Book seizures challenged

Year Published:  1990  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX4083

Abstract:  The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association is challenging Canada Customs' practice of banning or detaining books and magazines at the border. The association is seeking to have the seizures and delays stopped as contrary to the freedom of expression provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. According to association president John Dixon, "hundreds and hundreds of books and magazines are stopped at the border.... What's appalling is the number of absolutely inoffensive materials." Owners of gay bookstores say that they are routinely singled out by customs officials. The Glad Day bookstore in Toronto has launched two lawsuits of its own: one to claim damages for business lost in delays in receiving materials due to lengthy decision-making by Customs, the other to challenge Canada Custom's right to ban several books. In one recent seizure, a book by Canadian writer Jane Rule, destined for Glad Day, was held at the border although it had been sold in Canadian bookstores for 13 years.
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