). This legal action isn’t just about a disagreement at a school board meeting; it’s a stand for the integrity of open dialogue on critical issues in our education system and other public spaces. Our democracy is strengthened by diverse opinions and the freedom to express them, and our judicial system must protect these rights against administrative overreach that suppresses speech.
The Bigger Picture: Why This Matters
The implications of this case extend far beyond my personal experience. They touch upon the very essence of our democratic society and how we handle free expression, especially in educational settings. If left unchallenged, the court’s decision could set a dangerous precedent, allowing school boards and other public bodies to silence any dissenting voice.
Support and Solidarity
As I navigate this challenging legal landscape, I am deeply grateful for the pro bono support from the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms. However, my separate Defamation Lawsuit is a journey I am funding myself. I invite you to support me in that fight by contributing to to my GoFundMe campaign.
This journey is about more than one person; it’s about upholding the values that define and enrich our Canadian democracy. Thank you for standing alongside me in this fight for free expression. Please be sure to join my email list (below) for regular updates.
Together, we can make a difference in preserving the rights that are the cornerstone of our society.