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Some thirty municipalities throughout Quebec prohibit citizens and journalists from recording sound or images in public assemblies. The Liberal Critic for Culture and Communications, Ms. Isabelle Melançon wants the public’s right to information to be respected and has tabled a bill to that effect.
Today, the MNA for Verdun tabled Bill 495 which proposes that an individual cannot be prohibited from recording multimedia content during a municipal council meeting or an urban community council meeting. Moreover, this bill stipulates that no one can be refused access to such a meeting because they do not reside on the territory of a given municipality or metropolitan community.
Reading “Extinction de voix, plaidoyer pour la sauvegarde de l’information régionale” a book written by author and journalist Marie-Ève Martel made the MNA representing Verdun aware of this situation which journalists experience in their attempts to inform the public as best they can.
I was flabbergasted to learn that journalists and citizens do not have the right to record images of municipal council meetings, or even attend them at all if they do not reside in the city in question. These meetings are public and therefore accessible to all. It is unthinkable that in 2019 municipal councils limit access to information. I am concerned about the public’s right to information. I hope that the government will be concerned by this issue as well and will decide to take action for the benefit of all citizens.
–Isabelle Melançon, MNA representing Verdun and Liberal Critic for Culture and Communications.