This column, by me, first appeared in the Toronto Star. [caption id="attachment_17623" align="alignright" width="300"] [Andrew Vaughan photo/The Canadian press][/caption]The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms took a wee hit last week when a Nova Scotia Supreme Court justice told a retired Dartmouth resident that he has no right to put his surname on a vanity licence plate. Thirty years ago, Lorne Grabher bought a plate that reads “GRABHER” as a gift for his father, whose Austro-German family immigrated to Canada in the early 20th century. After the elder Grabher’s death, his son took the plate and used it until 2017, when a...

An Ontario Divisional Court ruling has thrown the The Coast's craven cave-in to an HRM Fire Service lawsuit into sharp relief—along with an imprudent ruling by Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Heather Robertson. The Chief and Deputy Chief of the fire service asked Robertson to order The Coast to release identifying information about individuals who posted anonymous comments about alleged racism in the fire service on the newspaper's website. The officers said the comments, since removed, defamed them, and they needed the identities of the authors to pursue a suit for defamation. Having lured readers into posting anonymously, the Coast tossed them...