Peter Jacobsen, WeirFoulds Partner and expert litigator in our Media & Defamation Practice Group, authored an opinion piece in the November 24, 2021 issue of The Globe and Mail. He discusses a recent incident where two journalists were arrested by the RCMP and had their equipment seized while attending protests related to the natural gas pipeline construction on Wet’suwet’en territory.
The police claimed that they violated a civil injunction granted to Coastal GasLink by the B.C. Supreme Court just by being at the protests.
In his article, Peter clarifies that the injunction was intended to prevent those opposed to the pipeline from blockading access points. It was not intended to prevent the media from reporting on the blockade.
Peter draws comparisons with the arrest and prosecution of journalists covering blockades and protests in Canada’s recent history and goes on to explain that the blanket inclusion of journalists in these types of injunctions is not only profoundly unwarranted, but also serves to discourage, punish, and even prevent journalists reporting on these incendiary events. Furthermore, allowing the police to remove and detain journalists reporting on police behaviour during these disputes will only arouse suspicion, raise tensions, and cause disrespect for the administration of justice.
To read the full article in The Globe and Mail, click here.