The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms has sent a warning letter to Justin Trudeau alleging that “excluding alternative media from his press conferences is a violation of the Charter-protected 'freedom of the press and other media of communication,' as set out in section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”
In the letter addressed to Prime Minister Trudeau, Re: Charter violations of freedom of the press and other media of communication:
We write to express our objection to a recent and very serious infringement of press freedom committed by your government. On May 27, 2020, a well-known Canadian journalist was denied access to your “open coverage” daily press briefing at Rideau Cottage. Despite conduction himself peacefully, Keean Bexte of Rebel News was then manhandled by security and physically removed from the grounds, after other journalists were permitted an opportunity to ask you questions about your government and policies.
The Rebel News Network is not known for its sympathy to you or to your government, both in its choice of what topics it covers, and how it covers those topics. This is exactly why denying Mr. Bexte access to your daily press briefing at Rideau Cottage leaves the impression that you grant entry only to journalists who will ask favourable questions and provide you with media coverage that is favourable, or at least not critical, towards you and your government.
In the letter signed by JCCF president John Carpay, the organization requests a public apology “in respect of the shameful and illegal conduct” at Rideau Cottage in light of the removal as an alleged Charter of Rights and Freedoms violation:
Further, the actions taken against Mr. Bexte also violate the Charter freedom of all Canadians to hear and consider a diverse range of views and perspectives.
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