Statement on World Press Freedom Day

Elizabeth May issued the following statement on May 3, World Press Freedom Day:

“A free press plays an integral role in a healthy democracy by holding governments to account and by increasing transparency.

“Alarmingly, Canada’s news media continues to suffer from an unhealthy degree of concentration of ownership. This year, Canada failed to make the top 20 in Reporters Without Borders’ 2017 world press freedom rankings.

This marks a 14-spot drop in the World Press Freedom Index in only two years. We have a right to journalistic freedom, thanks to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. But the past year has brought shocking incidents like the police surveillance of established journalists in Quebec, and ongoing court battles that attempt to intimidate journalists into exposing their sources. These aggressive institutional attacks against the fourth pillar of democracy must be rebuffed.

“Today, we also remember many journalists around the world who continue to face censorship and attacks on their basic human rights. We remember journalists who have lost their lives and freedoms in their struggle to tell the world necessary stories.

“On World Press Freedom Day, let us recommit to the principles enshrined in our democracy and ensure no more journalists have to suffer because of their work,” Ms. May concluded.