Journalists rely on their ability to protect a source’s identity when that person asks for anonymity in return for speaking about sensitive issues. However, few countries have absolute “shield laws” protecting a journalist’s right not to reveal a source’s identity. In Canada, the protection of sources is argued on a case-by-case basis, and they are often protected based on public interest arguments. However, many whistleblowers face dismissal if outed. They also may have to endure lengthy legal battles and vilification for coming forward and speaking up in the public interest. Canada has a dismal history of protecting whistleblowers (other than some cases where the media is seeking to protect their identity). Little appears to have changed despite the passing in 2007 of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act and the creation of the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner.
TORONTO (January 16, 2013) Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) is watching with great interest the case brought before Federal court by Department of Justice lawyer Edgar Schmidt. Schmidt’s position appears to be that the Canadian Justice Department has not carried out its duties in reporting to Parliament areas of new legislation, which are not in compliance with the Canadian Charter of Rights. Read more
Newest CJFE Award highlights need to protect those who speak out in the public interest; three former federal scientists honoured
TORONTO, ON (November 16, 2011) – Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) honours Dr. Shiv Chopra, Dr. Margaret Haydon and Dr. Gérard Lambert with its new Integrity Award at the 14th annual CJFE Gala: A Night to Honour Courageous Reporting. The values of the award are reflected in the commitment shown by these Canadian scientists when they informed the Canadian public about specific health dangers inherent in food production in the face of great pressure to remain silent. Read more
Voting for free expression – Week Four – Ask your local candidates about Canada’s whistleblower protections
Ahead of Canada’s May 2 federal election, CJFE encourages you to ask your local candidates about their stance on critical free expression issues. Each week CJFE will post questions which you can e-mail, call or write to your candidates. We’d love to know what they say, and what your thoughts are too. Read more
CJFE hopes for a speedy and positive decision in Ken Peters' appeal case, heard yesterday (January 22, 2008) in Toronto. CJFE is one of several interveners in the appeal of the contempt citation filed against Hamilton Spectator journalist Ken Peters on December 1, 2004, when he refused to reveal his source. Read more
Yet another journalist has been hit with a legal demand to turn over his mouldering research notes, and Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) wants to know when the parade of subpoenas will stop. In a subpoena served on Friday, Feb. 21, a defence lawyer demanded that Toronto-based freelancer Lon Appleby produce 11-year-old notes used to prepare an article published in Toronto Life magazine in 1998. Read more
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