Flying Blind – Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE)

Flying Blind

Flying Blind: The right to know, government obstruction, and fixing access in Canada

An informed public is critical to a functioning democracy, but in Canada the public’s right to information is threatened.

Our government prevents the gathering of vital information and fails to keep records of the processes used to make important decisions. Where information does exist, access is made difficult and sometimes impossible. Even when information exists and is accessible, too often governments and the private sector prevent dissemination of that information.

Join us for a day of engaging conversation as we look at the current challenges to creating, accessing, and sharing information in Canada, and work to create a path forward. Featuring experts working with the system and advocating for change, the day will provide insights into what needs to be done to permit a truly informed public essential to the future of a democratic Canada.


Panel I: Failing to Create Information

Rob Cribb, Investigative Journalist, Toronto Star

Munir Sheikh, Former Chief Statistician of Canada and currently Executive Fellow, University of Calgary

Maggie Xenopoulos, Associate Professor of Biology, Trent University

Moderated by Ira Basen, Documentary Producer, CBC Radio


Panel II: Difficulty Accessing Information

Dean Beeby, CBC Journalist

Jennifer Ditchburn, Senior Parliamentary correspondent, Canadian Press

Laura Tribe, National and Digital Programs Lead, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression

Moderated by April Lindgren, Ryerson School of Journalism


Panel III: Limiting the Dissemination of Information

Jesse Brown, Freelance journalist and media critic

Peter Jacobsen Media lawyer and founding partner, Bersenas Jacobsen Chouest Thomson Blackburn LLP

Ivan Semaniuk, Science reporter, The Globe and Mail

Moderated by Carolyn Jarvis, 16×9’s Chief Correspondent, Global News


Panel IV: We Know the Problems, Now What to Do About Them?

Suzanne Legault, Information Commissioner of Canada

Tom Henheffer, Executive Director, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression

James L. Turk. Distinguished Visiting Professor, Ryerson University

Moderated by Lisa Taylor, Ryerson School of Journalism



This event is held in partnership between Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) and the Centre for Free Expression, Ryerson University Faculty of Communications and Design. It is co-sponsored by the Ryerson Journalism Research Centre.



For more information:

Register here

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