OTTAWA / Oct. 9, 2019 / CNW — The CAJ is encouraged that a Federal Court decision on accreditation will push the Leaders’ Debate Commission to be more transparent.
A Federal Court judge ruled Rebel Media and the True North Centre for Public Policy should have access to the federal debates taking place this week. The Leaders’ Debates Commission refused to provide their representatives accreditation, stating the organizations engage in advocacy.
The CAJ agrees that the Leaders’ Debates Commission must be more transparent in its accreditation process, and that it was poor practice to wait until the last business day before the leadership debate to issue its decision. Any decision on denying access should be timely, transparent and subject to an appeals process.
According to media reports, the Commission used the Canadian Association of Journalists’ ethics guidelines in rendering its decision. The CAJ code of ethics are guidelines, they are not binding, nor is the CAJ a regulatory body or an agency which defines journalism.
“The Rebel and True North are reportedly seeking a judicial review of the decision and the process used by the commission. We look forward to reviewing the reasons for the federal courts’ ruling, which will be released at a later date,” said CAJ president Karyn Pugliese.
Earlier this month, the CAJ was alerted that Andrew Lawton, a fellow with True North, had been barred from a public Liberal party event in Thunder Bay, Ont. The CAJ wrote to the Liberal Party, and received a note stating that it was a mistake and Lawton was welcome to attend events that are open to the public across the country. When pressed for further details, a media official with the party replied that they had nothing more to say.
The Canadian Association of Journalists is a professional organization with more than 700 members across Canada. The CAJ’s primary roles are public-interest advocacy work and professional development for its members.
For more information contact:
Karyn Pugliese, CAJ president
Brent Jolly, CAJ vice-president