Reporting from the Alberta Legislature: Sheila and Keean are officially in the Press Gallery

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Victory for the free press in Alberta: My colleague Keean Bexte and I are officially accredited to work at the Alberta Legislature.

This morning, we met with the Sergeant-at-Arms who advised us that the Speaker of the House would be extending the benefits of official press gallery credentialing to us.

The Speaker and the Sergeant-at-Arms had intervened to protect media independence after the dysfunctional censors in the Alberta Press Gallery voted to protect their journalistic monopoly, in a secret witch trial against Rebel News.

This win comes after a long drawn-out legal battle with both the Press Gallery and then subsequently Postmedia, the media conglomerate that dominated the Gallery until very recently.

Several weeks ago, after Keean was removed from the legislature at the request of an NDP staffer, we applied join the Press Gallery.

At first, the president, Catherine Griwkowsky, wouldn't respond to our emails, applications or even letters from our lawyers. In the end, she resigned rather than be forced to admit us or, alternatively, drag the Gallery into a legal dispute.

Enter Tyler Dawson, the Alberta-based Postmedia journalist who assumed the new role of president. He's the guy who held a secret vote to block our membership.

That move by Dawson, and our campaign to have people cancel their subscriptions to Postmedia newspapers, plus our threat to take our fight to the Competition Bureau, so embarrassed the media giant that the company withdrew all their journalists from the dysfunctional organization.

And Dawson's gatekeeping caused a crisis of confidence in the Press Gallery itself, prompting the Speaker and the Sergeant-at-Arms to do something unprecedented: They went around the Press Gallery to preserve the free press!

Today, Keean and I walked the rotunda of the Alberta legislature like any other journalist who works there.

We worked from inside the Alberta legislature because the Speaker and the Sergeant-at-Arms granted us the freedom our competitors tried to take away from us.

Thank you everyone who supported and continues to support our fight for press freedom. You didn't just help us today. You helped every other smaller media company who doesn't have the will or the means to fight back. Today Alberta is freer because of your generous donations to

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  • By Ezra Levant

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