Thursday, May 21, 2009Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) welcomes the Supreme Court decision today to consider whether Globe and Mail reporter Daniel Leblanc must reveal the confidential source that led him to the sponsorship scandal. Leblanc's work on the $100-million federal sponsorship scandal was a pivotal piece of journalism that changed the course of Canadian history. The series was based on information provided by a source Leblanc has only referred to by the code name Ma Chouette. One of the companies that allegedly overbilled the government is seeking Ma Chouette's identity as part of its defense in a multi-million dollar lawsuit. The Globe and Mail argues that forcing Leblanc to reveal this source would violate freedom of expression guarantees in the Charter of Rights. The Leblanc case goes to the heart of journalism's role in a democracy. "This is a perfect example of why journalists must sometimes rely on anonymous sources to further the wellbeing of society," said CJFE Board member and journalist Kelly Toughill. "We are very pleased that the Supreme Court will consider Leblanc's appeal." The Leblanc case is set to be heard on October 21, 2009. In advance, CJFE hopes that its intervention as part of a media coalition in tomorrow's hearing on a similar case - The National Post, Matthew Fraser & Andrew McIntosh v. The Queen, will provide a successful precedent. Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) is an association of more than 300 journalists, editors, publishers, producers, students and others who work to promote and defend free expression and press freedom in Canada and abroad.
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