Free expression is more than just the right to say what you want. It’s a universally recognized human right, which CJFE is working to defend and protect. Focusing on issues that impact Canadians, we are a reliable resource for free expression information.
Need more convincing? Here are 10 reasons why you should support CJFE:
1. Protecting right to information
Over the past year, Canada’s Right to Information ranking – assessing the laws in all countries with access to information legislation – has dropped from 40th to 55th, and is only continuing to slip. CJFE is working to defend your right to information that you need to keep governments accountable.
2. In-depth analysis and context of Canadian issues
Our annual Review of Free Expression in Canada provides a one-stop resource for in-depth coverage of the issues that impact Canadians, such as digital rights, access to information and censorship, and includes our annual report card grading the year in free expression.
3. Honouring those who stand up for free expression
Each year at our annual CJFE Gala, we honour courageous individuals who are committed to free expression. Shining a spotlight on their stories helps to provide a degree of protection for journalists working in dangerous conditions, and allows us to understand the challenges media face around the world, and how important it is that their stories are told.
4. Advocacy in action
Canadians are comparatively lucky: battles for freedom of expression in this country are more often fought with words in courtrooms than with bullets and tear gas on the streets. Nevertheless, Canadians’ vital free expression rights have been challenged repeatedly in Canada. CJFE intervenes in legal cases that will lead to the creation of better laws to protect freedom of expression across the country.
5. Defending digital rights
The flow of information online does not respect national boundaries, and there are growing concerns about how this will impact Canadians’ right to free expression. As the internet continues to become more integrated into our daily lives, CJFE is working to ensure that decisions about its future are not made behind closed doors.
6. Our partnerships make us stronger
Did you see our public service announcement on access to information that we created with OMNI and Juniper Park? Or read our submission to the UN on the state of free expression in Canada, which we prepared with the Centre for Law and Democracy, BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association (FIPA), Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), and PEN Canada? Collaboration and partnerships are a key component of our work.
7. Cross-Canada coverage
With our team of volunteers from across the country tracking free expression news in each province and territory, CJFE isn’t just focused on national issues. We are working to ensure that regional and local issues are being monitored and integrated into larger conversations on free expression in Canada.
8. Helping journalists to tell their stories
The Journalists in Distress fund provides humanitarian assistance to journalists who have been attacked or threatened, usually because of their work. We have helped cover medical expenses for injured journalists, secured visas to help reporters relocate to safety, and paid lawyers’ fees when journalists are detained. The Scotiabank/CJFE Journalism Fellowship brings a working journalist from Latin America to Massey College, University of Toronto for a year to continue their research and education.
9. A global network: IFEX
Based in Toronto, CJFE manages the IFEX Clearing House, a network of more than 80 organizations around the world committed to free expression. Connecting and collaborating with organizations working and campaigning on similar issues allows us to magnify our impact. We are Canada’s voice in this international network.
10. Working to end impunity
In a culture of impunity, journalists must overcome censorship, threats, attacks, fear and corruption to report on important stories in the public interest. As a part of the International Day to End Impunity campaign, CJFE is working to ensure that these voices are not silenced.