Freedom of Expression Denied

by | September 27, 2014

Civil Rights in Public Education (CRIPE) has shared the following press release:

Secular Ontario: Freedom of Expression Denied


OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Sept. 26, 2014) –

A private citizen in Ontario, Dr Richard Thain, a member of Secular Ontario and a supporter of Civil Rights in Public Education, placed an order with Pattison Outdoor Advertising for the creation of six different ads to run on fifty buses in Winnipeg in order to raise public awareness of a human rights issue in Ontario and Alberta. The timing of the ads was intended to coincide with the launch of the new Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg.
The ads focus on the publicly-funded Catholic school system in Ontario. They express the opinion that Ontario should establish a single publicly-funded school system with French and English boards, open to all, and abolish public funding of a separate system which gives one religious faith group preferential treatment over all other citizens.
One ad, for example, points out that the UN Human Rights Committee found Canada/Ontario guilty of religious discrimination in the way Ontario funds its two publicly-funded school systems.
Mr Randy Otto, president of Pattison Outdoor officially informed Thain’s lawyer, Dan Mayo on September 23, 2014 that they have decided not to accept the ads.
“We would point out to you that the terms and conditions of our agreement with Dr Thain, which he acknowledged and agreed to abide when he signed our media contract, gives Pattison Outdoor Advertising the sole right [to refuse] to run creative ‘which in our opinion’ violates Canadian Advertising Foundation guidelines.”
Pattison Outdoor considers ‘this matter closed.’
Otto did not identify which words or phrases Pattison Outdoor considers to be in violation of `The Canadian Ad Standards.’ Thain’s lawyer says the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards is a private-sector set of rules which must comply with the Canadian Constitution and Human Rights Act.
When Pattison Outdoor asked Dr. Thain last week to submit ads with different wording, Thain refused. He wants to maintain his right to freedom of expression on this important political and human rights issue:
“It is ironic that at the same time as the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is opening in Winnipeg, Pattison Outdoor is denying my right to free expression,” Richard Thain pointed out. “This right is enshrined in The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”
Copies of the wording for the six proposed ads are available to the media.

The following people and groups share a concern regarding the discriminatory public funding of religious schools and agree that it is time to establish a single, secular publicly-funded school system with French and English boards.

Leonard Baak: (613) 805
Renton Patterson: Civil Rights in Public Education (613) 735
Malcolm Buchanan: a past President of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) and former General Secretary of the OSSTF (289) 439 email
Luke Fevin: APUPIL (Albertan Parents for Unbiased Public Inclusive Learning) (780) 700
Patrick Morrow: Winnipeg MN Humanist Atheists Agnostics of Manitoba (HAAM) 204 612
Eric Adriaans: Toronto ON, Centre for Inquiry Canada (226) 374
Eric Thomas: Humanist Canada, President (613) 242
Contact Information
• Dr Richard Thain:
(613) 443 3762 or through his lawyer:
Dan Mayo:
(613) 836 0490
Henry Beissel:
Secular Ontario
(613) 845 0670

5 thoughts on “Freedom of Expression Denied

  1. dusttodust

    This would be the same Pattison of BC billionaire fame who runs a large grocery chain in the west. He is very religious. He won’t allow skin magazines in his stores either. Some may think that’s fine but it IS an indication of his religiosity.

    1. B. Wilks

      Jim Pattison *is* an evangelical, but not allowing “skin magazines” in his stores seems ironic, as he is also one of the largest pornography distributors in Canada ( In addition, his billboard company is the largest in Canada, making their specific refusals in several provinces now extremely problematic to free speech nation-wide. For example, he refuses pro-choice advertising in New Brunswick, a province where abortion rights are under the greatest restrictions, yet runs ads for the anti-choicers featuring giant graphic photos of late-term abortions, misleading the public about their rarity (late-term abortions generally being only performed to provide life-saving measures to the mother, for eg.). He permitted “Life Canada” 38 billboards across the country repeating the false link between abortion and breast cancer. ( This matter is deserving of more attention and, even better, should be tested in the courts. I hope we can do more campaigning around his monopoly on billboard ads and what he is using it for.

  2. Pierre Savoie

    Dinosaurs like Pattinson will make it hard for Canada to achieve its all-Atheist demographic within 50 years, as predicted by the BBC. It is the great freedom of Western Civilization that children don’t have to follow the religion of their parents, and religion is considered so unimportant here it is not listed on our national identity cards.

  3. Ultra

    According to the SJWs, only the government can deny freedom of speech, so this would be perfectly acceptable activism on the part of the company.

  4. Malcolm Buchanan

    The information regarding Pattison Outdoor Advertising [POA] should be widly spread via social media. Hopefully we can tie them in with the Federal Conservative Party. Must expose the anti-choice and pro-consevarive religious movement to the Harper Government.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.