The Parliamentary Press Gallery is opposing a plan to fingerprint and conduct criminal background checks on journalists who cover Parliament Hill.
The gallery announced its formal opposition on Friday during its annual meeting.
Press gallery president Tonda MacCharles, who covers Ottawa for The Toronto Star, said the 150-year-old organization already has a process to accredit journalists “based on the need for access to the Commons and committee venues.”
“No one has shown us any historical case where a journalist has posed a risk to security, nor any threat assessment that shows this is a problem,” she told CTV News in a statement. “On principle, the gallery opposes the idea that parliamentary journalists should be vetted by the RCMP. We don't know why this is necessary, nor how in practice it would work, and we believe it has the potential to breach our freedom to report, a violation of our constitutional right to do so.”
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