Canadian Charter jurisprudence has emphasized the significance of the right to freedom of expression. The magnitude of the right was described by Cory J. in Edmonton Journal v. Alberta (Attorney General), 1989 CanLII 20 (SCC),  2 S.C.R. 1326: 3 It is difficult to imagine a guaranteed right more important to a democratic society than freedom of expression. Indeed a democracy cannot exist without that freedom to express new ideas and to put forward opinions about the functioning of public institutions. The concept of free and uninhibited speech permeates all truly democratic societies and institutions. The vital importance of the concept cannot be over‑emphasized. No doubt that was the reason why the framers of the Charter set forth s. 2(b) in absolute terms which distinguishes it, for example, from s. 8 of the Charter which guarantees the qualified right to be secure from unreasonable search. It seems that the rights enshrined in s. 2(b) should therefore only be restricted in the clearest of circumstances.
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