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‘Public’ file anything but: Access denied in dog photo case

By  •  Law

Commentary
A routine request for a photo of a dog found in a court file shows how secretive Canada’s courts can be, says Toronto Star legal affairs reporter Tracey Tyler. It also raises questions about who will call the shots on a new liaison committee that’s supposed to improve access to the Ontario courts.
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Conflit au Journal de Québec: L’appel de Quebecor

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Quebecor tente toujours de faire interdire la publication du Média Matin Québec. Le propriétaire du Journal de Québec, Sun Média, a déposé une requête en appel du jugement de la Cour supérieure sur la légalité du journal parallèle des syndiqués en grève et en lock-out du Journal de Québec.

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Bloc moves to protect journalists’ sources

By  •  Law

News
Serge Menard, a Bloc Quebecois MP and former journalist, has proposed a shield law to protect the identities of journalists’ confidential sources. Bill C-426, introduced on April 17, 2007, would amend the Canada Evidence Act to restrict when a court can order a journalist to name a source. Those seeking to expose a source would have to prove it is in the public interest to name the source and show they have done everything possible to identify the source by other means. Judges would have to consider the importance of the free flow of information and the impact on the source before compelling a journalist to name a confidential source. The bill would also require judges to impose strict conditions on any search warrant issued to seize a journalist’s notes or other documents in the media’s possession. Read the Bloc’s press release (French only) and news reports in Ottawa‘s Le Soleil and Presse Canadienne.
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Ontario limits access to court documents

By  •  Law

News
Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General is restricting access to court documents that reveal the name of an alleged victim of a sexual offence, citing a 2005 Criminal Code amendment that forbids the “transmission” of a victim’s identity. But Brian Rogers, a Toronto lawyer who regularly acts for the media, says a court order should not be required to access what has long been public information. Shannon Kari of The Law Times explores the issue in this May 14, 2007 report.
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Terror suspects’ complaints banned

By  •  Law

News
An Ontario judge has imposed a publication ban that prevents a group of terror suspects from exposing the conditions they face in solitary confinement. The men want to have their habeas corpus application heard in open court, and legal experts say the public deserves to know whether they are being detained “legally and by the books.” The Toronto Star‘s Tracey Tyler reports.
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La “valeur ajoutée” de l’information financière

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Analyse de l’acquisition de Reuters par Thomson, gracieuseté de l’émission L’heure des comptes.

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Libel suits put online free speech at risk

By  •  Law

Commentary
A pair of recently filed defamation suits have the potential to reshape free speech on the Internet in Canada, Internet law expert Michael Geist warns in this Ottawa Citizen commentary published on May 1, 2007. A British Columbia businessman is suing a who’s who of the Internet, including Yahoo!, MySpace and Wikipedia for allowing users to post or link to articles he alleges are defamatory.
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Typophiles weigh in

Typophile.com has a lively discussion going on about the new Globe and Mail. Join the discussion here.
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Virginia student press leads way

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The Collegiate Times – the student newspaper at Virginina Tech – has been providing multimedia/interactive media throughout the shooting crisis, employing an online blog-style approach that contains up-to-the-minute information sharing, as well as reader videos, photos and reports. Students appear to be participating in the Collegiate’s coverage rather than protesting against it, in marked contrast to the anti-media backlash aimed at other media outlets.

Students gathered at Holden Hall during the massacre.
Photo by William Chase Damiano/GNU Free Documentation License

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Pickton coverage brings backlash

By  •  Law

Commentary
How much information about Robert Pickton’s murder trial is too much information? Tony Burman, editor in chief of CBC News, comments on the public backlash against media coverage of graphic evidence being heard in a New Westminster, B.C. courtroom.
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