Publication ban protects settlement talks

In case you missed it, a judge last week ordered a publication ban on settlement negotiations between the government and Groupe Polygone, an ad agency in the middle of the sponsorship scandal. The ban follows a previous one issued against the Globe and Mail and is more broad in nature, this time directed specifically at La Presse but also any other media outlet.

The gag order is only valid while the talks (which are supposed to be confidential anyway) are ongoing.

Monday in La Presse, Yves Boisvert says that reporting things that are supposed to be confidential is the entire point of investigative journalism. The Globe and Mail makes a similar point.

I don’t know how important it is to know the status of settlement negotiations, but I also don’t agree that either the federal government or a company that broke the law has any right to privacy in these negotiations, especially if one side (almost certainly in the government) has leaked that information to the media.

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