One-day conference, "Flying Blind," to highlight Canada’s dwindling right to know

“Flying Blind” will foster discussion on the challenges of accessing information in Canada, and what we can do about them

TORONTO, ON – Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) and Ryerson University’s Centre for Free Expression are co-hosting an event to address the growing threats to Canadians’ right to know. An informed public is critical to a functioning democracy, but in Canada the public’s right to information is threatened. The Canadian government is preventing the gathering of vital information through cuts to science and its elimination of important statistical surveys. The failure to keep records of the processes used to make important decisions makes it difficult for Canadians to hold the government accountable. Extensive delays, redactions, and exemptions are rendering our access to information system ineffective.

“Flying Blind” is a one-day conference that will engage participants in conversation on the current challenges to creating, accessing, and sharing information in Canada, while working to create a path forward. Featuring experts working with the system and advocating for change, the day will provide insights into what needs to be done to foster a truly informed public, essential to the future of a democratic Canada.


  • Dean Beeby, CBC journalist
  • Ivan Semaniuk, Science Reporter, The Globe and Mail
  • James L. Turk, Director, Centre for Free Expression, Ryerson University
  • Jennifer Ditchburn, Senior Parliamentary Correspondent, Canadian Press
  • Jesse Brown, Freelance journalist and media critic
  • Laura Tribe, National and Digital Programs Lead, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression
  • Maggie Xenopoulos, Associate Professor of Biology, Trent University
  • Munir Sheikh, former Chief Statistician of Canada and currently Executive Fellow, University of Calgary
  • Peter Jacobsen, Media lawyer and founding partner, Bersenas Jacobsen Chouest Thomson Blackburn LLP
  • Rob Cribb, Investigative Journalist, Toronto Star
  • Suzanne Legault, Information Commissioner of Canada
  • Tom Henheffer, Executive Director, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression

”We’ve too often taken our right to know for granted, and it’s quickly slipping away,” says CJFE Executive Director Tom Henheffer. “But Canadians are starting to wake up and demand transparency and openness from the government. With an election looming, this is the perfect time to have that conversation and find some real solutions.”

Event details:

Flying Blind: The right to know, government obstruction, and fixing access in Canada

When: Friday, May 8, 2015

Where: RCC204, Rogers Communications Centre, Ryerson University, 80 Gould Street, Toronto

Tickets and more event details:

The event is being co-sponsored by the Ryerson Journalism Research Centre.

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (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.

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