CANADA Report to the Midyear Meeting Caracas, Venezuela March 28 - 30, 2008 Freedom of the press was affected in recent months by attempts from courts to have journalists reveal their sources and the imposition of a news blackout. In a January 18 ruling a Montreal federal court ordered two journalists working for the French-language newspaper La Presse to identify the source of the leak of a classified document of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) that accused a Moroccan citizen, Adil Charkaoui, of being linked to terrorism. The court made the order at Charkaoui’s request. He had been arrested in May 2003 on suspicion of jeopardizing Canada’s security by being an alleged “Al-Queda sleeping agent” and a court ordered his conditional release in 2005. He said he was never notified of the classified information that had led to his arrest. The journalists, Joel-Denis Bellavance and Gilles Toupin, had reported the contents of the leaked document in La Presse, a Montreal daily, on June 22, 2007 and the report was later carried in Le Droit, a French-language newspaper in Ottawa. There were two other cases of journalists hit by legal demands to disclose background information. Toronto-based freelancer Lon Appleby was served a subpoena on February 21 by a lawyer representing a man facing a murder charge. The demand was that Appleby produce 11-year-old notes he had used to write an article published in Toronto Life magazine in 1998 titled “Anatomy of a Murder.” He was reluctant to do so and reached a compromise with the lawyer in which he agreed to review his notes outside of court and answer basic questions to confirm the accuracy of what he had written, the organization Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) reported. In a separate development, A Toronto court on January 22 heard an appeal by Hamilton Spectator journalist Ken Peters against a citation for contempt filed against him on December 1, 2004 for refusing to reveal his source for a story on problems at a Hamilton nursing him. On March 4 and 5 the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CTV television, the Toronto Star and The Associated Press lodged an appeal against a court-ordered news blackout in a case of alleged terrorism. The gag order by a Toronto judge concerned the ongoing bail hearings of 17 people arrested in 2006 on suspicion of taking part in a terrorism plot. At issue is the ruling that journalists can attend the bail hearings but are banned from reporting what it discussed there and in this case are not allowed to explain why five of the arrested suspects were released while awaiting trial. News organizations have countered that the media have an obligation to the public to report on the case. A Toronto-based journalist originally from Zimbabwe, Innocent Madawo, reported in January he had received telephoned threats after writing an article on the political situation in Zimbabwe in the run-up to March elections. The piece was posted on the Web site of the London-based Zimbabwean independent radio station SWRadio. Madawo also writes for a number of Canadian newspapers and is publisher of The Southern site. On March 4 PEN Canada sent a letter to the chairman of Canada’s Senate Committee on Bank, Trade and Commerce, Sen. W. David Angus, asking him to act to remove provisions of a legislative bill seeking to subject film and television productions to what the organization called “censorious and redundant assessment.” PEN Canada said the bill was an attempt by government to restrict freedom of expression and its members, particularly journalists and author, feared that if it went ahead “there would be the inevitable attempt to expand it beyond film to other works of art or publication.” In November a school board in Ontario ordered a book removed from library shelves on a basis of a single complaint. “The Golden Compass,” written by Philip Pullman, was withdrawn from local libraries following a complaint from an individual who objected to the fact that the author is a state atheist. A single complaint had also led last year to the removal from school libraries of another book, the novel “Snow Falling on Cedars” by David Guterson, but a review board later ordered it restored to the shelves.