Freedom to Read

What is the issue?

The freedom to choose what one reads is fundamental to a free and open society, as is the freedom to express one’s opinions and beliefs. TWUC has long stood against state censorship and any attempts to control public access to books. 

What TWUC is doing

There is discussion and activism around freedom of expression in TWUC’s newsletters dating back to the very beginnings of the organization in 1973. In 1987, the Union initiated the industry-wide Community Against Censorship, which successfully fought the passage of the federal government’s Bill C-54, the “anti-obscenity” bill. TWUC’s current Freedoms and Rights Committee is active in monitoring freedom of expression issues in Canada.

The Union is a longstanding member of Canada’s Book and Periodical Council, which every February administers Freedom to Read (FTR) Week. Each year (since 1999), TWUC celebrates a Canadian freedom of expression champion during FTR Week with our Freedom to Read Award.

TWUC agrees with the BPC’s Freedom of Expression Committee’s position statement, and we do not believe that the freedom to speak and write means immunity from disagreement or criticism.

What you can do

Participate fully in Freedom to Read Week each year. Follow the Book and Periodical Council’s Challenged Works list to stay abreast of the surprising number of book challenges in Canada every year.

Further reading

 

TWUC’s advocacy is most effective as the collective voice of Canada’s professional authors. We are stronger together. If you are not already a member of TWUC and are working as a writer, consider joining the Union. If you wish to support TWUC’s advocacy outside of membership, consider donating to the Union