Sunday, November 26, 2006
A Blogger Who’s a Court-Approved Journalist
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By IAN AUSTEN
Published: November 27, 2006
Many bloggers describe themselves as journalists. Last week Charles LeBlanc, a rooming house resident who lives on social assistance in Fredericton, New Brunswick, received a court decision establishing his journalistic credentials.
The confirmation came last Friday when a judge dismissed charges against Mr. LeBlanc of obstructing a police officer.
For the last two years, Mr. LeBlanc has been expressing his views on poverty and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder through a blog (oldmaison.blogspot.com). The idea, he said, came from benefactors who also provided him a small digital camera and a computer.
He declined to name the people, however, partly because at least one of them is employed by his favorite target: the many companies in New Brunswick controlled by the Irving family, which owns, according to a report on media ownership released by Canada’s Senate earlier this year, all the English-language daily newspapers in New Brunswick.
In June, Mr. LeBlanc went to Saint John, New Brunswick, to report on a protest against a meeting of chamber of commerce and board of trade members from Atlantic Canada and New England. Protestors stormed the meeting. Mr. LeBlanc was among those arrested.
Officers from the Saint John police testified they are regular readers of Mr. LeBlanc’s blog as part of their effort to gather intelligence on protests. William J. McCarroll, the provincial court judge who heard Mr. LeBlanc’s case, wrote in his decision that “Mr. LeBlanc is a ‘blogger.’ I’m sure that many, if not the majority of Saint Johners, are not familiar with this word.”
After reviewing videotape from a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation crew at the scene, sometimes in slow motion, the judge found that it contradicted testimony of the arresting officer, Sergeant John Parks.
“Members of the so called mainstream media were taking photographs and filming in the same area without interference from the police,” the judge wrote in a 20-page decision. “I believe it’s fair to say that the defendant was doing nothing wrong at the time he was approached by Sergeant Parks and placed under arrest. He was simply plying his trade, gathering photographs and information for his blog alongside other reporters.”
The judge also said that the police had no right to delete about 200 photos stored on Mr. LeBlanc’s camera.
Mr. LeBlanc said he had considered improving his skills by studying journalism at a local university. That is, until its journalism department accepted a donation of 1 million Canadian dollars from the Irvings. “Do you think I could study in a classroom listening to an Irving employee?” he asked. IAN AUSTEN
As with the case of the Saint John Police Force? The staff of the New Brunswick Legislature never gave me the reasons I was ban from the People's House.
This issue is going to get really dirty. I told a few people the reason I was banned from the Legislature and it goes right to Shawn Graham's office.
I must have a meeting with the Premier on this one.
We have Quebecers running the show and they don't like to be told what to do.
This battle could also end in the courts because I'm ready to get myself arrested on this issue.
I'll write more on this issue when I get back to the Capital!
Click below for more stories on this issue -
How many poor people are in jail because they were denied access to a lawyer?
That's what I wish to know???
FRIENDS OF ROCKWOOD PARK COMES FACE TO FACE WITH TWO MINISTERS OF THE SHAWN GRAHAM GOVERNMENT!!! HONEYMOON OVER???
Today was the first true confrontation the Shawn Graham Liberal Government ever had with the public since they took power.
I might add it involved two Ministers of the Shawn Graham Government.
Yes, it was a heavy one!!!
Last night, I was asked if I would be interested in attending a Christmas Party organized by Paul Zed. < I might add that he almost ran me over when he race in the parking lot >
Once there, I decided to take a walk up the road. I noticed the Friends of Rockwood Park on the side of the street.
I might add there was a lot of horn blowing in support.
I would like to also add that people are still congratulating me from the result of my trial.
The word spread around very quickly and it wasn’t even in the Irving papers? Ok...never mind that!!!
While chatting with a reporter from CFBC. I heard this loud shouting match between Roly MacIntyre and Stuart Jamieson.( 2 Liberal Ministers)
Duty was calling and I quickly went for my camera.
I never said a word ( for once ) and began clicking away!
I was surprised these two Liberal Ministers would even face the protesters?
But? I must give credit where credit is due because the Ministers of the former Bernard Lord Government wouldn’t have shown their faces.
The point these Ministers were trying to make was - As Ministers of the Shawn Graham Government, They are not allowed to get involved in the hearings of the Gas Pipeline.
The Friends of Rockwood Park didn’t wish to hear this.
Abel LeBlanc spoke out loud and clear against the pipeline so therefore the same action should be followed by Roly and Stuart.
Sorry...I guess it doesn’t work that way?
But one thing is certain!!!
They got the message loud and clear.
If any decision concerning the pipeline reached the Cabinet table?
Well? It’s going to be a touchy one.
Going back to the friends of Rockwood Park.
They are a very determined group.
Today, it was cold and windy but they still stood their ground and will fight this pipeline till the end of time.
This is November, can you imagine what this group will do once the warmer weather arrives again in the Spring?