The Sunday Magazine

Alan Borovoy

The happy warrior for free speech and civil liberties died this week at the age of 83. We revisit Michael's 2009 interview with Alan Borovoy on the occasion of his retirement as general counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, a position he held for over 40 years.
The late Alan Borovoy, longtime leader of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. (Credit: Canadian Civil Liberties Association)

This week, Canada lost a warrior in the fight for civil liberties and free speech. Alan Borovoy, General Counsel of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association for over 40 years, died at the age of 83.

Alan Borovoy was known for his passionate advocacy of the causes he adopted - he opposed capital punishment, religious education in the public schools, and the War Measures Act. He fought for free speech - even when he profoundly disagreed with what was being said, by people such as the neo-Nazi Ernst Zundel and the anti-Semitic schoolteacher, Jim Keegstra. Borovoy was, by the way, Jewish. He could sometimes be abrasive. And he was in many ways mule stubborn, when firmly anchored in the rightness of his convictions. At the same time, he knew how and when to compromise. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1982.

In 2009, Alan Borovoy retired from over 40 years as general counsel of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. To mark the occasion we invited him to be a guest on The Sunday Edition. You can hear that interview in full here.

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