About Us

Our members are leading media lawyers across Canada. We organize a major annual conference, intervene in important appeal cases, and promote improved laws and policies for free expression and openness of courts. AdIDEM/CMLA is dedicated to the protection and enhancement of free expression in Canada and abroad.


Board of Directors

Executive for 2023-25

President: Danielle Stone

Vice-President:  Tess Layton

Secretary-Treasurer: Iris Fischer

Federal representative

Kaley Pulfer

Regional representatives

Atlantic Region: David Hutt

Quebec: Veronique Belley

Ontario: Justin Safayeni

Prairies: Sean Ward

British Columbia: Daniel Coles

Past Presidents and Ex Officio Board members:

Patrick Bourbeau

Iain MacKinnon

Ryder Gilliland

Nancy Rubin

Christian Leblanc

Message from the President

This year marks the CMLA’s 25th  anniversary as a registered non-profit organization.

In those 25 years, the Canadian Media Lawyers Association has grown from a few founding members to almost 100 members and associate members who live and work across Canada and beyond.  Our members are primarily lawyers who have been involved in some of Canada’s most significant free expression and free press cases. You can find a directory of our members here. As lawyers, our members work alongside academics, journalists, and other free press champions to defend the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  But as CMLA members, we also educate each other and share resources to facilitate co-operation, to encourage research, to monitor legal developments, to seek law reform, and to develop greater awareness of issues affecting free expression.

Even after 25 years, there is no shortage of work to do.

At a time when transparency and fact-based journalism is critical to our functioning democracy, the media continue to face barriers to the free flow of information. There are regular threats to journalists’ safety (both physically and online).  At courthouses, journalists are sometimes denied access to court documents that they are legally entitled to see, and to hearings that should be open to the public in some way.  Confidential sources are disappointed when shield laws meant to protect them are failing them in practice. And would-be subjects of investigative journalism are finding increasingly sophisticated ways to stifle public debate.

In its 25th year as an organization, our members will continue to play a role in public discourse on these important issues and others.  We will defend and advocate for a free press and for the free flow of information in Canada.  We hope that you will too. Explore our website. Learn about us.  And if you have a free expression issue that you think the CMLA should know about, reach out to us at cmlahelp@gmail.com

Danielle Stone


CMLA members are lawyers representing the media across Canada.