Niagara Regional Council: Stop authoritarian & discriminatory restrictions on freedom of expression!


To: Niagara Regional Council

WHEREAS in a March 6 meeting, the Corporate Services Committee unanimously passed a motion requesting a report by July 10, 2024, on “how to govern the display of graphic images in the public right of way . . . including, but not limited to, images showing or purporting to show medical waste; images showing or purporting to show a fetus or any part of a fetus; or an image showing or purporting to show a dead or injured animal or human body or any part of a dead or injured animal or human body…;”

WHEREAS Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects the fundamental freedom of expression;

WHEREAS this committee proposal presents an egregious and gross infringement on freedom of expression that is nothing short of totalitarian;

WHEREAS the definition of “graphic images” is so broad that it could encompass ultrasound photos (images showing a fetus), advertisements for meat (images showing a dead animal), and even some pictures of Canadian heroes with disabilities like Rick Hanson and Ryan Straschnitzki (images showing an injured human body);

WHEREAS Section 15 (1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states that “Every individual . . . has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability;”

WHEREAS the definition of “graphic images” is obviously discriminatory;

WHEREAS even genuinely graphic images ought to be protected as a critical component of freedom of expression as they bring attention to perceived injustices;

WHEREAS protection for freedom of expression is meaningless and unnecessary if it only covers expression on trivial and uncontroversial topics;

WHEREAS the City of St. Catharines is already facing a legal challenge from the Association for Reformed Political Action regarding the limitations its by-law regulating the delivery of “graphic images” places on freedom of expression;

WHEREAS the City of London has just gone back to the drawing board on a by-law governing the public display of “graphic images” after councillors recognized its previous draft by-law was likely unconstitutional and city staff recommended against changing the current by-laws;

WHEREAS restricting the display of the images specified in the motion will result in foreseeable and severe harm;

Therefore, we the undersigned, demand that you immediately apologize and make no further attempt to restrict freedom of expression.


[The undersigned]

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Thus far 339 signatories
Page 1 of 23
Anonymous Carp, ON
May 28, 2024 - 08:51am
Kny V. St. Catharines, ON
May 21, 2024 - 09:33pm
If you are pregnant, you are already a mother.
Jonathan V. St. Catharines, ON
May 21, 2024 - 09:26pm
Apparently the Niagara Regional Council is in favour of murder on the basis of age.
Mary Y. Belleville, ON
May 18, 2024 - 04:24pm
Anonymous Moose Jaw, SK
May 17, 2024 - 06:08pm
Nancy W. Beamsville, ON
May 14, 2024 - 02:24pm
Abortion at any stage of pregnancy has not been illegal in Canada for decades. If abortion is considered acceptable, why should pictures of abortion be illegal? This makes no sense. To ban photos of humans developing in the womb is absurd. We all grew in our mothers' wombs. This is simply science - biology, to be specific.
Anonymous Brantford, ON
May 11, 2024 - 07:41am
Eva V. Hamilton, ON
May 10, 2024 - 09:50pm
Natalia B. St Catharines, ON
May 10, 2024 - 08:11pm
Anonymous Sarnia, ON
May 10, 2024 - 05:07pm
Julie G. Fenwick, ON
May 10, 2024 - 03:11pm
Anonymous Hamilton , ON
May 9, 2024 - 11:35pm
Anonymous Fenwick, ON
May 9, 2024 - 08:46pm
Tanya G. Ridgeville , ON
May 9, 2024 - 08:37pm
Anonymous Fenwick, ON
May 9, 2024 - 08:36pm