The quest for balance between rights and freedoms is largely arbitrated by democratically-elected governments and their appointed courts. Sometimes freedom prevails, and sometimes it is compromised to protect rights. In the last year, the current government in Ottawa has legislated new rights for transgendered persons in human rights and criminal law which infringe on free speech by compelling the use of gender neutral pronouns. The government has also compelled faith groups and others seeking public funding for summer jobs to declare support for reproductive and gender rights, in a clear affront to freedom of religion. And the government is hinting it will soon move to prosecute “hate speech” again in human rights law, which has a sorry record of subordinating freedoms. Lee Harding reports on the growing imbalance.