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Thursday, 28 August 2014

Charles LeBlanc’s blog shut down and what warning it may send [audio]...

 Some time on Monday, Aug 18, 2014, the popular and often politically charged and controversial blog of Fredericton’s Charles LeBlanc was shut down. The blog is probably best known for LeBlanc’s hounding of politicians and police over their statements, decisions and actions. 

The removal of the blog was the result of City of Fredericton Chief Administrative Officer Chris MacPherson contacting Google to have the blog removed because it allegedly contained “inaccurate and hurtful content about Fredericton police,” as reported by CBC.

 At least that is the summary reason that the City of Fredericton communicated to the media in the days following.

 In the interview From the Margins did with LeBlanc, which follows this writing, he gives background to the shut down. As well, he gives a message of warning to other bloggers and media activists.

 Where is the line being drawn around freedom of expression? As the interview reveals, the efforts of the City of Fredericton and the Fredericton Police Force (FPF) to put LeBlanc into legal trouble for the content of his blog – if not to restrict or end it – date back years. 

In January 2012, LeBlanc’s computer was seized and he was arrested, officially as part of a FPF investigation into allegedly libelous content about a member of the FPF. The officer in question complained months earlier regarding LeBlanc’s statements about him. 

LeBlanc alleged inappropriate contact during his arrest in the summer of 2011 by the officer – for a bylaw infraction involving biking without a helmet on a sidewalk – and wondered out loud, in a number of blog posts, what other questionable behaviours the officer might engage in. 

When his apartment was invaded by police during the investigation, LeBlanc was led to the impression that they were after something other than libelous information about a police officer. He thought they were conducting a search for information regarding child sexual exploitation. 

He was outraged. In fact, as part of their investigation, when the FPF tried to obtain information about LeBlanc from his Internet Service Provider (ISP), they used a form designed for investigations of child sexual exploitation, which Click below for the rest of the story - Media Co-op write about Blogger!!!

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