Freedom of the Press

The Issue

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.

Our Work

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.

Resources

News

City of North Bay named recipient of municipal 2020 Code of Silence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Government Secrecy

The City of North Bay, Ont., has been named as the recipient of the 2020 Code of Silence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Government Secrecy in the municipal category. 

February 23, 2021

News

Quebec Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks wins the provincial 2020 Code of Silence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Government Secrecy

Quebec's Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks has been named as the recipient of the 2020 Code of Silence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Government Secrecy in the provincial category. 

February 16, 2021

News

Federal Cabinet wins the federal 2020 Code of Silence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Government Secrecy. Dishonourable mentions go to Treasury Board and to National Defence

The Federal Cabinet is the 2020 recipient of the Code of Silence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Government Secrecy in the federal category.

February 9, 2021

News

Ivor Shapiro joins CFE as a senior fellow

Respected journalist and educator, Ivor Shapiro has joined Ryerson’s Centre for Free Expression (CFE) as a senior fellow. Shapiro is a forme

September 22, 2020

News

The Trudeau government and Correctional Services Canada need to withdraw rules that stifle reporting on federal prisons, CFE and other press freedom organizations demand

The Centre for Free Expression joined four other press freedom organizations in calling on the federal government to permit  the media to provide the public with an accurate and timely depiction of

April 16, 2020