Canada’s largest media union is urging its members and all Canadians to support the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression as it tries to raise money to stay afloat in 2018.
“This organization defends the rights of journalists and works towards press freedom around the world and it would be a big threat to Canadian journalism if it dissolved due to lack of support,” said Bob Orr, National Secretary-Treasurer.
Unifor is donating$10,000 towards what CJFE is calling an urgent campaign to raise $100,000 by the end of January.
The non-governmental organization says without more support, it won’t survive the year.
“We have a small staff in a cramped office and nominal overhead beyond the costs of campaigning, but we still have an impact well above our visible size,” said Duncan Pike, Co-Director of CJFE.
“A future without CJFE means journalists dying while waiting for help to escape a dangerous situation. It means reporters in Canada sent to prison for refusing to reveal their sources. It means police spying on journalists with impunity,” said Pike.
Unifor, which represents 12,000 journalists and media workers, has been a strong supporter of CJFE and its work on behalf of journalists and press freedom.
“CJFE was instrumental in pushing for Canada’s first press shield bill, passed in October after it was revealed that journalists in Quebec were being spied on by police,” said Howard Law, Media Director.
CJFE was also among several organizations that supported Vice news reporter Ben Makuch when he was ordered to divulge a confidential source and is seeking to intervene when the Supreme Court of Canada hears the case.