QUÉBEC CITY, May 15, 2018 – Bill 187: An Act to protect the confidentiality of journalistic sources was presented today at the National Assembly by Stéphanie Vallée, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Québec.
The bill provides for new civil and criminal legislative measures to preserve freedom of the press and the public’s right to information.
Note that the bill proposes to make the specific criteria that relate to obtaining and executing search warrants on journalistic material covered by Québec criminal law.
By introducing this bill, the government intends to enact the first recommendation of the report presented by the Commission of Inquiry on the Protection of Confidentiality of Journalistic Sources.
Protecting journalistic sources is essential to a free press, an informed public and our democratic system. When the Commission of Inquiry on the Protection of Confidentiality of Journalistic Sources published its report last December, we said that we would act on its recommendations to the extent possible. That’s what we are doing today with this legislative measure.
– Stéphanie Vallée, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Québec
On November 11, 2016, the Government of Québec created the Commission of Inquiry on the Protection of Confidentiality of Journalistic Sources in order to shed light on cases of journalists being spied on and having search warrants executed against them. On December 14, 2017, the Commission, chaired by Justice Jacques Chamberland, made its investigation report public. The report proposed recommendations regarding protecting the confidentiality of journalistic sources, police investigative practices and judicial authorizations as well as the relationship between the police and the media.