2013 Annual General Meeting and “Canadian Science in Crisis”

Friday, June 7, 2013
TORONTO, June 7, 2013 - Yesterday, members of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) filled the NOW Lounge in Toronto for CJFE’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). At the meeting, presided over by CJFE President Arnold Amber, the organization welcomed new Board member Nadine Touma, an experienced trilingual Montreal criminal lawyer with Poupart, Dadour, Touma & Associates. As an active member of CJFE’s Canadian Issues Committee, she has been instrumental in providing insight on freedom expression issues in Quebec and brings to the Board her expertise in criminal law. In addition to Ms Touma, seven current board members successfully ran for re-election: Arnold Amber (President), Bob Carty, Havoc Franklin, Peter Jacobsen, Alice Klein, Anita Mielewczyk, and Philip Tunley. CJFE welcomes all of the elected Board members, who bring a variety of skills and areas of expertise to the organization. Arnold Amber was re-elected as President and made a compelling speech about the work of CJFE, during which he honoured Board member Mary Deanne Shears, having stepped down from her position on the Board, for her admirable work and commitment to Canadian issues in freedom of expression. In a moving presentation, CJFE Executive Director Annie Game called for a minute of silence to honor the 38 journalists who have been killed in the course of their work since January 2013. She also spoke about imprisoned Bahraini human rights defender Nabeel Rajab, President of the IFEX member organization the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. Although his communications have been limited, Rajab has expressed his gratitude for the support of international organizations like CJFE fighting for free expression so that “those detained for their human rights work are not alone in the battle for gaining freedom.” The AGM was followed by a timely and engaging discussion, Canadian Science in Crisis: Research, Responsibility and the Right to Speak, featuring renowned Canadian climatologist Dr. Gordon McBean in conversation with Anna Maria Tremonti, host of CBC's The Current. Dr. McBean highlighted the problems of having entered an age of “photo opportunity science,” and stressed the need to pursue fundamental science rather than one directed at commercial interests. Dr. McBean also emphasized that one of the dangerous side effects of muzzling government scientists is a culture of self-censorship. About CJFE CJFE monitors, defends and reports on free expression and access to information in Canada and abroad. Rooted in the field of journalism, we promote a free media as essential to a fair and open society. CJFE boldly champions the free expression rights of all people, and encourages and supports individuals and groups in the protection of their own and others’ free expression rights. www.cjfe.org -30- For more information, please contact: Laura Tribe, CJFE: 416-515-9622 x 232, [email protected]

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