79th IAPA General Assembly, November 9 - 12, 2023, Mexico City, Mexico


The government continues to affirm that media freedom is essential to protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms," but it has dangerously engaged in withholding and limiting access to public information.

A deepening political polarization, an abundance of disinformation, and the harassment of news industry workers now plague the news industry. Abuse, hate speech, and threats against CBC/Radio-Canada have increased. The CBC significantly reduced its activity in social media X after that platform labeled it "government-funded media."

In late October, the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) said Parliament is overstepping editorial independence principles by demanding that public broadcaster officials, CBC/Radio-Canada, be brought before the House of Representatives to explain how journalists use the term "terrorists" in their coverage. The CAJ warned that the Broadcasting Act protects the independence of CBC/Radio-Canada and that if parliamentary committees can review editorial decisions, the public news network would become a government broadcaster.

In April, the government passed Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act. This controversial legislation empowers the Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission-CRTC to regulate online streaming platforms. It immediately raised several red flags, amongst which is the ongoing concern that the CRTC could significantly restrict user-generated content.

The government introduced Bill C-18 Online News Act, which was approved on June 22. The law establishes collective and voluntary negotiations between tech companies and media managers to compensate them for distributing news content on their platforms. The legislation mainly targets Google and Facebook and references the Media and Digital Platforms Negotiation Code approved in Australia in 2021.

Given the government's announcement of the new law, Google and Meta threatened to boycott it and said they would block journalistic content on their platforms. Eighteen press organizations worldwide, including the IAPA, issued a statement on July 5 against the boycott. Subsequently, only Meta followed through on his threats. The law will be enacted next December once its regulations are approved.

In June 2022, the government passed the Digital Charter Implementation Act, or Bill C-27, to allegedly improve user privacy protections. That same month, the national police forces disclosed that they had been using spyware to "hack suspects' devices in serious criminal and national security investigations."

And amidst this multiple and evolving scenario, the one rapidly increasing threat to individual rights, civil liberties, and freedoms is the extensive and uncontrolled public and private surveillance that has been made possible using technologies that have breached all potential barriers to privacy.