The government intends to protect journalists and their sources

News 14 December, 2017
  • Archival Photo Simon Clark
    The minister of public Safety, Martin Coiteux

    Kathryne Lamontagne

    On Thursday 14 December 2017 13:13

    Thursday, December 14, 2017 17:50

    Look at this article

    The government Couillard says he is prepared to legislate to protect journalists and their sources and to ensure the independence of the police in relation to the elect.

    • READ ALSO : Journalists being spied on: police officers have lacked knowledge and precautions, the report concludes Chamberland

    “It is a legislative work that is important, of course, on which we are going to start working from the beginning of the year 2018”, has supported the prime minister, Philippe Couillard, in the margins of another event in Quebec city.

    Earlier, the ministers of public Safety and the Justice are committed to respond to the two recommendations, the highlights of the report of the commission Chamberland.

    “The teams will assess how we can respond to it,” assured the minister, Stéphanie Vallée. “The courts have recognized that protection of journalistic sources, now it is necessary to ensure that this protection recognized by the supreme Court can be implemented”, she added.

    More independence

    Even the sound of a bell at the side of his colleague Martin Coiteux, who, in a desire for “transparency” and “public confidence”, considers it “necessary” to better supervise the links between the elected representatives and the police. “We want the independence of investigations. If we can further strengthen this independence, why not?”

    An appointment process is “strictly independent” of the police directors, by a committee of selection that could help to create this gap, he illustrated. “This is really what we are going to floor”, has served the minister of public Safety, which has inspired the present process of appointment of the director of criminal and penal prosecutions.

    Legislative changes

    Legislative changes need to be made, but no deadline has been set for reaching this end.

    “We are going to introduce the bill, if one is able to do so, as quickly as possible,” said Philippe Couillard.

    If a law on the protection of journalistic sources is not yet a thing made in Québec, the House of commons passed a law in October that allows journalists, in certain circumstances, not to disclose any information or document that could identify a source.

    The Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec will monitor closely the implementation of the recommendations by the government.

    “I still remember the Charbonneau Commission, where we had said that we would adopt all of the recommendations, and there are still those who have not been adopted,” explained the president, Stéphane Giroux.

    The member of the CAQ, Simon Jolin-Barrette, calls on the government to “investigate promptly the recommendations of the commission” in order to “restore the confidence of Quebecers towards its institutions”.

    For its part, the Parti québécois, said he is “open to collaborating” in order to improve the protection of journalistic sources.

    – With the collaboration of Pascal Dugas Bourdon, the QMI Agency, and Hugo Duchaine