CANADA Canada allows freedom of expression and the press, although there are disputes revolving around what constitutes "reasonable limits" in certain laws. Laws and practices in dispute are the following: A federal ban on publishing fresh opinion poll results in the 72 hours before a federal election. Several leading newspaper groups challenged this 1993 law in Ontario court, and the court upheld the law. The newspapers have appealed to the Court of Appeal, which will consider the case next spring. Canadian courts have the right to ban publication of trial proceedings when, in their judgment, bans are necessary to uphold proper administration of justice. This has led to increasing use of bans in recent years. Several media organizations have challenged the scope of these discretionary powers, which led last spring to an important Supreme Court of Canada ruling. The Court noted that, in Canadian history, the right to a fair trial as determined by a judge has generally superseded that of the right to a free press. The Supreme Court stated that, from now on, these rights should be given equal weight by the courts in assessing the arguments for publication bans, recognizing that the right to a free press is itself fundamental to the administration of justice. This is a distinct improvement on the status quo for freedom of the press, but still leaves the courts considerable discretion to impose publication bans. Canadian courts do not allow television coverage of most trials (with the occasional exception of the Supreme Court of Canada). Most media argue that television coverage is simply an extension of the right of the public to attend open court. This issue remains unresolved. Canadian Customs has the legal power to seize and confiscate imports of books, magazines videos, etc. that, in its opinion, offend Canada's criminal laws against obscenity or hate. Several bookstores, especially those catering to homosexuals, have had frequent confiscations. A Vancouver bookstore challenged the prior confiscation of books and magazines last fall in a British Columbia Court. Most of the general media have editorially supported this challenge. The court has not yet released its decision. Last year, Toronto police charged an artist and gallery with pornography under a new child pornography law, and confiscated the paintings at issue. A court found the paintings did not offend the law. The police then nevertheless asked the court's permission to destroy the paintings. That was denied and the paintings were returned. Many media editorials criticized the new child pornography law as unacceptably vague in its restrictions on free expression and demanded its repeal. The law remains unchanged. No journalists have been notably attacked or intimidated by public or private entities since the last report.