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The Canadian Press Council (CPC) is a statutory organization in Canada responsible for the regulation and conduct of the Canadian press and print media. The Press Council was established in 1951 by the Press Freedom Act, which also established the Council's core mandate; that is to "ensure responsible and ethical conduct by the Canadian free press". The CPC is an independent body within the Ministry of Culture and Moral Guidance, and answers directly to the Minister.

The Council is led by a director, assisted by two assistant directors, and features a large bureaucracy of over 15,000 permanent employees. Censors, who make up the majority of staff, must sift through all newspaper, magazine and newsletter publications in Canada and the occupied zones to ensure they adhere to the Council's regulations. Publications which do not adhere to the regulations are denied permission to release their material. The supplies of content as well as the publishers themselves must be registered with the CPC. Non-registration or violation of a CPC order is considered an offense under the Press Freedom Act, which is punishable by a fine or imprisonment, depending on severity.

Legislative basis

Section 3 of the Press Freedom Act, broadly, establishes the Press Council as follows -

  • 3(1): The Canadian Press Council (CPC, the Press Council) is established to ensure responsible and ethical conduct by the Canadian free press.
  • 3(2): The Press Council shall be responsible for ensuring and enforcing compliance with this Act and any other such legislation or directives as stated by such legislation or directive.
  • 3(3): The Press Council shall be constituted as follows -
    • (a): The Director shall administer the Press Council in the ordinary course of its business.
    • (b): Two assistant directors shall assist and support the Director in his duties as he may require from time to time.
    • (c): Any further divisions, offices, officers or personnel as the Director may deem necessary.
  • 3(4): The Director shall be directly responsible to the Minister of Culture and Moral Guidance. He shall further also be responsible to the Prime Minister as the Prime Minister from time to time requires.

See also

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