This letter was sent to Prime Minister Harper on behalf of The Brunswickan, the student newspaper of the University of New Brunswick.
Canadian University Press (CUP) and Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) are disappointed in the actions taken by one of your party’s representatives during a Conservative Party rally in Fredericton on October 16, 2015. This representative turned away two reporters from The Brunswickan who attempted to attend the rally and report as media.
The student press is still press. Its members have the same right to free expression as all Canadians, and should enjoy the same access as reporters at larger outlets.
The lack of respect for these student journalists is a great disappointment. The Brunswickan’s reporters practice the highest ideals of journalism—a belief in the betterment of society through the open and free exchange of knowledge. Rather than discouraging these journalists, we ought to take every opportunity to encourage them in the development of their skills.
On behalf of The Brunswickan, and in the interests of continuing a tradition of free press in Canada, CUP and CJFE call on the Conservative Party to grant student journalists the same access as their professional colleagues as a matter of policy, and to apologize for the refusal to grant The Brunswickan reporters access to this rally in Fredericton.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Ryan Macfarlane, National Executive, Canadian University Press
Emma McPhee, Editor-in-Chief, The Brunswickan
Tom Henheffer, Executive Director, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE)