CJFE to Publish First Annual Freedom of Expression Report

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) will publish its first annual report on the state of free expression in Canada on May 3, World Press Freedom Day.

This has been a noteworthy year for free expression issues in Canada, for better or worse. From the groundbreaking decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada to the vigorous stonewalling of the federal government on access to information, more significant issues have arisen in the past year than in many other years, perhaps decades.

CJFE’s annual Free Expression Report will provide Canadians with a frank assessment of the health of free expression in Canada. The report will discuss the new legal defence for defamation, analyze why human rights commissions should not be trying to regulate offensive speech and CJFE will grade government departments from A to – unfortunately – F.

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.

Olympics Watch – violations of freedom of expression during the games.

Canadians Abroad – examining the cases of Canadian journalists attacked or detained abroad, including Maziar Bahari and Amanda Lindhout.

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.