Is Toronto Symphony Orchestra preventing freedom of speech?

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Cara Zwibel, director of the fundamental freedoms program for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, says Lisitsa’s views have no impact on her ability to do her job.

“It's hard to see the connection between what she said and what the duties of her job are and how it would affect it," she said.

"If the idea is just that the orchestra wants to avoid controversy, I don't find that a particularly compelling reason. The fact that maybe there would be some people protesting is, again, not a reason to let her go," she added.

Zwibel also voiced concerns over what this means for the relationship between employers and artists.

"I think there is a problem with the message that this sends to artists that they may have trouble getting jobs or keeping jobs if they express views that are unpopular or controversial," she said.

CEO Melanson has since defended his controversial decision and said; “As one of Canada's most important cultural institutions, our priority must remain on being a stage for the world's great works of music, and not for opinions that some believe to be deeply offensive.”

Do you think TSO has the right to cancel Lisitsa’s performances because of her political insensitivity? Share your thoughts below.  

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