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Quebec announces details of inquiry into protection of journalists’ sources

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard speaks in Laval, Que., on Nov. 13, 2016.

Graham Hughes/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Quebec is announcing a public inquiry into the protection of journalists' sources.

The government said today the inquiry will be chaired by Jacques Chamberland, a judge with the province's court of appeal, and its commissioners must report back with recommendations by Mar. 1, 2018.

Premier Philippe Couillard had announced an inquiry would be held after Montreal and provincial police admitted they collected data from the cellphones of several journalists.

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The inquiry is public but commissioners will be able to hear certain witnesses behind closed doors in the event they are linked to ongoing investigations.

Guylaine Bachand, a lawyer specialized in media law and Alexandre Matte, a former Quebec City police chief, will sit as the other two commissioners.

The inquiry's mandate will include identifying best practices to protect the confidentiality of journalistic sources.

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