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Alan Borovoy, General Counsel Emeritus (Canadian Civil Liberties Association), receives the 2011 Award for the Advancement of Intellectual Freedom in Canada

For Immediate Release

(Ottawa, April 18, 2011) - The Canadian Library Association / Association canadienne des bibliothèques is honoured to announce that Alan Borovoy is the recipient of the 2011 Award for the Advancement of Intellectual Freedom in Canada for his unwavering dedication to social justice and freedom of expression in Canada.

Throughout a remarkable career as one of the undisputed leaders in the civil rights movement in Canada, Mr Borovoy has been a tireless advocate for freedom of expression, along with its corollaries freedom of the press and freedom of association; and equally activist for equality and procedural fairness. June Callwood, a recipient in 2006 of the same Award, dubbed him "Mr. Civil Liberties."

Mr Borovy has been at one with the Canadian library community, whose core values include a strong commitment to intellectual freedom, a freedom under continual challenge and frequently unpopular to defend Mr Borovoy's voice has always been there with the Canadian library community's to combat both censorship and episodic public apathy enabling it, and he has referred to Canada's librarians as "the Clark Kents of political action." In 1987-1988, he was a leader in the opposition to Bill C-54, new obscenity legislation that would have drastically curtailed the ability of Canadian libraries to distribute materials. His legacy in public policy advocacy will continue to inspire librarians and library workers for generations to come.

Mr Borovoy was recruited by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) as General Counsel in 1968, a position he held for 41 years until his retirement in June 2009. CCLA has named him General Counsel Emeritus. Prior to joining the CCLA, he had already distinguished himself with other human rights and civil liberties causes and organizations, including activism on behalf of the residents of Africville in 1961 that lead to the formation of the Halifax Advisory Committee on Human Rights, and a protest march against Aboriginal discrimination and poor government services in Kenora in the later 60s.

Mr Borovoy, one of Canada's premiere public intellectuals, has been a newspaper columnist, appeared on public affairs programs, open-line television and radio programs, given countless lectures and public addresses, has published four books, including one nominated for the 1988 Governor General's Awards, and been a visiting professor at the faculties of law at Dalhousie University and the University of Windsor, and a part-time lecturer at the University of Toronto Faculty of Social Work and York University's political science department.

Mr Borovoy has received five honourary doctorates, the Law Society Medal from the Law Society of Upper Canada in 1989, an Award of Merit from the City of Toronto in 1982, and was inscribed in the Honour Roll of the aboriginal people of Treaty Number 3 in 1991. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1982. He received his LL.B. from the University of Toronto in 1956 and was admitted to the Ontario Bar in 1958. He was awarded the 2010 "Freedom to Read Award" by the Writers' Union of Canada.

Mr Borovoy is a compelling and magnetic speaker: informed, articulate, and passionate. And as one of the most recognizable civil libertarians in Canada, he also knows the value of maintaining a sense of humour while trying to change the world; otherwise, he has said, "you'll go off your rocker." He once described the strategy of the CCLA as "to raise hell without breaking the law." Of attacks from both left and right in his defence of free speech as absolute, he wryly observed, "If you live long enough, you have the opportunity to experience (criticism) every which way."

The 2011 Award for the Advancement of Intellectual Freedom in Canada will be presented at the CLA Closing Ceremonies, to be held Saturday, May 28th during the CLA 2011 National Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The Canadian Library Association's Award for the Advancement of Intellectual Freedom in Canada recognizes and honours outstanding contributions to intellectual freedom in Canada by individuals or groups. Preference is given to librarians and library institutions. However like-minded individuals such as teachers or authors or groups such as schools or publishers are also eligible. The award is given from time-to-time, not necessarily on an annual basis, and there may be more than one recipient in any one year. The previous recipients of this prestigious award may be viewed at: http://www.cla.ca/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Award_for_the_Advancement_of_Intellectual_Freedom_in_Canada&Template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=2442

The Canadian Library Association / Association canadienne des bibliothèques is Canada's largest national and broad-based library association, representing the interests of public, academic, school and special libraries, professional librarians and library workers, and all those concerned about enhancing the quality of life of Canadians through information and literacy.

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Media Contact: Alvin M Schrader, PhD, Chair of the Advancement of Intellectual Freedom in Canada Nominations Committee
alvin.schrader@ualberta.ca
Telephone: (780) 492-5372


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