Journal de Montreal newspaper health reporter, Eric Yvan Lemay – who had his pregnant wife followed on her way to work for 18 km – had been spied on by Quebec provincial police following his 9 February investigation that unsecured and private medical files had been left in full view of passersby at three Montreal hospitals and one facility east of the city.
According to police documents, and following Lemay’s revelations, the journo had been spied on 12 times following his investigation.
Pierre Karl Peladeau, President and CEO of Quebecor Inc., the company that owns Sun Media that owns Journal de Montreal, said the raid was “abusive” and “a direct attack on the freedom of the press”, according to the Toronto Sun on Saturday [17 March 2012].
Even the Federation of Professional Quebec Journalists also denounced the raid.
The newspaper had photographs of some of the files accompanying a summary of the type of information that the journo was able to obtain.
One of the hospitals has reportedly since filed a criminal complaint after the story was published.
The police, according to the report, were issued with a search warrant which was carried out on Thursday morning [15 March 2012] for Lemay which alleged theft under $5,000 and trafficking of identifying information.
The Toronto Sun claimed Quebec provincial police spokesperson Guy Lapointe defended the move which took seven between Feb 25 and March 1 on separate times. Lapointe is quoted in a video clip saying: “Police were convinced that the search was the only way to confirm the identity of the person accused of stealing documents”.
Dany Doucet, editor-in-chief of the Journal de Montreal, said Lemay did not steal any documents.
The journo is yet to be charged.
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