A Fasken team led by Christian Leblanc represented the Quebec media at hearings of the Chamberland Commission (investigating police practices relating to surveillance of journalists).
The hearings, which were covered extensively in the media, took place over several months in 2017, and Christian’s team was present every day. Christian cross-examined the Montreal Chief of Police, the Chief of the Sûreté du Québec, and the Mayor of Montréal. The Commission released its report a few days before the Christmas holidays and adopted virtually all of the recommendations made by our clients.
Following the release of the report, the government of Quebec promised to introduce a bill to protect journalists’ freedom of expression and journalistic materials, prohibit surveillance of journalists, and limit the circumstances in which a journalist could be called to testify in court. Other Canadian provinces might follow that lead as well. The journalists working for our clients will therefore enjoy broader protection regarding the confidentiality of sources, and so will be able to report on topics of public interest with greater freedom and certainty. Our clients in the media appreciate Fasken’s efforts to strengthen journalists’ freedom of expression in Canada.
The Fasken team that represented the Quebec media before the Commission was led by Christian Leblanc and included Chris Semerjian and Patricia Hénault.