Ottawa, March 9, 2017 – Yesterday, Bill S-231 tabled by Senator Claude Carignan, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, went through report stage. The Committee will table its report today in the Senate.
Supported by key public and private media in Canada during its study, S-231 was adopted last night by the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. The Senator’s Bill would recognize in law the protection of journalistic sources. It includes a legislative framework for the disclosure of information and sets out the rules that apply in the Criminal Code and the Canada Evidence Act. In addition, instead of a justice of the peace acting as magistrate, only a judge from a superior court would have the power to issue or refuse to issue warrants, authorizations or orders concerning a source.
To reflect the various witnesses heard, a few amendments were made to the Bill in committee. Also added are a more precise definition of the notion of journalist, as well as the possibility for a judge to appoint a special advocate during the process of issuing search warrants.
Senator Carignan is pleased with the progress of his Bill. “The support I have received until now from my colleagues on all sides of the chamber is a major victory for the protection of journalistic sources. It is important to push the Bill forward until it becomes law as soon as possible”, he said.
Information (media only): Jacques Hébert or Simon Fecteau Labbé
Office of the Honourable Senator Claude Carignan, P.C.
Leader of the Opposition in the Senate