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File a complaint

File a complaint online

Any individual, organization or publicly or privately owned company may file a complaint with the Quebec Press Council regarding an alleged breach of journalistic ethics.

If it happens that, for the same file, you decide to bring the case before the Courts, you should advise us without delay. In which case, the Conseil will have no alternative than to terminate the study of your complaint in order to avoid interference in the ongoing judicial process.

All decisions reached regarding complaints submitted to the Press Council, with the exception of those regarding the admissibility of a complaint, can be appealed with the Appeals Committee.

Receivability criterion
When establishing whether or not a complaint is receivable, the Council proceeds to a two-step analysis :

STEP 1: The Council will check if the complaint actually focuses on an alleged professional fault, that this alleged fault is precisely described and significant and that it concerns a journalistic act or product.

STEP 2: The Council then verifies that the complaint observes certain obligations described in article 3 of the Complaint procedure guidelines.

This procedure contains 11 articles, among which 4 can lead to a rejection of the complaint. They are article :

  • 3.1 Complaint form
  • 3.3 Sub judice cases
  • 3.4 Identity and anonymity of the plaintiffs
  • 3.10 Prescription

A complaint that successfully passes steps 1 and 2 is deemed receivable.

Negotiated settlement

The Council asks that all grievances first be expressed directly to the media organization in question. This step affords an opportunity to correct or clarify published information, or even to publish information or a point of view previously omitted, and by so doing, provide redress to the plaintiff and put an end to the procedures.

On receipt of the complaint, if the Council deems that this preliminary step was overlooked, it will ask the plaintiff to attempt to obtain redress and offer to assist the plaintiff in that process.

However, if the plaintiff doesn’t wish to contact the respondent, he has to inform the Council about it.

    1- Complainant information
    2- Media information
    Note: We ask you to be as precise as possible in order to properly identify the media implicated in your complaint.
    3- Your complaint must contain the following elements:
    1. Indicate which article of the Ethics Guide your complaint pertains to (e.g., Article 9 c) impartiality)
    2. (You may choose a maximum of three articles from the Ethics Guide).

    3. Indicate, specifically, the words or passage from the journalistic report you believe do not respect this ethical guideline.
    4. Explain why you think the article from the Ethics Guide was breached.

    If you have a document which represents an element of proof of your allegation, you may attach it here (Word or PDF)
    4- Negotiated settlement
    5- Annex A
    Plaintiffs also have to sign a form, called Annex A, in which they engage to inform the Council of their decision to refer any aspect of their case to any judicial or quasi-judicial body, administrative tribunal or discipline committee. Such a decision brings an end to its review by the Council.

    Agreement To the Quebec Press Council

    By submitting this case to the Quebec Press Council’s Complaints Committee, I hereby engage to inform the Council of my decision, should there be one, to refer this case, or any aspect of it, to any judicial or quasi-judicial body, administrative tribunal or discipline committee. I understand that such a decision, on my part, would definitely bring an end to its review by the Quebec Press Council.

    I accept this engagment