Freedom of the Press
While freedom of the press is protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, it is in serious jeopardy. The business model that has sustained the media is failing – resulting in a significant loss of professional journalists and a serious decline in the media’s capacity to do the investigative reporting that is critical for public knowledge and government and corporate accountability. The work of the media in Canada is also imperilled by weak access-to-information laws, court publication bans, vexatious defamation claims, and the chilling effects of mass surveillance.
Why It Matters
Democracy depends on an independent, uncensored, diverse, professional media to inform the public, to ask difficult questions, and to foster transparency and accountability in those who wield power.
The Centre for Free Expression promotes public discussion of the importance of freedom of the press, challenges facing the institutional media, and the opportunities and limitations of social media as an alternative. It works in collaboration with journalists, media organizations and public interest groups to evaluate models for the sustainability of independent, adequately financed, investigative journalism, to press for better access-to-information legislation, to limit publication bans and to strengthen protections for free expression.
October 2, 2019 - Justin Brake — the journalist who was charged with civil and criminal offences after he reported an Innu and Inuit protest at the construction site of a hydroelectric dam in Labrador in October 2016 — has filed a Charter challenge in court.
October 2, 2019 - On September 27, 2019, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on the dispute between Marie-Maude Denis, a journalist in Quebec, and Marc-Yvan Coté, a former Quebec cabinet minister who faces criminal charges.
By Jon Thompson
Professor Emeritus in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of New Brunswick
July 11, 2019
The Centre for Free Expression is pleased to announce the newest addition to its Occasional Paper Series, “Populism and Free Speech” by Jon Thompson. The paper explores the contradictory history of populism -- at times a force for social justice and at other times to undermine democratic rights of marginalized groups. Thompson argues that progressive populist action is required to successfully deal with the existential challenges of nuclear war, climate change and chemical pollution.
You will likely have seen quite a few opinion pieces lately about what’s being called variously the “Canadian” media bailout, the “government” media bailout and the “Liberal” media bailout.
By John Degen
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