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University_of_Windsor,_Windsor,_Ontario_(21584825960) by Ken Lund from Reno, Nevada, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Why the University of Windsor Encampment Agreement Violates Antisemitism and Academic Freedom Standards

The University of Windsor this week reached agreement with protesters in a campus encampment that raises serious concerns of antisemitism and infringement on academic freedom. While most universities across Canada were relying on the University of Toronto court ruling that the encampments were unlawful trespass to clear their encampments, the University of Windsor instead reached agreement that has sparked alarm among many groups. Indeed, given evidence at the House of Common Justice committee of harassment, antisemitism, and hate speech on the Windsor campus, it is astonishing that the university has ignored those threats and instead concluded a discriminatory agreement that fuels fears that Jews are no longer welcome on campus.

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July 12, 2024 2 comments News
Tax Day New York. April 17, 2012 (7104232285) by Michael Fleshman from Brooklyn, The Democratic People's Republic of Brooklyn, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Know When to Fold Em: The Big Risk Behind Canada’s Digital Services Tax Bet

The Globe and Mail runs my opinion piece on Canada’s digital services tax today. I open by noting that the Canadian government’s efforts to regulate big tech companies sometimes feels like a series of high-stakes poker matches in which the government foolishly bets that readily apparent risks can be ignored. That approach has proven costly: the plan to regulate internet streaming services is now mired in multiple legal challenges in court, while news links on Facebook and Instagram have been blocked in Canada for nearly a year in response to the Online News Act.

The latest high-risk strategy involves the implementation of a digital services tax, which could lead to billions in tariff retaliation targeting some of Canada’s most important economic sectors.

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July 11, 2024 3 comments Columns
Stop antisemitism by Adam Fagen CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/2pgnxCR

States of Disbelief: Too Many Don’t Believe Rise of Antisemitism as the Jewish Community Can’t Believe What It is Seeing

The Globe and Mail published my op-ed yesterday on antisemitism and what I think are two states of disbelief: the disbelief among far too many in Canada that rising antisemitism is real, alongside the disbelief by many within the Jewish community that antisemitism has returned in a manner unseen since the Holocaust. An open access version follows:

Leo Frank, a U.S. factory superintendent, was convicted of murder in 1913 and subsequently lynched in a case widely viewed as a miscarriage of justice motivated by antisemitism. His case sparked the creation of the Anti-Defamation League, which was founded to combat antisemitism, bigotry and discrimination. Despite more than a century of leadership on the issue, last month an overwhelming majority of Wikipedia editors concluded that the ADL is no longer a reliable source on antisemitism. Attempts to paint Jews and Jewish institutions as untrustworthy and not to be believed date back millenniums, and the re-emergence of this pattern is one of the most frightening elements of the rising tide of antisemitism.

The disbelief is seemingly everywhere: evidence of Jewish women sexually assaulted during the Oct. 7 massacres is repeatedly doubted, while shootings at schools and vandalism at synagogues and Jewish community centres have been dismissed by some as false flags. Indeed, virtually anyone actively calling out antisemitism on social media is by now accustomed to the obscene flurry of replies that at best question the veracity of the reports and at worst traffic in Nazi-style propaganda.

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July 9, 2024 17 comments Columns
spotify musique mp3 by downloadsource.fr CC BY 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/qWT78n

The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 208: Will Page on Why the CRTC’s Bill C-11 Ruling is Discriminatory and May Ultimately Hurt the Canadian Music Market

The recent CRTC Bill C-11 decision mandating that streaming services pay 5 percent of their revenues has left seemingly everyone unhappy and has sparked multiple legal challenges.  While much of the focus has been on video streaming, music was a core part of Bill C-11 and the implications for music streaming services may be the most pronounced. Will Page is the perfect person to unpack these issues. He is the author of the critically acclaimed book Tarzan Economics, the former Chief Economist of Spotify and PRS for Music, the co-host the Bubble Trouble podcast and a regular contributor to BBC, Financial Times, and The Economist. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to provide new data on what the CRTC’s numbers mean and why the decision could ultimately move the Canadian market backwards rather than forward. 

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July 8, 2024 2 comments Podcasts
No violence no hate speech by John S. Quarterman CC BY 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/aDkJbi

Court Issues Injunction Against University of Toronto Encampment on Trespass Grounds, Finds “No Doubt That Some of the Speech on the Exterior of the Encampment Rises to the Level of Hate Speech”

Ontario Superior Court of Justice Markus Koehnen issued his much anticipated ruling involving the encampment at the University of Toronto late yesterday, granting the University its requested order that can be used to remove the encampment. Under the order, protesters have until 6:00 pm today to clear the encampment. If they fail to do so, the court ruled that the University can levy the full range of sanctions, including “physical enforcement of the order, prosecution for trespass, liability for contempt of court and the full range of disciplinary sanctions at the University.” The basis of the order lies in trespass with the court concluding that “there is ample judicial authority that says protesters have no right to set up camp on or otherwise occupy property that does not belong to them, no matter how much more effective their protest would be if they were able to do so.”

Trespass combined with evidence of irreparable harm if the order was not granted provided the legal foundation for the decision, but the court did not find sufficient evidence to conclude that the encampment was violent or antisemitic. The court’s conclusion on antisemitism has been seized up on encampment supporters, but the reality is that it did find hate speech at the exterior of the encampment, which from the perspective of Jewish students and faculty surely requires University action. In fact, the court finds that “that there have been incidents of hate speech and physical harassment of people, predominantly but not exclusively directed at people wearing kippahs or some other indicator of Jewish identity in the general vicinity of the encampment” and that “the possibility of further escalation based on past physical altercations and past use of actual hate speech outside the encampment amounts to some level irreparable harm but not significantly so.”

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July 3, 2024 13 comments News