Great news! On Wednesday, Rebel News had our day in court regarding the publication ban that a B.C. father was recently sentenced to six months in prison for breaching, while speaking out against the medical transitioning of his child without his consent — and we got a win!
Justice Michael Tammen, who was set to rule on the matter, granted the order that we sought, to have the courts commit to transparency regarding the publication bans involved in this case.
The restrictive bans and orders at one point became so invasive that the father, C.D., was forbidden from referring to his biologically female child as “she.”
They also raised real concerns about freedom of press. Most notably so because the court filed some of these bans in secret. Yet, even though the details of such bans were hidden from the eyes of the public, press included, the fact that they were in effect meant that Canadian journalists who breached them, even unintentionally, could be found in contempt of court.
In court, opposing counsel Claire Hunter, acting for the child A.B., acknowledged that Rebel News was not the only publication to express confusion on how to legally inform the public about this story of great public interest. Yet, Rebel News was the only media outlet to take up legal action to do something about it.
“It was a win for Rebel News, and it was also a win for the open courts process, for the transparency for the courts,” said Kyle Bienvenu, a prestigious lawyer we hired for our case.
Perhaps that is why even Justice Tammen himself commended Rebel News’ efforts to bring this matter to the court’s attention.
Click to watch the full report that shows our initial reaction to the win and what this means for freedom of the press in Canada.
We are so happy to celebrate this win for you, and also want to invite you to help us with the out of pocket expenses we still have left. To cover the legal bill for this fight, please donate what you can at LetUsReport.com.
We knew challenging any part of these bans was a David and Goliath-type fight, but chose to bear the burden for all Canadian press, and the public in doing so.
Although we didn’t get everything we initially set out to achieve, after two months of intense negotiations and new things being brought to light, the fact that Canadian media can report more freely on this case is a huge win.
We are proud to have created a new precedent for transparency in the courts for cases like this, and thankful for all who supported us in doing so.