Quebecor withdrawal from press council a ‘crisis’

The head of Quebec’s Press Council says Quebecor’s decision to depart
from the voluntary organization threatens its future, CBC reports.

The independent organization reviews complaints about journalism from members of the public. It’s headed by former Quebec Superior Court justice John Gomery.

In a letter to the council Quebecor blamed its withdrawal on dissatisfaction with recent rulings involving its newspaper. Gomery says that’s not a reason to leave: “You know, discipline isn’t always agreeable.”

CBC reports:

“Quebecor’s decision, announced last week, is a blow to the freedom of expression, Gomery told a news conference in Montreal on Tuesday.

“The departure of the media conglomerate, which produces 40 per cent of the news content in the province, means a loss of moral authority for the council, he said.

“The move could cause the government to step in and legislate, a prospect that raises some fundamental questions, said Gomery.

“The constitution of Canada treats freedom of the press in a very special way and for a very good reason, because it’s one of the bedrocks of our freedoms,” he said.

“A self-regulating body such as the press council plays a pivotal role in protecting that freedom, said Gomery.

” “I don’t want to use too dramatic language, but I think that this is a very serious crisis for the free flow of information in this province.” “