CAJ condemns seizure of Journal de Montreal reporter’s computer

OTTAWA, Sept. 23, 2016 – The Canadian Association of Journalists adds its voice to those of its Quebec colleagues in criticizing the Surete de Quebec’s seizure of Michael Nguyen’s computer.

The computer was seized as a result of an investigation being conducted by Quebec’s judicial council based on Nguyen’s reporting of Quebec Court Judge Suzanne Vadeboncoeur behaviour published by the Journal de Montreal in June. The SQ are seeking information on the source of a video used as the basis for the reporting.

“Journalists are not police officers, officers of the court or part of law enforcement – to be so would threaten journalists’ independence that is vital to public-interest reporting,” said CAJ president Nick Taylor-Vaisey. “In this case, a journalist did his job in bringing a matter of immense public interest speaking to the integrity of those serving on the bench to light.

“Rather than seize this journalist’s materials, the public interest would be better served if investigators focused on the subject of Nguyen’s reporting.”

The computer in question is under judicial seal until a judge can rule on the validity of the search warrant used to obtain it. The CAJ hopes it will be excluded as necessary evidence and returned to Nguyen promptly.

The CAJ is Canada’s largest national professional organization for journalists from all media, representing nearly 500 members across the country. The CAJ’s primary roles are to provide public-interest advocacy and high-quality professional development for its members.

For further information: Nick Taylor-Vaisey, CAJ president, 647-968-2393, [email protected]

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