Understanding Canada’s new shield law for confidential sources
LISA TAYLOR, BRIAN MACLEOD ROGERS, RYDER GILLILAND | J-Source
[~] Canada has a new law that offers significantly enhanced protections to reporters’ confidential sources and recognizes the societal value in protecting the journalist-source relationship.
It’s hard to overstate the importance of the Journalistic Source Protection Act, which became law on Thursday, Oct. 19, after being approved unanimously by both the House of Commons and the Senate. This Act amends both the Criminal Code and the Canada Evidence Act in favour of giving considerably more weight to a journalist’s promise of confidentiality to a source.
“I think this bill goes a very long way in protecting confidential sources,” media lawyer Iris Fischer said of the bill in an episode of the Ryerson Review of Journalism’s “Pull Quotes” podcast. “This issue of sources has been a big one (for journalism) and it’s great to see that being addressed.”
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