Annual Report re: Policy 8 – Freedom of Speech - 2021

2021 Annual Report re: implementation of free speech policy at the University of Waterloo

Section A: Institutional Policy

Has your institution amended its free speech policy (or policy framework) since the time of your 2020 report? If so, please explain the reason for the change and provide the link to its location on your institutional website.

No changes have been made to the policy since the 2020 report.

Where are members of the institutional community (or guests) directed when there is a free speech related question or complaint about an event on campus? Please provide contact information.

The responsible University officer for Policy 8 – Freedom of Speech, is the President and Vice-Chancellor. In addition, the Waterloo community is aware of and frequently engages with the University’s Secretariat on policy interpretation.

The president may be reached at or through contact information at this page:

The Secretariat may be reached at: or through contact information at this page:

What is your institution’s policy on holding events where there are security concerns? To your knowledge, were there any instances where a non-curricular event did not proceed due to security concerns or their related costs?

When the University hosts events or speakers which require security, it assumes such costs; when an external party uses University space for an event that requires security, that party is responsible for those costs.

To the University’s knowledge, there have been no instances of any event, curricular or otherwise, that did not proceed as a result of costs or safety concerns associated with the event.

Section B: Complaints

Between August 1, 2020 and July 31, 2021, did any member of the institutional community (or guests) make an official complaint about free speech on campus? If yes, please describe.

No official complaints were received.

If there has been an official complaint (or more than one):

What were the issues under consideration? Please identify any points of contention (e.g., security costs, safety, student unions and/or groups, operational requirements, etc.).


How did the institution manage the free speech complaint(s)? Was the complaint addressed using the procedures set out in the policy? How were issues resolved?


Section C: Summary Data

Please provide the following summary data for free-speech-related official complaints received by the institution:

Number of official complaints received under the free speech policy relating to curricular and non-curricular events: 0
Number of official complaints reviewed that were dismissed: 0
Number of official complaints where the institution determined that the free speech policy was not followed appropriately: 0
Number of official complaints under the free speech policy that resulted in the institution applying disciplinary or other institutional measures: 0
To your knowledge, were any free speech complaints forwarded to the Ontario Ombudsman? No

To the best of your ability, please provide an estimate of the number of non-curricular events held at the institution between August 1, 2020 and July 31, 2021. Non-curricular events include, for example, invited speakers, sporting events, rallies, conferences, etc., as opposed to regular events held as part of an academic program or course.

The University estimates that it held approximately 175 non-curricular events during this time.