The administration of McGill University is blocking legal information requests by student journalists. Big mistake.

The independent newspaper of Concordia University, The Concordian, reports.

Access denied: It’s not us McGill, it’s you

Canada’s Harvard should think twice before publicly going after student journalists. The people in the ivory towers over at McGill University must think they are pretty special. According to an article published Jan. 19 by The McGill Daily, McGill’s administration is seeking a motion to be exempt from answering access to information requests filed by select student journalists.

Publically-funded, government-run institutions are required by Canadian Law to release documents like reports, budgeting information and much more. McGill has no right to pick and choose which requests to honour and which to reject.

Now, student journalists who are using this resource as it was meant to be used are being targeted for allegedly overloading McGill with “systematic” requests in “retaliation” against the university. What’s more, not only have 14 respondents been named in the motion filed with the Commission d’accès à l’information, it goes on to claim that The Daily and The Link have been abusing the system, perhaps for some nefarious purposes of their own.

If we weren’t up in arms about that, imagine our reaction to the news that The Concordian is also being named as a source which provides evidence to support the university’s case.

Contrary to whatever the authors of the motion believe, The Concordian has never indicated in any way that ATI requests were being made “as a retaliation measure against McGill in the aftermath of the 2011-2012 student protests.”

The very idea that the university is requesting the right to deny legal ATIs filed by certain individuals and accept others is astonishing.

Read it all at the link below.