Journalists' group puts Supreme Court at top of class
Harper government fails on access to information
(CJFE/IFEX) - Toronto, May 3, 2010 - Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) is releasing the first ever report card on free speech in Canada. The 2009 Free Expression Review is being released on May 3, celebrated globally as World Press Freedom Day.
CJFE believes that the need to defend and protect free expression starts at home. "We can't be a credible advocate for free expression elsewhere in the world unless we also engage in this work in our own country," says journalist and CJFE Board member Bob Carty. "We all benefit from transparency and openness, and the right to shine light into dark places. It is incumbent on all of us to remain vigilant and vocal on free expression."
"Although Canada traditionally ranks among the top twenty nations of the world on free expression rights there is certainly room for improvement," says Annie Game, CJFE's Executive Director. "Canada can play an important leadership role globally by improving our own free expression laws and practices!"
Highlights of the Report Card:
Defamation and the Supreme Court of Canada: A
Access to Information and the federal government: F
Hate speech and the Canadian Human Rights Commission: B
Other highlights of the report include:
• Free Expression on Trial - a review of the legal cases before the Supreme Court (eight in 2009), and various appeal courts and human rights tribunals, on issues of defamation, publication bans and hate speech; an exclusive by journalist and author Terry Gould
• Information on a (short) leash - an analysis of the crisis in our Access to Information system by Terry Gould and journalist Bob Carty
• Will Free Speech Get Caught in the Web - a column by Paul Knox, Chair of the Ryerson School of Journalism
• Undermining Trust: police impersonating journalists by Kelly Toughill of Kings College School of Journalism
The project was launched with the support of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.
Read the 2009 Free Expression Review:
review2009.pdf (8680 KB)