TORONTO, March 15, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Association of Journalists is deeply concerned to hear the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) conducted a lengthy search of a Journal de Montréal journalist's home Thursday morning.
Éric-Yvan Lemay's home was searched this morning by the SQ after he became a suspect in charges of theft and trafficking in identifiable, confidential information. His recent reporting showed how, in publicly accessible areas of Montreal-area hospitals, he was able to see and review confidential files containing patients' personal information.
The SQ told the Journal de Montréal they were investigating a complaint on the theft of confidential documents from a hospital southwest of Montreal.
"The CAJ cannot understand at this time why the journalist who exposed the hospitals' apparent inability to lock down confidential patient information has become the subject of a criminal investigation," CAJ president Hugo Rodrigues said. "It's mind-boggling the province has chosen to investigate the messenger rather than show itself taking action on protecting patient confidentiality."
The search and investigation point to troubling threats to freedom of the press, access to information and journalism done in the public interest. Without knowing all the details surrounding exactly how Lemay accessed the information, his work brought to light serious issues with access to confidential information at these hospitals and correcting these lapses should remain in focus.
The CAJ is Canada's largest national professional organization for journalists from all media, representing almost 600 members across the country. The CAJ's primary roles are to provide high-quality professional development for its members and public-interest advocacy.
For further information:
Hugo Rodrigues, CAJ president - 519-756-2020 ext. 2226, 519-535-8680, firstname.lastname@example.org