CJFE's 2012/2013 Review of Free Expression in Canada

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The only publication of its kind, the Review looks at the most pressing issues of free expression in the past year, analyzes the results of major court cases and examines trends, breakthroughs and obstacles.

This year's Review highlights a serious issue in Canada: a cult of secrecy

From the silencing of scientists to police posing as journalists to the surveillance of aboriginal activists, this pervasive issue threatens citizens’ right to free expression and undermines democratic society.

“We have been concerned for some time about the growing stranglehold on information available to Canadians,” says CJFE President Arnold Amber. “But when we took a look at our publication as a whole, there are so many manifestations of information control that we could see it isn’t simply a problem with our flawed and failing Access to Information Act. It is systemic. Its roots burrow across government departments and across Canada. It is a sickness debilitating our democracy.”

Experts in media law and free expression explore the cult of secrecy in the Review’s articles and signature Report Card on Free Expression in Canada. This year’s grades span the spectrum from head of the class to flunking out. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is at the bottom with a grade of “F,” singled out for its zeal in muzzling scientists and keeping critical research findings from Canadians.

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