Report to the IAPA Midyear Meeting
March 28, 2020
Lee Hills Media Center

During this period, although the Justin Trudeau government open new spaces to citizen's right to know, there is still a generalized perception of a lack of transparency on certain issues, the matter of shared surveillance, border security and the possible violation of individual liberties through use of digital information on cellphones and other electronic devices by citizens crossing to and from the United States continues to be a delicate issue.

Of particular concern were the reports received by the Canadian Association of Journalists that RCMP officers were blocking media from bearing witness to police actions as they proceeded to implement an injunction and arrest of the Wet'suwet'en people who were protesting the Coastal Gas Link Project. Since December 31st of 2019 the RCMP had been escalating their actions to keep the media out of the area where the hereditary chiefs of the Wet'suwet'en have been trying to defend their jurisdiction in British Columbia.

The Canadian Association of Journalists continues to call on the country's public officials to respect the essential value of freedom of the press as a key element in the construction of a strong democracy.

Also of concern was the perception that the coverage of the SNC Lavalin scandal that led to the separation from government of the former Attorney General of Canada, Jody Wilson-Reybaud and other members of the Liberal Party, was being politically manipulated.

The Country has ranked 18th place in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders thus re-entering the list of the 20 leading nations defending Freedom of the Press.