Despite some improvements, concerns remain
Prime Minister Trudeau has strongly advocated for a “free media” but his first two years in office have been an overall disappointment. While Canada guarantees freedom of the press under its 1982 constitution, circumstances faced by journalists indicate otherwise, despite recent concrete steps to address them. A Commission of Inquiry was set up to investigate Quebec police surveillance of multiple journalists, and a federal press “shield law” was adopted to protect the confidentiality of journalists’ sources. But a VICE News reporter is still fighting a court order compelling him to hand over communications with his source to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, while another journalist for The Independent is facing criminal and civil charges for his coverage of protests against a hydroelectric project in Labrador. A draft reform project for controversial Bill C-51 uses national security as an excuse to chill the free flow of information online, while the recent closure of more than forty independent newspapers risks seriously compromising media pluralism in the country.
22 in 2017
16.53 in 2017