Know Your Rights

It’s been pretty fun learning about the Charter, right? I think it’s cool. Do me a favour: listen to the following radio called Know Your Rights (episode 1). In terms of Freedom of Expression, have your rights ever been infringed upon or have you been guilty of libel or slander? Let us know how this part of the Charter applies to you and if any of the examples on the program strike you.

Here is the video that the host of Know Your Rights refers to. The officer is the one suing the creator of the animated series about him. Did the animator go too far?

14 thoughts on “Know Your Rights

  1. Really interesting program! Summer CBC is the best!Unfortunately, I have been made fun of online, but to the extent that my rights were infringed upon. I’m also really careful of what I put online or publish (in L!iP or whatever), so I don’t think I’m guilty… I really need to watch myself on political forums, though.Now onto the radio show. I really like how they highlighted how it’s the little things against your rights that count too. I mean, arresting or even killing thousands of people for protesting peacefully isn’t right (like Syria right now), but neither is sending a student home because they don’t agree with the school’s policy on abortion. All she wanted to do was express a different opinion. It reminded me of a case in the States where a whole group of people were demonstrating against Obamacare. One person in a wheelchair held a little sign that said something along the lines of, “I support medicare because it saved my life.” This poor man got very badly beaten by the crowd! Simply for expressing a different opinion and not going with the mob. Freedoms of opinion and expression, in my opinion (ha ha), are the most fundamental rights. This is because no government or agency should have jurisdiction over your thoughts and being able to express them. Furthermore, if no one expressed different perspectives, how could societies advance?Finally, I think that the officer and the animator both went a little too far. I hope the woman wasn’t arrested for blowing bubbles (I really do-that would just be ridiculous!) but after watching a few shorts, I think that the animator didn’t have to poke him so hard in the sides. The title card even says, “A Johnson is Officer Bubbles,” before going on to show some pretty ridiculous police work or lack thereof. By using his name like that, I can definitely see why Officer Johnson is suing. But the fact that he’s suing the commenter’s too is just unrealistic. Firstly, what if someone’s comment was “this is stupid and just mean. Please don’t put up any more of these videos,” will they get sued too? Secondly, people all over the world can comment on YouTube! Are you going to fly in hundreds of people just to sue them for a few dollars each? There are over 220,000 views on that channel!So, that’s pretty much my viewpoint…how lucky are we as a class to be able to post things like this online without the threat of the government taking us down and arresting all of us??

  2. As Canadian citizens we are aloud to express ourselves. However, some people push the limits on the extend that we can express our thoughts and feelings. The problem with some people and the right to express yourself in Canada is mainly that some may look at it and respect and appreciate this right as the Canadian government has made an effort to give back to the citizens and prove to them that the government does not think about what is best for themselves personally. Although, not all canadian citizens look at our freedom to express our mind as a cherished right and freedom. Some people look at this freedom as a wall to hide behind allowing them to get away with saying almost anything. Almost as if our right of expression is like a curtain or a mask covering one's face or identity. Accordingly, people often abuse this right and freedom to say nasty or rude comments, whether it be in person or electronically. Simple enough, if your abusing your right to expression, your not going to be able to use those same rights to save yourself when you are facing the law. The main idea is if your using your rights and freedoms to do immature and negative things like slandering other people and their reputations than it is appropriate to have your right infringed upon. Our rights and freedoms are something that Canadians need to cherish and protect as some people around the world are not as lucky. Don't abuse your right to expression by hurting one's feelings, use it stand for a cause or fight for what you believe in.

  3. I like that last statement, Max. I think the issue of freedom expression will become increasingly more complex given the rise and "importance" of social media.Adrienne, you raise some great points. You have made me think about my own bias. As much as I despise what the officer did, is he still right for suing Youtube and the people who commented? Where does satire fit in ll this? "This Hour has 22 Minutes" constantly makes fun of people and I suspect the producers and the CBC are not getting sued on a weekly basis. In Canada, we call this "Far Comment" – a legal term for defamation defence. Essentially, you can't defame someone if you are being fair and it is clear it is your opinion.Here is a good article form the Civil Liberties Association: can also look up Fair Comment and Satire on wikipedia.Mr. Henderson

  4. Canadians are allowed to do things under the law. That means they are allowed to what they want as long as it does not infringe on the rights of other individuals. We are granted in our charter the freedom of expression, which means that people will have different opinions. If people disagree, argument is obviously going to be inevitable. I firmly believe that in terms of freedom of expression, people can determine whether their rights are infringed upon based on two questions; how exactly did that person attack me, and how was I affected by it. If that person attacked based on your opinion or what you believe, then that is justified. But if they start making a personal attacks or make false remarks about you, then your rights have been infringed upon. With the second question, the person needs to have proof that the comment that was said against them made a substantial negative impact on their life.Officer Josephs needs to ask in what way did that person attack me, and how did I get affected by it. The person was basically stating the facts. Officer Bubbles did unreasonably arrest a person, so they were making a satire out of something that partly true, which is nothing wrong. Now if Officer Bubbles can prove that the videos did substantial damage to him, such as losing his job, then he has the right to sue. Damaging your reputation is not a valid reason to sue. He is a public police officer. Politicians have to deal with people making fun of them all the time. When you have a job that has more publicity, you're going to receive more attention. If he can show that the video maker has substatially harmed him, and if that person is making claims about him that are false, he should certainly have the right to sue. If those aren't true, he should just ignore the video and all the comments

  5. Do I think that the U.S.A as an empire is going to fall apart?Yes, as a matter of fact I do think that the United States of America as an empire is going to fall, and i have many reasons for that. The first reason is that as Ron Paul said, is that America is 130 different countries. Even though America is an extremely powerful country, I don't think that it would be possible for it to be in that many countries and still succeed as an empire. That is because since they are in so many countries, they leave themselves vulnerable for attack from Al kheida and other extremist groups of terrorists. The saying little acts of kindness makes a big difference also goes with this point, but oppositely. Little acts of terrorism also make a huge difference, and since the American forces are spread out, they are not as strong anymore. So even the a small attack on its own will make a big impact. The second reason why I think that America will collapse as an empire is because it is in huge financial debt. So going back to my first point, if they were not in debt, a terrorist attack would matter, but not as much, but since they are in debt, it makes every base they lose, or every attack a lot more worse that it really is. On the other hand, if America does pull out their forces from those 130 countries, and think smartly, I think there would be a chance for them to be a great country again like they used to be. -P.I

  6. Everyone in Canada has their own opportunity to voice their opinion and now that almost everyone is involved with a social networking program it makes it very easy. People all have their own opinion about things and they can express that, but they need to think before they speak because their are certain things they can not express with out being punished. As a user of the internet I am sure I have made a rude comment or voiced my opinion that people haven't agreed with because i have the right to say things that are appropriate about the topic, people just need to realize what is smart to say and what can end up getting yourself in trouble. I'm sure the people who commented on the Officer bubbles video did not think their comments would get them sued but people take offence to a lot of things. As long as people are respectful with their comments freedom of speech works well.

  7. We now have a charter in which defines the kind of country we wish to live that charter guaranties the right and freedoms of all peoples. First off, I think that the situation with officer bubbles has already happened with a show called South Park. Now that was in a different country but, I know that the first amendment protects the writers of South Park from not being sued. The writers say it’s a satire or a parody so it is a form of free speech. Does Canada have something similar to that? If they do officer bubbles would not win the lawsuit. The writers of the animation with officer bubbles, are not making any false statements and actions of the actual officer because it is not about him it is merely a character that simply is based of one of his actions that happened on that day. The cartoon is not based on his life. Our rights are infringed upon every day and we don’t know enough to realize it because it happens so often. -Ian S

  8. I am not personally guilty of libel or slander, but I know that there are several websites online that promote this behaviour. One very popular example would be the site called "the dirty", which is dedicated to publicly defaming individuals. It is an interactive gossip site where people submit insulting comments and embarrassing photos of people. There is an entire section dedicated to Winnipeg and many people that I know have been targeted by this site. Anyone can submit photos and comments to the website owner and they will be published online, regardless of how truthful the claims are or the wishes of the featured individual. This website has no respect for privacy and has the potential to cause serious harm to people. I feel that it should be taken down and that the website owner should be sued for defamation. I am appalled that this website is allowed to personally victimize people and turn it into a form of entertainment. This site has the potential to ruin peoples' reputations for life; what is posted on the internet can dramatically affect their futures, such as job opportunities. From this example, I can firmly surmise that there must be a limit to freedom of expression. There must be guidelines to follow, and if someone is harmed by this expression then there must be consequence. In order for our laws to work here in Canada, they must be consistent. The officer has a right to sue the animator if he feels that he has been defamed. Because he has become such a viral sensation over the social media, he may not be taken seriously as an officer and this could seriously impact his career and personal life. However, the animator was not personally attacking the officer and was merely satirizing an event that actually occurred.

  9. The cop had no right to arrest the girl. People have the right to demonstrate. Assault is the crime that physically or psychologically hurt a person ,but bubbles can't hurt a person, and the girl blew bubbles to express her wish she didn't mean any insult .so it shouldn't count as an assault. The cop arresting the girl for assault was just rediculous.James Lee

  10. In Canada we are very lucky to be given the freedom of expression. This means that we can say whatever we would like to freely, as long as it does not infringe upon other people’s rights. Unfortunately, some people do not know the line between right and wrong and say things that should not be said. For example, the website Perez Hilton used to bash celebrities, call them mean names, and spread false rumors about people. Clearly Perez Hilton infringed on other peoples rights continuously and abused his freedom of speech, even though he probably did not realize that he was harming people’s rights just like many other people across the world. What I think people in Canada need to realize is that we are extremely lucky to even have this freedom in the first place, and to take advantage of it is completely wrong. Society should also be educated on freedom of expression, so they will know the difference between right and wrong. This is because some people clearly do not know the difference between saying what you want but still knowing what should not be said.

  11. While the girl clearly cannot hurt anyone, the police officer clearly asked her to stop numerous times. She chose not to and in fact, was purposely being disrespectful and distracting the officers from doing their job. You can sense the rebellious nature of this individual and perhaps understand why people thought the officer went too far, but he conducted himself as he should’ve and she did not. Had the officer arrested her immediately that would’ve been too much. One could argue that she wasn't going to stop until she got arrested and get the attention she wanted. I think that if we asked a police chief or someone like Mayor Sam Katz, they would think that he did act in a reasonable and appropriate manner.

  12. Without a doubt, I believe that the officer was wrong to arrest the girl for blowing bubbles. Although she was asked to stop, she was observing her right to make a statement. The animator, on the other hand was not infringing on the officer's rights. He was making fun of the officer's actions, rather than the officer himself.

  13. The girl was told to stop but ignored the orders from the officer. This shows disregard for authority. We are lucky to have the freedom that we do and to take advantage of it and push the limits of our freedom is not a terrible thing to do. The police are there to help those who obey the law and punish those who don't. To disobey and officers orders (no matter how controversial they are) is a criminal offence and should be treated as such. She may have been expressing her self in a way that did not infringe on the rights of others, but by ignoring the officer, in this case, the girl got what she deserved.

  14. In Canada, we are very lucky to have rights and freedoms, but at some point we have to draw the line. The women was told multiple times to stop blowing bubble, and was even told she would be arrested if she didn't stop. I believe that the police officer did his job to the best of his ability. When we first watched it in class, I thought that the police officer over reacted, but after watching it again, I can see that he was just doing his job. Another reason for his doing this, is so that people would believe that he was serious and would do as he says.

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