Dear CJFE members and supporters,
The new year began on a tragic note for the free expression community, as the January 7 attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris gave us all a chilling reminder of what can be at risk when exercising our right to free expression. Although this shocking incident may feel like an anomaly, journalists around the world continue to live under threat. Over 100 journalists and media workers were killed for their work in 2014. We must not forget those who have lost their lives for their work, or take our right to free expression for granted.
CJFE has joined 10 other organizations to give the federal government a clear message: It’s time to bring back the long-form census. A critical bill to do just that, C-626, is up for debate this Thursday and we need you to help us push the government for its passage. Please tweet to @pmharper, @edHolder_MP and @JamesMoore_org using #ItMakesCensus and tell them why you want the long-form census restored. You can also send a letter to your MP and federal party leaders using a simple tool provided by Evidence 4 Democracy.
For more details, please read our joint statement. The loss of information that was once collected through the long-form census represents a blow to free expression, hampering the ability of Canadians and businesses to make informed decisions. Thank you for your help spreading the word, and we invite you to take a look at the other work CJFE has accomplished this month.
What have been working on in January:
- #FreeAJStaff: On January 1, Al Jazeera English journalists Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed were granted a retrial for terrorism charges. Requests for bail were denied, but we remain hopeful that Fahmy may soon be returning to Canada.
- Forsaken Syrian journalists: Without support from media organizations, front-line Syrian freelancers face kidnapping, death, and a paltry amount of cash for their important work.
- International threats to free expression: CJFE has been urging Bahrain to drop all charges against human rights defender Nabeel Rajab, and Turkey to stop repeated raids on opposition media outlets.
- Your right to know: Canadian Press journalist Jim Bronskill sat down with CJFE for a Q&A about his new book on Canada’s Access to Information system.
- The facts on Ontario's Bill 52: What the proposed anti-SLAPP legislation really means for free expression in the province.
What’s coming up:
- February 20: Deadline to apply for the 2015-2016 Scotiabank/CJFE Journalism Fellowship at Massey College.
- February 24: CJFE executive director Tom Henheffer is giving a talk about the many ways Canada’s government is stifling free expression.
- Freedom to Read Week: February 22-28 marks the annual celebration of our freedom to read in Canada. Check back for updates on events and activities across the country.
- CJFE’s membership drive will be launching soon, with some steep discounts and great perks. Stay tuned for details!
- Looking to get more involved with CJFE? Here are four great ways that you can contribute to the organization. CJFE is doing important work, and we couldn’t do it without you! Thank you for your continued support.