The Raelians are demanding the withdrawal of the 2004 Judith-Jasmin Award given to journalist Brigitte McCann



    MONTREAL, May 15 /CNW Telbec/ - March 31st of this year, following a
complaint by two Raelians, the Court of Quebec concluded that McCann's report,
published in the Journal de Montreal in October 2003, was documented using
unjustifiable clandestine methods, which constitutes a fault on the part of
Sun Media Corporation. Never would Mrs. Judith Jasmin have approved of Mrs.
McCann's comments and clandestine tactics, being a person who spoke of
intellectual honesty and surpassing your own beliefs.
    Brigitte McCann and Chantal Poirier infiltrated the Raelian Movement
using false identities and they took hundreds of clandestine photographs.
Then, they wrote a series of articles on the Raelian Religion with dishonest
intentions in the Journal de Montreal and the Journal de Quebec in October
2003. They also published several photographs of members without obtaining
prior permission, thus causing them important material and moral prejudices
(loss of jobs and contracts, hurting their dignity, their honour and their
reputation, etc...).
    Mr. Daniel Chabot, a Raelian bishop and spokesperson, declared: "It is
unacceptable that the FPJQ (Federation Professionnelle des Journalistes du
Quebec) allow this prestigious award to be in the hands of a journalist who
uses means judged as abusive and illegal by the Court of Quebec. We must
question ourselves: where is journalism going in Quebec?"
    The Honorable Judge Charles G. Grenier of the Court of Quebec condemned
the lack of seriousness from the director of Sun Media and the lack of respect
for the rules of investigative journalism:

    
          (150) (...) "this gives Sun Media Corporation's approach a
          character of casualness and a lack of seriousness which are hardly
          compatible with the principles of investigative journalism set out
          by the guides of the Quebec Press Council and the Professional
          Federation of Quebec Journalists."

          (156) (...) "the Court comes to the conclusion that the report of
          October 12, 2003 which is the one concerning the plaintiffs has
          been documented and published based on undercover acts which were
          not justified and which constituted a misdemeanour on the part Sun
          Media Corporation, such misdemeanour engaging its civil liability
          towards the plaintiffs. (cf 2009 qccq 3263 on www.judgment.qc.ca)"
    

    The Raelians are demanding the withdrawal of the Judith Jasmin Award from
McCann, as well as the withdrawal of references to this series of articles
from the FPJQ website (in the section "histoire du prix Judith Jasmin"). They
are also demanding that the judgement by the Honorable Judge Grenier be
published on the FPJQ site, so that all journalists as well as other readers
become aware of this judgement, be aware of the truth, and that such a
journalistic mistake never again replace real and good honest journalism.
    Mr. Chabot added "The population and the media were all fooled by the Sun
Media journalists who did not hesitate to gloat about getting recognized by
their professional federation. But they were and still are at fault: the
journalists and their directors have been severely condemned by the justice
system today."
    The Court of Quebec has indeed found Sun Media and the Journal de
Montreal guilty of violating the private lives of two raelians, one of which
is a priest. Sun Media was ordered to pay over $10 000 in punitive damages and
compensation to the victims, plus judicial and expertise costs.
    The members of the Raelian Religion will soon demonstrate their joy in
front of the offices of the Journal de Montreal.




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